Monday, July 19, 2010

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Road Manners: First Reviews

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Before the end of this year, Hyundai will put its first hybrid on the market. As we�"ve reported, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid represents another compelling high-mpg mid-size sedan for hybrid shoppers. The gas-electric Sonata stacks up against the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. In fact, Automotive News today claimed, �SA hybrid variant is the cost of entry in the mid-sized sedan segment these days.⬝ We would have been shocked to see this statement even one year ago.

The most important information for those considering the Sonata hybrid is not yet available: Price. Autoweek is guessing mid-$20,000s. That matches speculation from Edmunds, which says Hyundai will try to will undercut the Toyota Camry Hybrid and offer a price of $24,900. Automobile magazine�"s guess is $27,000.

The Fusion Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid both average about 39 MPG�with the Fusion getting slightly better mileage in the city, and the Sonata emphasizing highway efficiency. The Camry MPG stats are 33/34.

Hyundai predicts 5 percent to 7 percent of Sonatas sold will be hybrids, which means about 15,000 units a year. Right now, there is a capacity for 35,000 Sonata hybrids a year to supply the U.S. and Korean markets.

How Does It Drive?

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There's no confirmed price tag, but we do have new information in the form of first driving experiences by auto journalists at the Namyang Proving Ground in South Korea. Here are a few highlights:

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