Both the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid come in both base SE and Limited trims. All trims come with the same 2.0L 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor powered by a lithium polymer battery. In the Hybrid, this combination is good for 193 horsepower. The system does an impressive job optimizing for fuel economy, and is rated up to 40 mpg in the city.
The Plug-in Hybrid's system has a more powerful motor and battery, so total system output comes in a bit higher at 202 horsepower. The battery, once charged is good for 27 miles on electric power alone. Once that charge is expended, the vehicle can recharge the battery itself through regenerative braking and engine output, a rarity in the plug-in hybrid world. Charging the battery at home using 240 volts takes as little as 3 hours.
The Hybrid SE models are well-equipped and start at $26,000. Hybrid Limited starts at $30,100. The Plug-in Hybrid does carry a premium price for the technology. SE models start at $34,600 and Limiteds begin at $36,698. Many localities offer tax incentives that can bring that price down.
The Hybrid SE model comes with alloy wheels, heated power mirrors and LED brakelights. Inside there's premium fabric upholstery, a 6-speaker MP3-capable audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, power door locks and windows and cruise control. Metal and chrome interior accents give the cockpit a premium feel. Standard safety features include front, first and second-row curtain and drive's knee airbags, tire pressure monitoring and a backup camera.
Upgrade to the Limited trim and the wheels become 17-inch alloys, the wipers become speed-sensitive automatic, the headlamps are HID, and the seats are now leather-wrapped, heated and ventilated. The interior gets woodgrain accents. Safety features in the Hybrid Limited include blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert.
The Plug-in Hybrid SE comes even better equipped, and includes power-adjustable heated front seats, cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist, and a premium audio system.
The Plug-in Hybrid Limited comes with an Infinity audio system, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and front collision warnings, features that are optional on the Hybrid model.