2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Ltd.


2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Ltd.

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia


This is the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Ltd. I support Hybrid technology in today’s world. But I cannot buy the hype about “All-electric” battery powered cars. I must remind you of a bit of history. In 1903 all electric cars were available and they provided a range of 100 miles. That technology has made very modest improvement in a staggering 120 years. That tells me Tesla and others are on the wrong track with All Electric propulsion.

Consider that when you make short trips or around town All electric works fine, but not if you must go over 25 miles, remembering you must go back home another 25 miles. I have been stranded commuting 50 miles, charging all day and not being able to get back home. You see, home was uphill and that draws a huge amount of current.

The hype Tesla makes has been bought by many. Recall in late October 2016, Elon Musk made the bold prediction that his fleet of Tesla vehicles would pick someone up from their residence in Los Angeles, and drop them off in New York without the need for a single charge, and that would be done by the end of 2017. Many were skeptical about his claim, but Musk was confident since his Tesla vehicle was planned to be outfitted with powerful sensors, an updated computer system, GPS, and inertial measurement unit to aid in object detection. All Model S, X, and 3 sedans were predicted to include this updated technology. However, the CEO has walked back this prediction. In early August 2017, Musk lowered expectations by delaying the cross-country road trip.

Hybrids work today but all electric is doubtful to take over any time soon. On the other hand, you may recall my review of Fuel Cell hydrogen cars. It is still exciting and has a chance of making electric powered cars practical. If you attended the LA Auto Show this year you had a chance to see the technology up close. Be wise in how you spend your hard-earned money. Hybrid will be solid for the next 20 years. Then? beam me up Scotty.

General Information:

It is assembled in Asan, Korea; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Korea 89% ; Engine and transmission – Korea; Classification is Midsize Cars. Cars from Hyundai: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra GT, Ionig, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, Tucson andVeloster.

Handling & Performance:

I did not use a plug-in cable but the charge maintained at ¼ capacity in normal driving conditions for the entire week – because I had a gas engine. I experienced 300 miles travel using only ½ tank of gas. Had I plugged in at night to charge the batteries that performance would have been far better. Impressive. This technology has my vote.


Very nice, clean neat lines.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.


Competitive in class.

Conveniences and comfort:

Excellent standard features as priced.

Consumer Recommendations:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Country/Origin Assembled
Sonata Hyb 39,000 39 5 Korea Korea
Fusion Hyb 40,000 42 5 USA Mexico
Volt Hybrid 38,000 42 5 USA USA
MKZ Hybrid 41,000 40 5 USA USA
Accord Hybr 37,000 48 5 Japan USA

If you’re happy with 40 MPG this is a great option. As noted above, I didn’t plug in, but if I owned this and it were parked in my garage regularly I would have a cable conveniently placed to plug it in when I returned home.

Recognized Competition:

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid $39,000, Ford Fusion Hybrid $40,000, Chevrolet Volt Hybrid $38,000, Honda Accord Hybrid $37,000, Lincoln MKZ $41,000.

Good News:

Affordable higher tech car with very good fuel economy.

Bad News:


Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 4-cylinder hybrid 202 HP combined engine, 6-speed auto transmission, 120 volt charge cable, electric motor, lithium-ion polymer battery system, stability and traction controls, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes with brake force distribution, front, side and side curtain airbags, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and lane departure warning, rearview camera and rear parking sensors, 17” alloy wheels, keyless entry with push button start, Xenon headlight with auto high beam assist, leather seating with heated and vented front seats, power front seats with memory system, leather wrapped steering wheel with Cruise and audio and Bluetooth controls, 4.2” color LCD trip computer display, Smart cruise with stop/start capability, electric parking brake, 8” color touchscreen display with Navigation system, Infinity speakers with amplifier, Sirius XM travel link, Bluetooth hands free phone system.

Gas Stats:

$3.15-Gal avg. December 3, 2017

for more information.

City and Highway Combined 39 MPG


MSRP $38,600.

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