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MSRP: $25,750 - 31,300

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ranked #12 in Midsize Cars. Currently the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a score of 8.2 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 34 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid finishes in the bottom half of our midsize car rankings. It's a comfortable, practical sedan, but it lags behind the competition in too many notable areas to rate highly in such a competitive class.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious, comfortable seats
  • Smooth ride
  • User-friendly features
  • Small trunk
  • Other hybrids get better gas mileage
  • Engine feels a bit sluggish at highway speeds

Is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a Good Car?

Yes, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a good car. It offers plenty of easy-to-use technology, gets great gas mileage, and delivers a composed, smooth ride. Shoppers can pick between hybrid and plug-in hybrid trims, with the latter offering even better fuel economy. But there are some shortcomings as well. This Hyundai has a smaller trunk than most midsize cars, and its powertrain feels a little impotent at times.

Even some of its strengths aren't as great as they seem. For example, the Sonata Hybrid has an above-average fuel economy rating for the class, but it lags behind some other hybrids in that department. This is still a good car, but the midsize car class features a lot of extremely high-quality cars. Therefore, being good just isn't enough to earn a high spot in the rankings.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

The Sonata Hybrid, and its plug-in variant, is a good car that makes a lot of sense for sedan shoppers. However, taking into account that other cars in the class – even other hybrids – are more well-rounded than this Hyundai, you should at least explore the competition. Some good alternatives include the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Honda Accord Hybrid, and the nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata.

Compare the Sonata Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Accord Hybrid »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

The 2019 Sonata Hybrid belongs to a generation that began with the 2016 model year. While there are no major changes for 2019, there was a midyear update on the 2018 model (sometimes known as the 2018.5) that added standard driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change assist, and automatic emergency braking. These changes came on the heels of a 2018 refresh, which included updated styling, added standard features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, and offered features like wireless phone charging for the first time.  

After the 2016 redesign, the main change for 2017 was an upgraded standard infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. A 5-inch display screen was standard in the 2016 Sonata Hybrid.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Sonata Hybrid, but you may miss out on some of the newer tech features. If you're interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Sonata Hybrid, and browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts available on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Sonata Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Sonata Hybrid generation, which runs from 2016 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Cost?

The Sonata Hybrid carries a base price of around $26,000. That's high relative to most midsize cars, but it's typical for a hybrid since hybrid cars tend to cost more than their nonhybrid counterparts. The Sonata Hybrid Limited, which is the top trim, starts at around $31,000. That's not too pricey for any midsize car, and even some nonhybrids have more expensive top trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The Toyota Camry Hybrid earns a spot near the top of our class rankings (as does the nonhybrid Toyota Camry). It gets better fuel economy estimates than almost every rival, including the Sonata Hybrid. It's also more energetic and more fun to drive than its Hyundai rival. Inside, the Camry Hybrid is more modern than the Sonata Hybrid, and it provides plenty of passenger space. Its trunk is also larger than the Hyundai’s, and there are plenty of standard driver assistance features. There aren't a lot of advantages for the Sonata Hybrid, making the Camry Hybrid the obvious choice here.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Honda Accord Hybrid?

The Honda Accord Hybrid finishes noticeably higher in our rankings than the Sonata Hybrid. It's one of the best hybrids in the class. It gets better fuel economy than its Hyundai rival, though the Sonata Hybrid might handle a little better. Inside, the Accord Hybrid looks more modern, while the Sonata Hybrid feels a bit more upscale. Even though both have plenty of passenger space, the Honda hybrid has larger rear seats and provides significantly more trunk space. This showdown isn't quite clear-cut as it was with the Camry, but the Accord Hybrid is still the better pick.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Hyundai Sonata?

Inside, the nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata is nearly identical to its hybrid counterpart. The only real difference is that the nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata offers much more trunk space than the Sonata Hybrid. The nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata comes with three engine options. One of them is more powerful than the hybrid powertrains, but none – not even the Sonata Eco trim – can match the hybrid's fuel economy. If you want a lower purchase price and a larger trunk, go with the nonhybrid Sonata, which costs about $3,000 less. For better fuel economy, pick one of the hybrid editions instead.

Compare the Sonata Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Accord Hybrid »

Sonata Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Sonata Hybrid Seat?

This Hyundai seats five. The front seats provide ample comfort and support, along with plenty of room all around. The second row has plenty of legroom, but headroom can be a little tight for taller passengers.

Sonata Hybrid and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors and a third tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Sonata Hybrid's LATCH system a Marginal rating (the second-lowest rating) for ease of use.

Sonata Hybrid Interior Quality

This Hyundai sedan’s design looks a bit more old fashioned than some of its competitors’. It still looks good and features mostly high-quality, durable materials throughout the cabin.

Sonata Hybrid Cargo Space

Most class rivals have more trunk space than this Hyundai. The Sonata Hybrid provides a bit over 13 cubic feet of space – enough for about 10 grocery bags. In the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, trunk space drops to just under 10 cubic feet, which is enough room for about seven shopping bags.

Sonata Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a six-speaker audio system. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, and an Infinity premium audio system.

The touch screen is responsive and has crisp graphics, and the intuitive menu structure makes it easy to find the settings you want. There are physical controls for some functions as well, and they're all easy to see and reach from the driver's seat.

Read more about interior »

Sonata Hybrid Performance

Sonata Hybrid Engine: Hybrid and Plug-in Options

This hybrid Hyundai gives you two powertrain choices: the 193-horsepower Sonata Hybrid and the 202-horsepower Sonata Plug-In Hybrid. Both combine a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and provide decent off-the-line acceleration. However, they move a little like spilled syrup at highway speeds.

On the bright side, the transition from electric to gasoline power is all but imperceptible. Unlike many hybrids, which come with a CVT, these Hyundai hybrids are mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.

There is a nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata, which we cover in a separate review.

Sonata Hybrid Gas Mileage: Impressive, but Still Behind Other Hybrids

Compared to most midsize sedans, the Sonata Hybrid's ratings of 39 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway look outstanding. But those numbers don't quite measure up to the ratings of some hybrid rivals. For example, the most efficient midsize hybrid is the Toyota Camry Hybrid. You'll save about $200 per year in gas money driving the Toyota over the Hyundai because its fuel economy ratings are about 11 mpg higher.

The Sonata PHEV gets 99 mpg-equivalent under electric power and 39 mpg city/highway combined under gasoline power. It can drive about 28 miles on all-electric power.

For more information, check out our What Is MPGe? article.

Sonata Hybrid Ride and Handling: No Athlete, but It's Not Boring

The front-wheel-drive Sonata Hybrid provides a comfortable ride and absorbs most road imperfections without issue. This sedan handles fairly well, but you shouldn't expect a sporty driving experience.

Read more about performance »

Sonata Hybrid Reliability

Is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Reliable?

The 2019 Sonata Hybrid has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. 

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Warranty

Hyundai covers the Sonata Hybrid with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The hybrid battery has a lifetime warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Sonata Hybrid Safety

Sonata Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2019 Sonata Hybrid earned a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sonata Hybrid Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking. Available features include rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, dynamic bending light, lane departure warning, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Which Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

When picking a hybrid Sonata, you first have to decide whether you want the standard hybrid or the plug-in hybrid. Once you've made that choice, you'll have two trim options. The base trim comes with several driver assistance features and some nice infotainment technology, making it a fine choice.

Many buyers may still want to spring for the Sonata Limited trim, which comes with several comfort upgrades and even more tech features. There's no wrong choice; you just have to decide if the Limited's higher level of luxury is worth the added cost. In either case, note that the hybrid and plug-in hybrid don't have exactly matching features lists.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE

The Sonata Hybrid SE starts at around $26,000. Its hybrid powertrain puts out 193 horsepower, and it includes a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a six-speaker audio system.

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking.

The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) generates 9 more horsepower than the base hybrid, and it can go up to 28 miles on electric power alone. Its features list is largely the same as the base hybrid's, though there are a few notable differences. The Sonata PHEV does not come standard with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, or automatic emergency braking. However, the plug-in does come with satellite radio, HD Radio, and an additional USB port.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

The Sonata Hybrid Limited starts at around $31,000. In addition to the base trim's features, the Sonata Limited comes with adaptive headlights, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a split-folding rear seat, BlueLink, an additional USB port, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

Here again, there are some differences between the features lists for the base hybrid and the PHEV. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Limited doesn't come with the sunroof or the split-folding rear seat, but it does come with wireless charging for enabled smartphones, automatic high beams, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, and an Infinity premium audio system.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delivers a comfortable driving experience. It's efficient, it provides ample passenger space, and it offers some nice tech features. However, this Hyundai doesn't quite live up to the standard set by many competitors, including some other hybrids. That's why it earns a spot in the bottom half of our midsize car rankings. You would certainly not be making a bad choice by buying this Hyundai, but you should see what else is out there before signing on the dotted line.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Sonata Hybrid is competitively priced against the Honda Accord Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, though its fuel economy falls a bit short of the segment leaders. Is it worth a look? We certainly think so, especially with all Hyundai has to offer. If you're looking for a fuel-efficient midsize sedan and the Sonata Hybrid wasn't on your shopping list before, it should be there now." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "With gas prices still … low and sales of sedans in the slumps compared with SUVs, Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid doesn't look like it has a fighting chance to garner popularity among vehicle shoppers. A refresh for 2018 that includes more features for less money, however, should help." -- Cars.com (2018)
  • "The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a cost-effective way to get into an efficient midsize sedan, and … the 2018 is gussied up with more standard equipment, including blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also borrows the handsome looks of the also-refreshed, non-hybrid Sonata sedan." -- CNET (2018)
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