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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

Strong performance, good fuel economy, attractive styling and a roomy, well-equipped interior not only make the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a good used hybrid car, but a good used midsize car overall.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong hybrid powertrain
  • Composed handling
  • Spacious cabin with lots of tech features
  • Good safety scores
  • Animated fuel efficiency gauge can be distracting
  • Blue Mode makes car lethargic
  • Smaller trunk than other midsize hybrids




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was a new model for 2011, and auto critics were impressed with its performance. They liked that the Sonata Hybrid delivers 34/39 mpg city/highway and is also fun to drive. In particular, test drivers said the Sonata Hybrid had good acceleration and power delivery, a smooth six-speed automatic transmission and composed handling. The Sonata Hybrid’s large cabin, numerous tech features and upscale materials also received high marks. The Sonata Hybrid also has a good safety score.

A few reviewers thought the animated display on the fuel efficiency gauge was distracting, while another noted that the trunk was smaller than those found in competing hybrid cars. Blue Mode, which is supposed to boost fuel efficiency by about 5 percent, was disliked because it makes the Sonata Hybrid sluggish and noisy.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include push-button start, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a USB port. Navigation, a backup camera, heated leather front and rear seats and an upgraded stereo were available in an option package when the Sonata Hybrid was new. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control round out the 2011 Sonata Hybrid’s standard safety features.

See the full Hyundai Sonata Hybrid specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Though the 2011 Sonata Hybrid has good fuel economy, the 2011 Toyota Prius' is even better. The Prius has better safety scores and more cargo space than the Sonata Hybrid. The Prius was also named our 2011 Best Hybrid Car for the Money and 2011 Best Hybrid Car for Families. One big advantage of the Sonata Hybrid is that test drivers thought it drives more like a gas-only car, so if performance is a priority, the 2011 Sonata Hybrid is the better choice.

The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid beats the Sonata Hybrid with better overall fuel economy, but the Sonata Hybrid has higher safety scores. The 2011 Fusion Hybrid was liked by test drivers because its driving experience is similar to the gas-only 2011 Fusion and it offers a high-quality, comfortable interior.

Compare the Sonata Hybrid to the Prius and Fusion Hybrid »

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