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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was new.


Interior: 8.4

The interior of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid doesn’t stray much from the rest of the Sonata line, and reviewers say that’s a very good thing. The Sonata Hybrid features an interior that’s more upscale than its price suggests, with features like standard Bluetooth and a USB port. The materials have a high-end look and feel, and reviewers say that everything, from the ergonomics to the electronics, works very well.

  • "But as different as the exterior of the Sonata Hybrid is from its standard internal-combustion brethren, things have been left largely untouched inside. Buyers will still find the comfortable thrones, attractive dash and heaps of soft-touch goodies layered over almost every surface just like in the base Sonata." -- Autoblog
  • "The interior features the same low-gloss plastics, soft-touch dash, plentiful storage nooks and comfortable seating as the rest of the Sonata line." -- Wired


Not much is said about the seats in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, except that they are the same as the seats in the regular Sonata. That means the seats are roomy, supportive and comfortable. If you go for the premium package, you can get heated front and rear seats. That’s a rare feature, even for luxury cars.

  • "The Sonata Hybrid features the same comfortable and reasonably spacious cabin as the test car featured in our 2011 Hyundai Sonata Test Drive , which means the bucket seats offer enough support, the driver seat and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel offer a large range of adjustment, and rear seat room is surprisingly generous.” -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Reviewers are pretty pleased with the interior features on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Like the gas-only model, the Sonata Hybrid comes with standard cloth seats, Bluetooth, a USB port, keyless entry, push-button start and a six-speaker stereo. The only available package is the premium package, which adds leather, heated front and rear seats, navigation, a sunroof and an upgraded stereo. 

Overall, reviewers say that all of the tech goodies work well. A lot of them note the fuel efficiency gauge, which trains drivers to use less gas by rating their driving style. Drive efficiently, and a little computer-generated shrub grows on the gauge. Drop the hammer, and the little shrub shrivels. You can change the icon to a picture of the earth, which grows bigger and spins the more miserly you drive. It’s a feature similar to the one in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and while reviewers like it, a few think it’s a distracting gimmick.

  • "Exceedingly green driving leads to little white flowers growing upon the shrub until the max eco score is achieved and the flowers fly away. Another eco score display has a picture of Earth growing brighter until the max eco score is achieved and our good planet begins to spin as it becomes encircled with an olive branch. Yes, this all sounds like something from a video game for 5-year-olds, and yes, it's probably distracting." -- Edmunds
  • "Moreover, with its electric A/C compressor, the Sonata Hybrid doesn't rely on engine power to help keep the cabin cool, which is especially nice during auto-stop moments." -- Motor Trend
  • "This is a car you can live with daily and with all the gadgets and excellent fuel economy, it actually makes a good road-trip vehicle." -- Wired


In hybrid cars, cargo space is always a concern because hybrids’ large battery packs eat into the available space. The Sonata Hybrid uses smaller batteries, which don’t take up as much space as the batteries in other hybrid sedans, but trunk space still suffers. The Sonata Hybrid has 10.7 cubic feet of trunk space – enough for a few suitcases or a full load of groceries. The gas-only Sonata has 16.4 cubic feet of space.  Still, the Sonata Hybrid’s cargo space isn’t bad for a hybrid. The Ford Fusion Hybrid has 11.8 cubic feet of trunk space.

  • "Compared to the yestertech NiMH pack in the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Hyundai claims that its 1.4 kilowatt-hour pack is 20-30 percent lighter, 40 percent smaller, and a tenth more efficient. You might expect for this to pay dividends in the area of cargo capacity (the batteries are located in the trunk), but in truth, the Hyundai's 10.7 cubic-foot trunk is still dramatically smaller than that of a gas-only Sonata (16.4 cubes) and it's about the same size as its competitors." -- Autoblog

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