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2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.8

Most automotive journalists say that, on the whole, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has good acceleration, a comfortable ride and composed handling. However, they note that hybrid rivals offer a more engaging driving experience and better fuel economy.

  • "However, if you're really serious about maximizing your mpg, you might be put off by the fact that the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid simply isn't as fuel-efficient as rival hybrid sedans. Its 38 mpg EPA combined rating (37 mpg on the Limited version) lags behind every major competitor. In addition, we've found it difficult to equal this number in real-world driving, and most owners should expect their gas mileage to settle in the low 30s." -- Edmunds
  • "When stacked up against the second-generation Camry Hybrid, the Sonata Hybrid suffers from deficiencies in driving dynamics, fuel efficiency and overall ride quality." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "The Hybrid delivers very good fuel economy, although it isn't quite as refined as other hybrids we've sampled." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Sonata Hybrid is a comfortable cruiser with little to no tradeoff in terms of comfort or performance compared with the gasoline-only, four-cylinder Sonata." -- Cars.com (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 199 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The 2014 Sonata Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 36/40 mpg city/highway, which is good for a midsize car but worse than what most hybrid rivals get.

Test drivers say the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid accelerates fairly quickly and transitions smoothly from electric to gas power. Some reviewers also write that the engine and transmission are responsive, but others say the Sonata Hybrid has slow throttle responses and doesn’t downshift fast enough. Critics agree that the Sonata Hybrid has disappointing fuel economy numbers compared to rival hybrids.

  • "Although its acceleration times aren't any quicker than most competitors' numbers, the Sonata Hybrid feels energetic moving through urban traffic." -- Edmunds
  • "When Hyundai corrects the sluggish throttle response issues and elevates the fuel efficiency to competitive levels, we might be looking at the next leader in hybrid technology." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "The Hybrid accelerates quickly in all driving situations. When the drivetrain switches back and forth between electric and gas-engine power, the transitions are virtually seamless, though the transmission sometimes downshifts slowly when more power is needed. Some editors noticed annoying bogging and surging from the drivetrain in low- and moderate-speed driving." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Unlike ‘conventional’ hybrids, there’s no CVT but rather an automatically stirred 6-speed. What’s more, through clever finessing of engine, electric motor and transmission, there’s no need for an intermediate torque converter. The result is a more sporty response to your right foot, with nary a CVT sensation of engine rpm/road speed disconnect." -- Road and Track (2011)

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers write that the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a comfortable ride, though some note that the car can lose its composure over rough roads. Though reviewers say the Sonata Hybrid’s handling is fairly composed, they write that rivals like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid are more fun to drive on the whole. Most automotive journalists think the Sonata Hybrid’s regenerative brakes are easy to modulate.

  • "The hybrid Sonata also provides a smooth ride on most roads, along with a pleasantly quiet cabin. Around turns, it also feels secure and competent, though modest levels of grip and a lack of steering feel of the road means rivals like the Fusion and Accord Hybrids are more enjoyable to pilot overall." -- Edmunds
  • "Sonata GLS, Limited, and Hybrid strike a good balance between comfort and control. Sonata sometimes responds to larger road imperfections with undue body motions." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The regenerative brakes are progressive and feel just like what we expect stoppers to feel like. There's no danger of having your dental work ripped from your mouth thanks to an overly sensitive second pedal." -- Autoblog (2011)
  • "The hybrid's handling and ride quality are both on the soft side, like the base Sonata." -- Cars.com (2011)

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