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2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was new.


Interior: 8.1

Comfortable, roomy, and quiet are all words to describe the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's cabin. The interior is filled with upscale materials, and build quality is top notch. The seats are cushioned, and there's generous space in both rows. Some competitors have better rear-seat headroom, however. The Sonata Hybrid's infotainment system is user-friendly and has the latest tech features, including smartphone integration. Cargo room is good for a hybrid midsize sedan.

Inside the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, you may feel like you're riding around in a more expensive car. Materials throughout are high quality, and the cabin is well-built. It's quiet, too, so you can easily chat with other passengers. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, and the back seats have a ton of legroom. You'll find the infotainment system easy to use, and you can access your phone's apps using standard smartphone integration in all models. There's more room in the Sonata Hybrid's trunk than you'll get in many midsize hybrids.

  • "Like the regular Sonata, the 2017 Sonata Hybrid features the same clean, hexagonal center stack array housing the infotainment display and controls and climate controls. Materials quality and fit and finish are excellent, and you'll find plenty of storage space for personal effects." -- Edmunds
  • "At speed, the cabin is quiet and it's easy to talk with passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "If the Sonata steals battery space, you'd never know it. The trunk is huge and flat, and rear passengers have as much legroom as I'd typically expect from cars a size larger like the Toyota Avalon or Hyundai's own Azera." -- Autoweek (2016)


Like most midsize sedans, the 2017 Sonata Hybrid has seats for five on standard cloth upholstery. Heated, ventilated, power-adjustable front seats and leather upholstery are optional. When you climb inside, you'll immediately notice how spacious the cabin is. The driver and front passenger will enjoy comfortable seats and have plenty of room.

Meanwhile, the back seats are easily among the most commodious in the class, with legroom that could compete with the rear seats of some much more expensive cars. Tall adults may wish for more headroom in the rear seat, however. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has ample headroom in the back so it might be worth a look if you have tall friends and family.

  • "The Sonata Hybrid's cabin is roomy and comfortable. The seats are supportive and nicely padded, and the cabin itself is remarkably quiet. There's plenty of head-, legroom and shoulder room and a vast backseat, although rear headroom is tighter than in the hybrid's competitors." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior dimensions have also improved, with best in class head and legroom. And let's not forget the rear seat. Rear seat legroom rivals that found in some luxury cars, not to mention extended wheelbase vehicles. As a result, we rode in absolute comfort in the rear, with the added benefits of additional air conditioning ventilation." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "I was amazed at how much interior room the Sonata has. The rear-seat legroom is huge, much more than I was expecting and way more room than the current Malibu. The full-size sunroof also adds to the airy feeling in the cabin." -- Autoweek (2016)

Interior Features

The Sonata Hybrid comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a proximity key, a hands-free power trunk lid, a rearview camera, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Optional features include a panoramic sunroof, a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system, navigation, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

For the 2017 model year, all Sonata Hybrid trims come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. These systems let you use some of your phone's apps on the touch screen, including music services like Pandora and Spotify. You can also use your phone's maps app through the infotainment system if you don't choose a model with built-in navigation. The infotainment system has logical menus and sharp graphics that make it easy to quickly find and access features and settings. You may find the touch screen difficult to reach from the driver’s seat, however.

Unlike some competitors that mostly rely on their touch screens for audio and climate controls, the Sonata Hybrid provides physical buttons on the center stack for many of its settings. While this may seem outdated, you'll appreciate how simple it is to turn up the volume or change the fan speed.

Higher trims come with adaptive cruise control. First, it lets you set a desired speed. Then, using data gathered by sensors, the Sonata Hybrid will follow traffic ahead of you, even if it comes to a complete stop. You can adjust how closely your car will trail the car ahead, but unfortunately you can't do so while on the move. Instead, you have to come to a complete stop and update the follow distance.

See 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid specs »

  • "The optional 8-inch touchscreen has crisp graphics and straightforward menus, although some drivers might find that it's a bit of a stretch to reach comfortably." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin's center stack is almost archaic with its insistence on actual buttons. The design isn't exactly futuristic, but I'll happily deal with a basic array of on/off switches any old day if it means there's less fiddling with touch-sensitive surfaces." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "Our test car came with adaptive cruise control, a feature I had yet to experience, so I gave it a whirl. At first I wasn't impressed with the following distance that it kept from the vehicle in front, but when I tried to change it, the car locked me out since I was moving. I understand the safety aspect of that decision, but I don't think I should have to park the car to alter the distance. After I changed the setting from 'Normal' to 'Fast,' the distances between vehicles got better, but it could still improve." -- Autoweek (2016)


The Sonata Hybrid has one of the largest trunks available in a midsize hybrid sedan, with 13.3 cubic feet of room.

Since the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid has a larger battery, there's less cargo space available: only 9.9 cubic feet in the trunk. Still, that's more than you'll get in the Ford Fusion Energi. If you want a plug-in hybrid with more cargo space than the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, you'll have to opt for a hatchback rival like the Nissan Leaf or Ford C-Max Energi.

All Sonata Hybrid models come standard with a hands-free power trunk lid. The car senses when you have the proximity key near the trunk, and it lifts the lid automatically so you won't have to put down your luggage to open the trunk. A 60/40 split folding rear seat is only available in the Hybrid Limited model, meaning no other trim offers the luxury of expanding the cargo space while still keeping some rear seats open for passengers.

  • "The trunk holds 13.3 cubic feet of cargo, which is above average for the class, and the Limited trim level's folding rear seats provide additional flexibility." -- Edmunds
  • "Trunk space in the standard Sonata Hybrid was exceptional and almost exactly the capacity found in the gas model. Thanks to engineers using the area that would accommodate the temporary spare tire (an inflator kit is now included in its place) the Sonata Hybrid now includes a flat cargo floor, and is complete with a 60/40 split folding rear seat for 13.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The Plug-in Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet of space, losing some of the flat floor cargo area due to the extra lithium-ion polymer batteries that vehicle requires." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "Another welcome change for 2016 is the placement of the battery pack, which moves from the rear cargo area to the tire well. This creates a flat cargo floor in the trunk, and there are now 60/40-split folding rear seats allowing the storage of longer items." -- Cars.com (2016)

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