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$25,500 - $30,500
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2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ranks in the middle of the hybrid and electric car class. This Sonata variant has an upscale interior, easy-to-use features, and an excellent safety score. However, its snug rear headroom and touchy brakes limit its appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Premium interior
  • Intuitive tech features
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Excellent safety scores
  • Touchy brake pedal
  • Modest fuel economy for a hybrid

New for 2018

  • Refreshed interior and exterior design
  • Blind spot monitoring became standard
  • Available lane keep assist and wireless device charging

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Hybrid Cars category. Currently the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

Is the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a Good Used Car?

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid is a fine option for a used hybrid car.

This vehicle boasts many strengths:

  • Elegant five-seat interior
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Zippy acceleration
  • Comfortable ride, even on rough pavement
  • Lots of available safety features
  • Above-average safety score and predicted reliability rating

It does have a few drawbacks though:

  • Brake pedal feels mushy and inconsistent
  • Slim back-seat headroom for adults
  • Fuel economy isn’t as good as other hybrids

Consider top-rated alternatives like the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid and 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid if you want better gas mileage.

We review the nonhybrid Hyundai Sonata separately.

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

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 27 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Based on listings for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, and Sonata Hybrid Plug-In on our site, the average list price is $20,200. Prices range from $16,300 to $26,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models tend to be on the higher end of the price range.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Cost to Own?

At the time of writing, we do not have enough data to project the 2018 Sonata Hybrid’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sonata Hybrid?

The price of a 2019 Sonata Hybrid starts at around $26,000, but it can exceed $39,000 in its highest trim. You can save lots of money by shopping for a nearly identical 2018 model instead; the 2019 Sonata Hybrid saw no major updates.

Read about the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid »

You can save even more money by shopping for a used 2016 or 2017 Sonata Hybrid. These cars are part of the same generation, and they come with similar fuel economy and convenience features. However, these models have different exterior and interior styling as well as fewer standard safety features. Blind spot monitoring became standard in 2018 (it was previously optional).

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Sonata Hybrid »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

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

Read more about Sonata Hybrid reliability »

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Sonata Hybrid:

  • The voltage protection device may cause the car to stall (plug-in hybrid only)

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Hyundai Sonata Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is available in four trim levels: SE, Limited, Plug-In Hybrid, and Plug-In Hybrid Limited. The entry-level SE model's array of standard tech and safety features makes this trim a good choice. Opt for a Limited trim if you’re looking for more advanced safety features, such as forward collision warning.

  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE: The base SE has a 193-horsepower hybrid system, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth seats, heated side mirrors, and 16-inch wheels.
  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited: The ritzier Limited trim comes with leather upholstery as well as heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable front seats. Additional features include satellite radio, HD Radio, an extra USB port, a sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, and 17-inch wheels. This trim is available with the Ultimate package, which adds a suite of active safety features, an 8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, wireless device charging, an Infinity sound system, a heated steering wheel, and rear sunshades.
  • Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid: This model has a larger battery pack than the Hybrid SE or Limited, allowing the Sonata to drive up to 28 miles on electric power alone. This trim comes with the SE’s standard features plus satellite radio, heated front seats, and 17-inch wheels.
  • Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Limited: This fully loaded plug-in model comes with all of the features from the Limited trim, plus the Ultimate package.

See 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Hyundai's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Hyundai offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Certified pre-owned Hyundai vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as the remainder of the five-year/60,000-mile comprehensive warranty. Hyundai CPO vehicles must pass a 173-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, roadside assistance, and rental car reimbursement may be available, so read Hyundai’s warranty page carefully.

Hyundai has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers, according to our analysis. Only Kia, Buick, and Mitsubishi have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Sonata Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Sonata a 2018 Top Safety Pick+. The car received the highest rating of Good in six crash tests and the top rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its available front crash prevention system. The Sonata earned mixed reviews for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. Properly equipped Limited models built after September 2017 earned the top rating of Good, while those built before October 2017 received the second-best rating of Acceptable. With the standard halogen lights, the Sonata received the lowest rating of Poor for headlight visibility.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Sonata Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Sonata received five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

Available advanced safety features:

  • adaptive pivoting LED headlights
  • rear parking sensors
  • driver drowsiness monitor
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • automatic high-beam headlights

See Sonata Hybrid safety scores »

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid?

The 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid is another fine option in the hybrid and electric car class. The Optima Hybrid is mechanically related to the Sonata – Hyundai is the parent company of Kia – so both cars offer similar fuel economy and performance. Both also offer refined handling, comparable passenger space, quality cabin materials, and easy-to-use infotainment systems. That said, each car comes with certain amenities that the other doesn’t. For instance, the Sonata is available with lane keep assist and a driver drowsiness monitor, while the Optima is available with heated rear seats.

Which Is Better: 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid?

The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid returns comparable fuel economy to the Sonata Hybrid, and it comes with a similarly wide range of safety features. Like the Sonata, it offers a plug-in-hybrid variant, called the Fusion Energi. The Fusion is also comfortable to drive, and its tech features are intuitive. On the other hand, the Sonata has a sleeker interior with higher-quality cabin materials, and its hybrid system has stronger passing power. Choosing between these two may come down to cost. Used Sonata Hybrids often demand higher asking prices.

Compare the Sonata Hybrid, Optima Hybrid, and Fusion Hybrid »

2018 Sonata Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Drive?

The Sonata Hybrid is quite relaxing to drive. The car’s well-tuned suspension soaks up bumps and dips in the road nicely, yielding a smooth and comfortable ride. The Sonata remains stable around turns, and its steering is lightweight and responsive.

The Sonata’s hybrid powertrain is similarly refined. It includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid system zips the Sonata around town confidently, and it provides decent passing power at highway speeds. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has a similar setup but with a larger electric motor and battery pack, allowing it to cruise for longer distances using just electric power.

The only area where the Sonata’s performance falters is its brakes. They provide fine stopping power, but the pedal feels somewhat inconsistent, making it tricky to stop smoothly.

  • Base powertrain: 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined 193 horsepower
  • Available powertrain: 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined 202-horsepower (plug-in hybrid)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Sonata Hybrid gets good, but not great, ratings for a hybrid car.

  • SE: 40/46 mpg city/highway
  • Limited: 39/44 mpg
  • Plug-in: 99 MPGe combined and 39 mpg combined city/highway

For more information, read What Is MPGe?

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Alternative Fuels and Charging

A fully charged Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can travel 28 miles on electricity alone.

The charging time depends on the method used:

  • 240-volt charging station: 3 hours
  • 120-volt household-style power outlet: 9 hours

Read more about Sonata Hybrid performance »

2018 Sonata Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Sonata Hybrid Seat?

The Sonata Hybrid is a four-door sedan with five seats. The front seats are soft and supportive, and they offer ample head- and legroom, even for taller drivers and passengers. The rear seats are comfortable and nicely padded, but headroom is tight for adults.

The Sonata’s interior has crisp styling, and it’s trimmed with fine materials, giving the cabin a near-luxury appearance. The interior also remains very quiet, even at highway speeds.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated and ventilated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

The Sonata has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this setup the second-lowest rating of Marginal because some of the anchors are too deep within the seat cushions and difficult to maneuver around.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Features

The Hyundai Sonata has user-friendly tech features. The standard 7-inch and available 8-inch touch-screen infotainment systems have simple menus and crisp graphics, and they come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps onto the screen. Better still, these touch screens are complemented by buttons and knobs on the dashboard, which manage the basic audio and climate controls. This makes it easy to adjust these features on the go without having to look away from the road.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, an extra USB port, an Infinity stereo, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, and push-button start
  • Other available features: a panoramic sunroof and rear sunshades

See 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid specs »

Read more about Sonata Hybrid interior »

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Dimensions

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Cargo Space

The Sonata Hybrid has 13.4 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s about average for a hybrid midsize sedan. The Sonata Plug-In variant has a larger battery pack, which reduces its trunk space to 9.9 cubic feet. If you need more cargo space, opt for a hybrid hatchback such as the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq or 2018 Toyota Prius.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 11 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,497 to 3,814 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Built?

Hyundai built the 2018 Sonata Hybrid in South Korea.

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