2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Save money. Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best local prices on the Sonata Hybrid.

MSRP: $25,500 - 30,500

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a high-quality interior and many standard features, but it ranks in the middle of the midsize car class because of its mushy brakes and lackluster acceleration at high speeds.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features
  • Great safety scores
  • Upscale interior quality
  • Low fuel economy for a hybrid
  • Mushy regenerative brakes
  • Underpowered engine at high speeds

New for 2018

  • Refreshed interior and exterior design
  • Standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert
  • Newly optional wireless phone charging, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking

Is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a Good Car?

The Sonata Hybrid is a good, but not great, entry in the competitive midsize car class. It boasts solid safety and predicted reliability ratings but has lower fuel economy estimates than hybrid rivals. After a substantial refresh for this model year, the Sonata Hybrid's interior is more upscale than previous models, and it offers plenty of intuitive infotainment features. Cargo space and rear headroom are mediocre for the class, however. The Sonata Hybrid could use more engine power for high-speed passing maneuvers, and its grabby regenerative brakes detract from the driving experience.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Hyundai made the Sonata Hybrid a better value for 2018, adding standard features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert and dropping the base price by $500. It also comes standard with a hands-free power trunk, a touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Despite the changes, your money is probably better spent on another – better – midsize hybrid. For example, the Toyota Camry Hybrid ranks higher in the class, and though it costs a couple thousand dollars more than the Sonata, it's a more well-rounded car. The Honda Accord Hybrid retails for a couple hundred dollars less than the Sonata, but it delivers better gas mileage, more standard driver assistance features, and a much bigger trunk.

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

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's current generation began with the 2016 model year, and there have been a host of upgrades since then. The 2018 Sonata Hybrid receives an interior and exterior design refresh. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are newly standard, and features like wireless phone charging, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking are available for the first time. If these are important to you, stick with a new Sonata Hybrid.

Conversely, you can likely save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used 2016 or 2017 Sonata Hybrid. After the 2016 redesign, the main change for 2017 was an upgraded standard 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. A 5-inch display screen was standard in the 2016 Sonata Hybrid.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Sonata Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 27 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 27 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2018 Sonata Hybrid is the right new car for you. This 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Cost?

The base 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a retail price of $25,500. That's on the low end for a midsize hybrid and less than the original $26,000 price tag of the 2017 Sonata Hybrid. The only other trim, the Limited, starts at $30,500. With options, a 2018 Sonata Hybrid can cost more than $34,000. At the time of this writing, Hyundai hasn't announced pricing for the 2018 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The fully redesigned Toyota Camry Hybrid is one of the best cars in its class (along with its nonhybrid version). It gets awesome fuel economy estimates of 51/53 mpg city/highway. It also boasts great overall performance for a midsize sedan, thanks to ample engine power and engaging handling. Rear-seat passenger room and cargo space are better than in the Sonata Hybrid. This Toyota isn't available with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, but it comes standard with driver assistance features like forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning. Top-notch safety and predicted reliability ratings also place the Camry Hybrid with the best in the class. The Toyota is the pick here.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid or Honda Accord Hybrid?

Like the Camry Hybrid, the Honda Accord Hybrid is fully redesigned for 2018. It's a marginally better car than the Sonata Hybrid, with a higher predicted reliability rating and slightly better safety scores. The Accord Hybrid is more fuel-efficient than the Sonata, but performance is comparable otherwise. Both cars have composed handling and a comfortable ride, though merely adequate engine power. The Accord Hybrid has a little more trunk space than the Sonata Hybrid, as well as a more expansive second row. However, it's not as upscale inside as most rivals are, including the Sonata Hybrid.

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

Sonata Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Sonata Hybrid Seat?

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedan seats five people. The cabin feels open and airy in the first row, and the nicely contoured seats provide a lot of comfort and support. In back, taller passengers will enjoy plenty of legroom, though they might want a little more headroom.

Cloth seating and manually adjustable front seats come standard. However, upgrading to the Limited model improves your seating experience exponentially with added leather upholstery, and power-adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats.

Sonata Hybrid and Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the Sonata Hybrid's rear outboard seats. The middle seat only has an upper tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sonata's LATCH system a Marginal rating for its ease of use, which is the second-lowest rating. IIHS notes that the outboard lower anchors are set deep in the seats, and it's difficult to move your hands around them. On the plus side, it requires little force to attach the car-seat straps to these anchors.

Sonata Hybrid Interior Quality

The Sonata Hybrid's 2018 design refresh improves cabin materials, although those in previous models were already fairly upscale. A leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel adds a touch of sportiness, and the revised center stack improves the flow of the cabin's layout.

Sonata Hybrid Cargo Space

The Sonata Hybrid has 13.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for the class. There's a lot less room in the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, though, as its larger battery results in only 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space. The Limited model comes with a split-folding rear seat, which allows you to carry long items.

The Sonata Hybrid comes standard with a hands-free power trunk lid. With the standard proximity key on your person, simply approach the rear of the car and the trunk will pop open.

Sonata Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Hyundai redesigned the dashboard and center stack for 2018, making it easier to access the car's infotainment and climate controls, and the higher-sitting touch screen makes it easier for the driver to see. As in previous models, plenty of physical control for things like audio and climate sit on the center stack, though they're now higher up. The whole layout is intuitive, and all the buttons are easy to reach.

Among the Sonata Hybrid's standard amenities are dual-zone automatic climate control, a USB port, Bluetooth, proximity key entry, push-button start, and a 7-inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Connect your smartphone to the system, and these programs mirror your phone's media library and contacts, along with many of your favorite apps, on the car's screen.

Optional features include a panoramic sunroof, a second USB port, satellite radio, Hyundai's Blue Link Connected Car Services, an Infinity premium stereo, wireless phone charging, and an 8-inch touch screen that includes navigation.

Read more about interior »

Sonata Hybrid Performance

Sonata Hybrid Engine: Electric Is Energetic

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to put out 193 horsepower. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is good for 202 horsepower, thanks to a more powerful electric motor. The hybrid has near-instantaneous power delivery that allows you to quickly pull away from a stop. However, there's limited muscle on the upper end, so you'll need to hit the pedal hard if you're trying to accelerate on a highway or pass other cars at high speeds.

Many hybrids use a continuously variable automatic transmission, which is notorious for the whining, droning sound it emits. The Sonata Hybrid instead employs a traditional six-speed automatic that delivers smooth, quiet shifts and makes the most of the engine's power.

Sonata Hybrid Gas Mileage: Good, but Not Great

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid gets 40 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. Those are good numbers but a little lower than most hybrids in the midsize car class. For example, the Honda Accord Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 47 mpg in both city and highway driving. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market, earning 51/53 mpg city/highway.

The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid gets 99 mpg-e, according to the EPA. It can go up to 28 miles on electric-only power, which is enough for many people's daily commutes or running errands around town. The plug-in hybrid model takes a little less than 9 hours to charge using a standard 110/120-volt outlet, but an upgraded 240-volt charging system can charge it in less than 3 hours.

Driving a Sonata Plug-In would save you about $200 per year in fuel costs compared to the regular Sonata hybrid. Likewise, a Sonata Hybrid would save you about $500 per year in fuel costs compared to the nonhybrid Sonata. The base hybrid costs about $3,500 more than the base Sonata, but you could make up that price difference in just under seven years.

Sonata Hybrid Ride and Handling: Soft Ride, Grabby Brakes

The Sonata Hybrid's soft suspension makes quick work of rough pavement and bumps in the road, and the cabin is quiet even at high speeds. Steering is responsive, but this hybrid isn't a sport-focused sedan.

One of the biggest knocks against the Sonata Hybrid's performance deals with its regenerative brakes, a staple of hybrid vehicles. The system captures energy generated by braking and sends it back into the powertrain. In the Sonata, this system results in a mushy, grabby feel when you hit the pedal, and it's especially pronounced when braking at high speeds. While this is a common complaint about hybrids, several have a more natural feel to their brakes.

Read more about performance »

Sonata Hybrid Reliability

Is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Reliable?

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five, according to J.D. Power. The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid has one of the best ratings in the class at 4.5 out of five.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Warranty

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The hybrid battery has a lifetime warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Sonata Hybrid Safety

Sonata Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a five-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned five out of five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Sonata Hybrid gets perfect marks across the board from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It received the highest possible score of Good in all six crash tests, as well as for headlight performance. The Sonata earned a Superior rating for its front crash prevention technologies, and IIHS named it a 2018 Top Safety Pick+.

Sonata Hybrid Safety Features

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid comes standard with a rearview camera, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert (the latter two are newly standard for 2018). To get more driver assistance features, you must buy a Limited model and then add the Ultimate package. That gets you rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes in two trims: SE (base) and Limited. The 2018 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has been announced, but pricing and features are not available at the time of this writing. Expect the plug-in's amenities to closely mirror those of the regular Sonata Hybrid.

Most shoppers will be happy with the base model, which has a ton of comfort and convenience features. An extra $5,000 is a lot to upgrade to the Limited, though it gets you leather seats, a sunroof, and heated and ventilated front seats, among other goodies. You'll have to spend another several thousand to add navigation and a host of driver assistance features.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE

The Sonata Hybrid SE starts at $25,500. Standard features include cloth upholstery, six-way manual-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a USB port, Bluetooth, proximity key entry, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, alloy wheels, a hands-free power trunk, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

The Sonata Hybrid Limited starts at $30,500. It adds a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, a split-folding rear seat, a second USB port, satellite radio, and Blue Link Connected Car Services. The Ultimate package costs $3,850 and includes a heated steering wheel, an Infinity premium stereo, wireless phone charging, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, rear sunshades, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid doesn't do enough to stand out among midsize cars or hybrids. Though it has plenty of standard features, it comes up short on rear-passenger and cargo space. Performance is OK, but rivals have more engine power. The Sonata Hybrid is a good car, but you should consider competitors like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid before making a final decision.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Sonata Hybrid is competitively priced against the Honda Accord Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, though its fuel economy falls a bit short of the segment leaders. Is it worth a look? We certainly think so, especially with all Hyundai has to offer. If you're looking for a fuel-efficient midsize sedan and the Sonata Hybrid wasn't on your shopping list before, it should be there now." -- Autotrader
  • "With gas prices still … low and sales of sedans in the slumps compared with SUVs, Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid doesn't look like it has a fighting chance to garner popularity among vehicle shoppers. A refresh for 2018 that includes more features for less money, however, should help." -- Cars.com
  • "The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a cost-effective way to get into an efficient midsize sedan, and for the 2018 model year, it's a little less expensive. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will start at $25,500 before tax, title and destination charges. That's $500 less than the 2017 model, even though the 2018 is gussied up with more standard equipment, including blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also borrows the handsome looks of the also-refreshed, non-hybrid Sonata sedan." -- CNET
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
  • Great Savings
  • Minimum Savings Guarantee
  • Hassle-Free Experience

More than 150,000 car shoppers have purchased or leased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,383 off MSRP across vehicles.
Learn More »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode