The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gets an all-new styling language which the brand calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. In comparison to the last generation is has more deliberate squared off and chiseled forms, looking less like a wind blown sheet draped over artwork.
The new for 2016 Hybrid model receives unique styling from the standard sedan with its own design for the front and rear fascias, which offer better aerodynamics for increased efficiency. Specially designed 17-inch EcoSpoke wheels also contribute to the Hybrid’s unique look.
All of these design enhancements make it the most aerodynamic in class with a .24 drag coefficient, a number Hyundai says is equal to that of the Tesla Model S. As ours was equipped it also has visible sensors for its advanced driving features in the grille and bumpers.
The interior is unique too, to say the least. Ours was equipped with the optional Pearl Blue leather chairs which feature a white highlight stripe down the center. They definitely pop, but were also quite comfortable.
In our Limited they were also heated and ventilated up front, power adjustable on both sides, and even heated for the rear seat passengers. The dash design is a bit more upright and less artistically expressive than before, looking more traditional and purposeful.
The center stack featured the top-end touchscreen audio, navigation and infotainment system with Hyundai’s Bluelink suite of features. Sound quality is excellent, connectivity options wide and vast, and most important, it’s easier to use and learn than some of its competitors.
Switchgear quality in design and feel is reasonably good, with their layout being logical and within easy reach. As ours had the full suite of driver-assistance features like lane departure, blind spot and forward collision warnings, there are plenty of additional controls here.
The heated leather steering wheel featured full audio and informational controls, and the dual dial instrument cluster ahead of it a customizable TFT digital screen which was very easy to read both day and night.
Our tester had optioned the Ultimate package which includes the large panoramic sunroof which has an opening front section, and a fully closeable opaque sunshade. On hot days however, even with the shade closed, it lets plenty of heat in.
The second row can seat three-across or two with a fold down center arm rest. And unlike some hybrid sedans, the rear seats do fold down in a 60/40 split allowing an expanded cargo area.
The trunk is one of the largest in the hybrid sedan class because the lithium-ion battery is placed under its load floor instead of behind the rear seat like many. This pays off for better trunk space, but deletes the spare tire.
Under the hood for 2016 is a downsized 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower. A more powerful 51 horsepower electric motor is sandwiched between it and a six-speed automatic transmission to offer a total system 193 horsepower.
The gasoline engine can shut off, and the Sonata Hybrid powered by the electric motor alone, or the two can work together for maximum power. When coasting or braking, the electric motor regenerates electricity back to the battery.
The EPA rates the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid at 39 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and 41 mpg combined. In our week with we achieved 41 mpg combined as advertised, and just less than the highway rating.
The chassis of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid features what most in its competitive set do, a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear. Variable assist electronic power steering and stabilizer bars front and rear provide for a good feel of control.
When it comes to safety, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid itself has not been tested, but the 2015 Hyundai Sonata gasoline model which should perform nearly identical received the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, achieving good ratings across their crash tests and acceptable in the small-offset crash.
In our testing this week, the Hyundai Sonata as tested came in at an MSRP of $35,795. Our test drive rating is 4 out of 5 stars.