The 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid proves more interesting and unique than it might seem at face value. When we heard another hybrid sedan was coming to us for a review, a collective yawn could be heard in our office. We are glad to say we were wrong.

Redesigned for the 2020 model year and carried over for 2021, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid got several enhancements to step up its design and appeal from the last generation which had become somewhat mediocre if we are honest.

This Sonata Hybrid not only has more drama and panache, but it’s more efficient, offers more practicality and stands out from its peers in the marketplace even more than ever. In that way, here are our three key takeaways:

It’s unique

In a smaller pool of hybrid sedans these days, a little marching to your own drummer isn’t a bad thing. The design presented by the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is not only artistically bold in its shape and forms but we even suggest daring.

Its full length chrome trims flow into LED daytime running lamps in an exotic way. The rear tail-light panel is a continuous light-pipe that really gets your attention. On the roof is a solar panel that can add up to 2 extra miles of electric driving range.

It’s efficient

With an EPA estimated 45 mpg city, 51 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined, our Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited was able to achieve an actual 48 mpg combined in our week of testing. Impressive.

Its drivetrain like its styling is unique with a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine and electric motor that uses a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission instead of the commoners CVT for shifting gears. This makes this hybrid drive more like a traditional automobile than a Dyson vacuum cleaner that other hybrid cars can seem like.

Add in paddle shifters for some manual feeling shift fun and you have a car that belies the hybrid emblem on its deck-lid in its driving persona.

It’s a good value

Priced at $36,430 our fully outfitted Limited model offered virtually everything there is to have in terms of feature content except for a bit glass moonroof due to the solar panel. Leather trimmed heated and cooled seats, top end audio, all manner of driving aids and active safety features stack up to much more in some of its competitors.

This is no surprise however as Hyundai has always been the value play. The difference here is that it doesn’t feel like the value play. This car is more upscale, more unique and more substantial than its price tag might suggest.