Plenty of people are looking for better ways to not only save at the fuel pump but to reduce their carbon footprints. The natural solution is to choose a hybrid vehicle. Hyundai threw its hat in the arena with the 2012 Sonata Hybrid. Like its conventional sibling in many ways, the model is equipped with an electric engine to help conserve fuel. The powertrain does an excellent job in most road conditions with only a few quirks to get used to. The exterior and interior body design is pleasing to the eye and offers a long list of standard features for the buyer. Available in only one trim level, the Sonata Hybrid is offered with a choice of the Leather package and Ultimate package for those who want more than the standard features.
New For 2012
For the 2012 model year, there are a handful of changes to report. Those interested in this car should be aware of:
- New lifetime warranty on all versions of the Sonata Hybrid
- The addition of BlueLink, the system responsible for the service, infotainment, and safety features of the sedan
- A new Leather package which includes leather upholstery, heated front and back seats, and an automatically dimming rearview mirror
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a sedan offered in one trim level with plenty of extras thrown in the mix. This car is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels except those models equipped with the Ultimate package which adds 17-inch alloy wheels. The front end and grille of the Sonata Hybrid are stylish with no discerning element that looks like a hybrid. The grille is relatively small, and a large v-shaped emblem low on the hood features the Hyundai emblem. The headlights are uniquely shaped and slant back towards the front fenders. It’s difficult to miss the attractive styling along the doors and sides of the car near the door handles. The roof slopes back to the tightly designed rear end.
Interior & Cargo
Inside the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid high-quality materials are used with a well thought-out design. The dash and its controls are mostly intuitive and come with a touchscreen interface with models equipped with the Ultimate package. Unlike the conventional version of the Sonata the hybrid model features a standalone LCD screen added to help drivers control more efficient fuel usage.
In the front of the cabin, the driver and passenger find the seats supportive and comfortable. The rear seats are nice as well, but taller passengers are likely to have some issues with the lack of sufficient head space. Like other hybrids, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a bit lacking in terms of cargo space. The necessary battery pack takes up some of the available room found in traditional models. This hybrid allows for 10.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Safety features are important elements in any sedan and the 2012 Sonata Hybrid is equipped with several useful features. This model is equipped with stability and traction control as well as anti-lock brakes. It also features active front head restraints in addition to a full line of airbags. Front side-impact airbags along with full-length side-curtain airbags are standard equipment. As noted in the new for 2012 section, all Sonata Hybrid models are equipped with BlueLink emergency system as well.
This model performed well in both government and independent crash tests. It received the highest rating of ?Good? from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in frontal offset, side impact, and roof strength. It also did well for the government safety department with ratings of five out of five stars overall.
The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with the required electric motor. The transmission for this model is a six-speed automatic with manual shift control as the only option. The powertrain is capable of 166 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque with the gas motor and transmission. The electric engine produces an additional 40 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Of course, fuel economy is important in a hybrid. From this point of view, the Sonata Hybrid is estimated at 35/40 mpg city/highway.
There are some impressive features to look forward to behind the wheel of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. It does well with acceleration and offers a comfortable, smooth ride. Drivers and passengers also appreciate the flexible handling. This hybrid does have its drawbacks however. While it does well with acceleration, it isn’t as impressive with rapidly changing driving conditions or cruising along at lower speeds. The transmission seems to have a hard time choosing gears and the braking system is a little iffy as well.
Key Competitors For The 2012 Hyundai Sonata-Hybrid
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Toyota Camry Hybrid