For the last decade, hybrid vehicles have been gaining in popularity among commuters, and the green-minded alike. With gas prices on the rise, more and more drivers have flocked to dealerships to lease hybrids – the keyword there being lease. Historically, hybrids have been attractive lease vehicles because the longevity of hybrid powertrains, which have batteries, is relatively unknown. Not to say hybrids aren’t as reliable as their regular ICE counterparts, but the main component of what makes a hybrid a hybrid is the battery pack. Most of them are warrantied along with the rest of the motor, and may begin to lose their ability to remain charged sufficiently after the powertrain warranty runs out – or, at least that’s a major concern.
Not to worry, though. Just like when Hyundai released the Sonata Hybrid, they’re back at it again with the “not all hybrids are created equal” approach, and that’s because Hyundai is backing the battery pack in the Sonata Hybrid for life. It’s the first time that a manufacturer has extended such an offer to instill consumer confidence. Although the Sonata Hybrid is currently the only vehicle with a battery pack in the Hyundai lineup, rest assured that more hybrids are certainly in the automaker’s future. Granted, this offer is only valid with the original owner and is non-transferrable, but it certainly encourages hybrid buyers to own rather than lease their new vehicle.
Speaking of the Sonata Hybrid though, it’s certainly a fantastic vehicle, and it’s the only hybrid we know of that’s actually positioned more towards highway commuters than urban drivers. Most hybrids yield more impressive city mpg figures than on the highway because they’re engineered to draw more heavily on the battery pack at low speeds to get the car going than anything else. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, the vehicle’s EV mode is only effective up to a low speed and for a very limited distance (in other words, it’s good for a slow crawl, great for when you’re sneaking in and out of the driveway late at night). The Sonata Hybrid can run in full EV mode up to about 60 mph or roughly a distance of one mile, whichever comes first. You’ll also notice that at 35mpg city/40mpg highway, the Sonata Hybrid achieves better fuel economy on the highway than around the city. Also unique to the Sonata Hybrid is its conventional six-speed automatic transmission – while other hybrid vehicles tend to use a CVT, which can significantly numb the driving experience the vehicle provides its driver. We plan on doing a more in-depth review of the Sonata Hybrid in the near future, but until then, feel free to view and enjoy the high-res photo gallery below.
SOURCE – Hyundai Newsroom
IMAGE CREDIT – Hyundai Newsroom