Hyundai Debuts 2016 Sonata Hybrid with Higher MPG

A revised trans, more powerful electric motor, smaller gas engine and a larger lithium-polymer battery pack are said to improve fuel economy.

Today Hyundai introduced the Hybrid version of its seventh-generation Sonata at NAIAS. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid fuel economy is expected to improve more than 10%. Sonata Hybrid is projected to achieve up to 39 mpg in the city, 44 mpg on the highway and have a combined EPA mileage rating of 42 mpg.

There is a downsized 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine along with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a more powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found.

The so-called Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is therefore 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

The Sonata Hybrid comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display. A rearview camera is also standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps are optional.

All 2016 Sonata Hybrids come standard with iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Optional upgrades include an 8.0-inch navigation system with downloadable apps, HD radio and Infinity premium audio system with next-generation Blue Link telematics.

It will be built at Hyundai’s Asan, South Korea assembly plant and go on sale early this summer.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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