2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai has announced final pricing – and a release date – for its first-ever hybrid car. The Korean automaker says the much-anticipated Sonata Hybrid will finally hit dealers next month, carrying a $26,545 price tag, which includes a mandatory $750 destination charge.

In addition to a praiseworthy 206-horsepower 2.4-liter hybrid four-cylinder powerplant capable of 36mpg city and 40mpg highway, the Sonata Hybrid comes with a generous list of standard features, including a 6-speed automatic transmission, an iPod hookup, dual-zone automatic climate controls, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and a push-button starter.

For even more luxury, Hyundai also offers a premium package for the Sonata Hybrid. An additional $5,000 price boost will get you the premium package that adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system with a touch-screen display, a rearview camera, an Infinity audio system, and leather upholstery to the list of goodies.

“Sonata Hybrid offers something new to the midsize sedan segment, with its segment-leading 40mpg highway fuel economy rating, differentiated appearance, and incredible value,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America’s president and chief executive. “Like the 2.4L direct-injected Sonata and the 2.0L Sonata Turbo launched earlier this year, Sonata Hybrid demonstrates Hyundai’s unique approach melding innovative technologies and emotional design into products more and more people want to put in their driveways.”

Indeed, the Sonata Hybrid stands out amongst its competitors. Toyota’s popular Camry Hybrid is nearly $1,000 more expensive than the Sonata and achieves only 33mpg city and 34mpg highway. And while the Ford Fusion Hybrid can boast a slight advantage in fuel economy over the Sonata Hybrid, Fusion is sold at a significant price premium by comparison, starting at just under $29,000.

The 2011 Sonata went on sale in February. First available with just a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a higher-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder putting out 274 horsepower was recently added to the lineup. Hyundai says the Sonata Hybrid is part of its recently-announced Blue Drive efficiency strategy, which is targeting a corporate average of 50 mpg by 2025.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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