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Auto Show:  2018 Chicago Auto Show

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid: Chicago Auto Show

author photo by Russ Heaps February 2018

What Is It?

The Sonata, Hyundai's second-best-selling vehicle, received a makeover for 2018, but only for the gasoline versions. Following the gas-powered Sonata into showrooms will be updated versions of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. For the most part, changes to the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid reflect those made to the regular Sonata. What does diverge from the gas-powered Sonata are new 16- and 17-inch wheels and the fog lights.

Hyundai made blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert standard. Also available are automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist safety technologies.

Nothing much has changed under the hood. Holding up the gasoline-powered end of the Hybrid is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine supplemented by a small electric motor in place of the torque converter. A 6-speed automatic transmission turns the front wheels. Net combined output from this electric/gasoline arrangement is 193 horsepower. Hyundai predicts an estimated fuel economy of 39 miles per gallon in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.

Thanks mostly to a battery five times the size of the one in the regular Sonata Hybrid, the plug-in version has an electric-only range of up to 27 miles. This isn't an increase over the 2017 model. In the plug-in hybrid, a regular electric motor mates the 4-cylinder gas engine with a combined output of 202 horsepower. Charging the battery will take roughly three hours using a 240-volt source, and about three times that on a standard household outlet. Hyundai provided no fuel-economy estimates.

How Much?

Pricing to be announced, but 2017 base prices are $35,485 for the Plug-in Hybrid and $26,885 for the Hybrid.

When Can You Get It?

Hybrid: first quarter 2018. Plug-in Hybrid: second quarter 2018.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

Everybody wants better fuel economy, right? Both the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid deliver just that. Moreover, they offer solid bang for the buck in terms of content. Oh, and there's that terrific warranty. Good looks, a comfy interior and exceptional ride quality round out the high-mileage packages.

Other Cars to Consider

Toyota Camry Hybrid -- Strong fuel economy, stunning styling and standard adaptive cruise control.

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid -- Attractive styling, roomy cabin, strong acceleration and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid -- High value, good ride quality, lots of technology and a solid warranty.

Ford Fusion Energi -- High-end cabin, plenty of high-tech features and lots of passenger room.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid: Chicago Auto Show - Autotrader