2023 Sonata Hybrid: Did Hyundai Manage to Make a Head-Turning Hybrid?
As small and midsize SUVs continue their march toward automotive market domination, it’s nice to see automakers like Hyundai continue offering midsize sedans such as the attractive Sonata. Better still, Hyundai offers the 2023 Sonata in gas-only or hybrid-powered versions. While the gasoline-only-powered Hyundai Sonata is an excellent sedan, considering the volatility of gasoline prices at the pump, we focus on the Sonata Hybrid.
2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
In its review of the 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Edmunds lists the following three trims:
- The base Blue trim starts at $29,215
- The midlevel SEL trim with a starting MSRP of $32,565
- The popular Limited trim with its $37,515 MSRP
Edmunds says the 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is “enjoyable and easy to drive” thanks to its “comfortable ride quality” and “ample safety and technology features.”
Reviewers also mentioned the Sonata Hybrid’s exceptional fuel economy, including the Blue trim’s 52 mpg combined (50 mpg city and 54 mpg highway) rating and upper trim models returning 47 mpg combined (45 mpg city and 51 mpg highway) ratings.
For comparison, the 2023 Toyota Camry Hybrid also gets an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined, while the non-hybrid Sonata only gets an estimated 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway or 32 mpg combined with its base 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas-only powertrain.
The Sonata’s interior space rivals similar-sized SUVs in a lower-height package that many people prefer. It also features an intuitive infotainment system and high predicted reliability. On the downside, the Sonata Hybrid uses lower-quality interior materials than some of its rivals. In addition, reviewers experienced higher-than-expected wind and road noise levels inside the cabin.
As Hyundai introduced the seventh generation Sonata with a significant refresh for the 2020 model year, the 2023 Sonata Hybrid remains essentially unchanged from the previous year. However, Hyundai chose to ditch the 2022 Limited trim’s solar roof panel in favor of a panoramic sunroof. In addition, the 2023 SEL trim now features a larger touchscreen with integrated navigation.
How does the 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid compare to the competition?
The 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder based powertrain to return fuel economy estimates equal to or better than most of its rivals in the segment.
In addition, reviewers found the Sonata Hybrid’s six-speed automatic transmission more responsive than rivals’ continuously variable automatic transmissions. This leads to the Sonata Hybrid feeling less like a hybrid and more like a “regular car” when driving. The Sonata Hybrid’s regenerative brakes also provide a more familiar feel than other hybrids.
Toward the end of the review, in a section it calls the “Wildcard,” Edmunds describes the 2023 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s looks as “sporty, sophisticated, and futuristic at the same time.” The review goes on to call it “a head-turner in a fairly vanilla segment.”
While it’s hard to argue that the midsize sedan segment is anything other than plain, with the nameplate being the most significant difference between many models, vanilla lovers might find the comparison offensive.