Disclosure: I was provided the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited for the purpose of this review/experience. Technical specifications were provided by the manufacturer, but the opinions expressed are my own.
I’ve never given much credit to Hyundai over the years. That ignorance is lent to years growing up around domestic muscle and short-sided opinions about foreign manufacturing. Hyundai was hardly synonymous with quality under our roof.
Ohh the times have changed.
Hyundai offered us an opportunity to test drive the 2016 Sonata Hybrid Limited while touring Washington D.C. this February. We are a family of two adults and three little boys. Our needs center on having enough cabin space, safety features and overall value.
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Exterior
The 2016 Sonata features aggressive styling to pair with its ultra-silent yet highly capable motor. It is a masterful blend of luxury and sport. I wouldn’t say it stands out from the crowd but it holds its own versus other vehicles in this class. My favorite feature is the full-size panoramic roof window which gives my children an unobstructed stare at nature’s glory. In other words, it is a beauty to behold.
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Interior
The Sonata’s interior is the least inspiring aspect of a vehicle dubbed “Limited” edition. The beige and gray interior is a perfectly enjoyable color scheme, but our trio of boys had it scuffed and stained by the end of our experience. The LATCH connections are an absolute failure of design that will cause many parents to grunt in frustration. I don’t believe these criticism’s are critical distractors, but the LATCH deserves serious consideration by parents (us included) that constantly swap child car seats between vehicles. All things considered, the interior “wow” factor is its generous cabin space, which is especially important for a family our size.
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Technology
I am a huge fan of the Hyundai instrument cluster and entertainment/navigation center. Please read our review of the 2015 Sonata Eco for details. The addition of audible start-up music is an elegant touch, but I believe Hyundai should consider some sort of fake engine revving, to cue the driver of the vehicle’s readiness. I often found myself “restarting” the car because I wasn’t sure if it was running or not, but I assume you get used to this eventually.
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Driving Perfomance
The Sonata is not a high-speed performer, it is however, an elegant performer. This was my very first experience in a hybrid…like…ever. You cannot appreciate the fuel-saving performance of a hybrid until you’ve actually driven in one. My test unit was equipped with the 2.0L 4-cylinder hybrid engine, backed by an amazing 10 year/10,000 mile warranty. When accumulating power through regenerative braking is no longer optimal, the Hyundai switches to the gasoline motor. The technology allows the 2016 Sonata to galavant around town at 41MPG. In other words, I barely made a dent in gasoline during my week with the Sonata. That is an amazing feeling. To top it off, the ride was noticeably quiet and comfy on rough roads and the frustrating stop/go D.C. traffic.
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited is calling my name. I’ve had the pleasure of test driving multiple Sonata’s in the last three years and each experience trumps the previous. Foreign manufacturers, Hyundai Motor Group specifically, is changing the way this long-time domestic muscle fan has long viewed the product. I’m also a dad now and my priorities have changed. With all included features, stellar warranty and 5-star safety rating, Hyundai is delivering on the needs of our family.