Text and photos by Gabriela Gorvena Galvan
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has proven to be a very spacious car with a lot of versatility options, and it was more luxurious than the more standard versions, and it is a very good hybrid, but after driving the Ioniq PHEV this is ‘just a hybrid”. Don’t get us wrong, it is a good car and it can be driven economically, but it just did not leave us so overwhelmed of seeing this impressive fuel consumption nor the awesome range like with the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. Maybe Hyundai is readying the PHEV version of this as well. Now that would be interesting, though the Ioniq was purpose built for economy, and this is a mere derivative of an ICE original.
The suspension was on the soft side for us, driving through the curvy mountain roads we were more at ease at a reduced speed rather than pushing the limits of road holding. I did not hear any different exhaust note, did not feel any urges coming from under the hood to step on it, and the gear change was just a gear change, nothing more.
It’s a big car, spacious, and of course the now renowned Hyundai quality in build and trim, and we value it for exactly that. But it still left us a little underwhelmed, not only for the hybrid part, since that is an unfair comparison, but also since the exterior and interior design are a bit conservative compared to the previous generation of Sonata. When that version was introduced it was an immediate hit, not only since it was such a big step up from the older Sonata’s, but also because it was a clear design leader in its segment. Hyundai marketing might have gotten cold feet, wanting to protect current sales volume rather than taking another bold step, but to take a bold step or to improve on a very successful current model is different from becoming conservative. In this case, this design could’ve been one of the more conservative proposals for the previous generations that was thankfully not chosen. Now it has been and it was not its place to be chosen. There must have been a proposal that was a logical improvement on the previous generation without being to scary for marketing. Although we would have liked to have seen the more daring proposals too.
In any case, this is a conservative Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, not too daring in its design, not too exaggerated in its hybrid parts, a good solid average, which is just what it was aimed at.