2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

PHOENIX — I'll save you the time of reading my entire review to find out if the 2024 Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid is worthy of my praise or not. Starting with my bottom line, the Sonata Hybrid is nothing short of a fantastic fuel sipping family sedan, with a roomy and upscale interior, distinctive styling, available all-wheel drive, excellent technology features, a smooth ride with a price that's a very good value.

What you won't get is a sporty handling and driving sedan, the quietest cabin or styling that everyone will fall in love with. We also thought the key fob is too large to easily carry in your pocket, and we wished for more driver's seat adjustments.

For the 2024 model year, Hyundai has given its popular 5-passenger midsized family sedan a lite refreshening with a distinctive new front and rear end treatment especially with new headlights and taillights, a new grille and larger air intakes up front for a more aggressive appearance. Since we were no fans of the outgoing Sonata front end the new refresh is a welcome redo.

Hyundai also updated the interior featuring a panoramic curved instrument panel consisting of two 12.3-inch operational screens that houses the instrument gauge cluster and the infotainment system. The gear shift selector has also moved from its position on the center console to a stalk-lever behind the right side of the steering wheel that now operates with a twist. This frees up space on the center console while improving the cabin ergonomic quotient. Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB-C ports, and a wireless charging pad.

Our Limited trim ($37,200) test vehicle includes a color head-up display and Bose Premium 12-speaker audio system, heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats (with memory for driver's side), and a proximity key entry with push-button start.  A self parking and retrieval system called Smart Park is also available.

The hybrid power pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor good for 192 total system horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. As mentioned, this is no sports sedan and while our hybrid test Sonata returns a combined City/Highway EPA fuel economy of 47 MPG, it takes its time with acceleration posting a sluggish 0-60 mph time of just over a tick of 8 seconds and a standing-quarter mile time of 16.3 seconds in our unofficial testing. The trade-off for the anemic acceleration is at the pump where the EPA says you will save $4,000 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to the gasoline only Sonata SEL. When delivered to me for testing a full tank of gas indicated the range-to-empty of 550 miles. Not bad.

For those of you who are green technophobes the engineers at Hyundai plants a digital leafy logo on the right edge of the center touchscreen blooms when activated with a touch of your finger resulting in an explosion of colors simulating your hybrid's operational drivetrain. No shortage of spinning gears and flashing energy bolts reassure you you're doing your part in saving mother earth measured in the size of your blooming leafy bouquet.

While most car shopping consumers will most likely tend to cross shop Toyota Camry hybrid and Honda Accord hybrid offerings with their long-held and entrenched reputation in this segment, we have no hesitancy in recommending the Sonata Hybrid Limited tested here. In fact having previously tested both the Camry and Accord I never once wished I was driving the Camry or Accord during my week of testing the Sonata.

We've long been a fan of Hyundai's excellent interior design, quality materials and craftsmanship that we rank at the top of its competitive class. The Sonata also delivers on advanced safety and driver assist features that aren't readily available in the marketplace, including their excellent safe-exit alert and blind-spot camera that displays a view of adjacent lanes on the digital instrument display when activated by the corresponding turn directional activation.

Overall, the Sonata is an excellent hybrid family sedan that does everything you would expect it to with  imperturbable self-confidence, poise and assurance. If there is a drawback we think the exterior styling might be polarizing for some tastes and again, sporty driving dynamics is not part of Sonata's offering here.

Vital Stats

Base Price: $37,200
Price as Tested: $38,560
Engine-Transmission: 192-horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder with an electric motor paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy: 44/51/47 MPG - City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 5
Where Built: Asan, South Korea

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2024 Top Safety Pick

Competes With:
Honda Accord Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid

Excellent fuel economy
Upscale, premium interior
Advanced safety and driver assist features

— Jim Prueter