Because the federal government uses city mileage to determine the credits, the Sonata Hybrid — rated at 36/40 mpg city/highway — has a much lower credit than the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which received a $3,400 tax credit; it’s rated at 41/36 mpg. However, we’re unclear why the Sonata Hybrid’s tax credit is lower than the 2009 Chevy Malibu Hybrid’s credit of $1,550, which returned considerably worse mileage of 26/34 mpg.
The good news for Hyundai is Ford’s hybrids are no longer eligible for tax credits. They were used up as of April 2010. Toyota burned through its tax credits in 2008. The Malibu Hybrid is no longer for sale.
Pricing for the Sonata Hybrid has not been released yet. Our full review will be posted Monday.