2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid at the 2010 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Looks like: The Sonata got a major nose job
  • Drivetrain: 2.4-liter gasoline engine and 30-kW electric motor with 209 hp combined; six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2010

If the all-new Sonata’s design and highly efficient gas engine weren’t enough to signal Hyundai’s arrival as a major player on the automotive landscape, its just-announced Sonata Hybrid shouts it from the mountaintops.

The 2011 Sonata Hybrid, set to go on sale at the end of this year, combines a 2.4-liter Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder with a 30-kW electric motor for a total output of 209 horsepower, which is nominally more than the base four-cylinder Sonata’s output. Hyundai says overall gas mileage will be 37/39 mpg city/highway; that puts it ahead of the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 33/34 mpg and just short of the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s 41/36 mpg.
A litany of visual changes versus the regular Sonata include a large, hexagonal front air dam, unique headlights and taillights, new side sills and the requisite hybrid badges. Hyundai will call its hybrid technology Hybrid Blue Drive, which is a marketing parallel to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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