The 2013 Sonata Hybrid improves fuel economy and operates in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, the automaker said. This is achieved with an advanced version of Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which adds a larger-capacity 10.5 kW generator, an electric motor that boosts output by nearly 17% and a lithium-polymer battery pack that increases output by 38%. These upgrades are paired with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, good for a top electric-only speed of 75 mph, according to Hyundai.
In addition to maximizing electric-only driving, Hyundai says the Sonata Hybrid's improved operating system increases gas mileage using a new driving-pattern detection system and an engine on/off function. The 2013 version gets an EPA-estimated 36/40 mpg city/highway, compared with the 2012 version's 34/39. Moreover, at 87.8 pounds, the new battery pack weighs nearly 5% less than last year's pack and takes up less space in the trunk.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is set to arrive at dealerships within the next two weeks.
Editor's note: This post was updated Feb. 21 to correctly reflect the difference between the starting prices of the 2012 and 2013 model years of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.Related