2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Prices Sink, Features Rise

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

With gas prices still historically low and sales of sedans in the slumps compared with SUVs, Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid doesn't look like it has a fighting chance to garner popularity among vehicle shoppers. A refresh for 2018 that includes more features for less money, however, should help. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata starts at $26,385 — $500 less than the outgoing model (all prices include a destination charge).

Related: 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Plug-In Show Off Fresh Look for Chicago

For 2018, the Sonata Hybrid gets a light exterior styling update anchored by Hyundai's "cascading grille" and vertical LED daytime running lights. Inside, there's a new center display and updated control layout for 2018.

The 2018 hybrid models represent a step up in terms of value on two fronts: Newly standard features this year include the blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert safety systems. Newly optional safety features include automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist.

Fuel economy is also up slightly. Base versions of the 2018 hybrid are EPA rated at 39/44/41 mpg city/highway/combined, up slightly from the model-year 2017 base rating of 38/43/40 mpg. The hybrid uses a 154-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 38-kilowatt electric motor for a combined 193 hp, and it has a six-speed automatic transmission.

Competition in this class is heating up. Honda, for example, recently announced a price drop on its 2018 Accord Hybrid. It starts at $25,990, including an $890 destination charge — more than $4,000 less than the entry-level 2017 Accord Hybrid. Base versions of hybrid rivals start slightly higher than both the Sonata Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, including the 2018 Toyota Camry ($28,695) and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu ($28,795). The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid starts a smidge lower than the Sonata at $26,265.

The 2018 Sonata Hybrid is available now at Hyundai dealerships nationwide. A plug-in version of the Sonata lineup will be available will be available in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, and as a special-order model in other states.

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