10 Things to Know Before You Test Drive the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Electric is everywhere. If there’s one thing the most recent vehicle unveilings have taught us, it’s that consumers are demanding more fuel options and manufacturers are delivering it. Last month, Hyundai debuted their latest alternative fuel overhang, the 2016 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). Here’s what you need to know before you head to the dealership:

1.)  This Sonata is Hyundai’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle but, it’s not the brand’s first hybrid. The Hyundai team, however, has designed the Sonata PHEV to feel extremely similar to their Sonata Hybrid from the driver’s seat.

2.)  The Sonata PHEV will have an all-electric range of up to 22 miles- further than any other PHEV mid-sized sedan currently on the market. Those 22 miles are made possible by a 09.8 kWh lithium polymer battery pack, roughly five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery.

3.)  A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used the in regular Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher speeds. A 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. Sonata PHEV’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

4.)  The color choices are limited. Sonata Hybrid will come with the option of two exterior paint options: Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist. Interior color choices include gray and beige in cloth or leather seating configurations and an all-new Blue Pearl option for leather seats. Sonata Hybrids equipped with Blue Pearl leather seats will include contrast stitching and trim accent pieces.

5.)  You can manage the Sonata PHEV’s functions with the Blue Link app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata PHEV and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata PHEV.

6.)  The Blue Link app can also manage how the Sonata PHEV charges. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata PHEV is plugged in.

7.)  Safety is standard. The 2016 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag. Additional Sonata PHEV safety features include Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display, and a rearview camera as standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning are available.

8.)  The Sonata PHEV is full of convenient technology. Hyundai’s hands-free Smart Trunk is standard on the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. An electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, a driver memory seat, heated steering wheel, LED interior lights, ventilated front seats, power front seats with 4-way adjustable driver lumbar and Smart Cruise Control featuring full stop capability are all available on Sonata Plug-in Hybrid.

9.)  The Sonata PHEV doesn’t come with navigation standard but you can get a 8.0-inch navigation system with improved touchscreen technology. A map and music split are able to be showcased with a split screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets 1-6. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer. Rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on a sports broadcast. SiriusXM Travel Link® provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. All 2016 Sonata Hybrids equipped with navigation will also support Pandora® and SoundHound applications as well as “Eyes Free” Siri integration, which allows drivers to perform a variety of functions without taking their eyes off the road. Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto will take smartphone integration to the next level on the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid later this year.

10.)  Buying the 2016 Sonata PHEV makes you available for tax credits in many states. Check with your local dealership for exact dollar amounts.

image courtesy of Hyundai
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