Sonata Sounds Off: Hyundai Debuts Refreshed 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models [Video]

Hyundai introduces hybrid variants of their midsize Sonata sedan at the Chicago Auto Show

In addition to their i30 N touring car (check out the livestream above!), Hyundai just revealed the redesigned 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models. It comes a bit after the gas-powered Sonata lineup arrived on the scene. According to Hyundai’s VP of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, it may well be worth the wait:

“Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area…When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.”

So what has changed? Below are some of the highlights of the refreshed hybrid model. The hybrid will be available in the first quarter of 2018, while the Plug-in will follow in the second quarter of 2018.

2018 Sonata Hybrid
[Photo: Hyundai]


The 2018 Sonata Hybrid features the same 2.0-liter Nu direct-injected four-cylinder engine as in the previous Sonata Hybrid. The engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. It couples to a six-speed automatic transmission that houses the 38 kW (51 horsepower) electric motor and clutch in place of the traditional torque converter. The Sonata Hybrid packs a 1.76 kWh lithium-ion battery, delivering an estimated 39 City/45 Highway MPG, and a range of more than 650 miles under typical driving conditions.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
[Photo: Hyundai]
The Plug-in hybrid uses the same powertrain setup with a 50 kW electric motor. That provides a 27-mile all-electric range, and you can charge its 9.8 kWh battery pack in less than three hours on a level-two charger. The Plug-in Hybrid has a combined output of 202 horsepower at 6,000 RPM. Estimated range is 590 miles under normal driving conditions.

The transmission uses an electric oil pump that helps improve efficiency. As an added bonus, you can also drive the Sonata Hybrid solely on electricity up to 75 miles per hour by decoupling the gas engine from the drivetrain.



As with the normal Sonata, the Hybrid and Plug-in variants carry Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The available 8.0-inch touchscreen also features navigation and music on a split-screen display. Other comfort and convenience features include newly available Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist. Hyundai also added new LED headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL). Qi wireless charging is also available on navigation-equipped Hybrid and Plug-in models.

Check back to for more updates from the Chicago Auto Show! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for more new hybrid news, views, and real-world reviews.

Plug-in Hybrid Availability

While the Hybrid will be sold nationwide, but Hyundai will only actively sell the Plug-in variant in certain states. The 2018 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be available in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. If you live outside those states, you can custom order the Plug-in Hybrid at your local dealer. According to Hyundai, Plug-in buyers are currently eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit.

Check back to for more videos from the Chicago Auto Show! Check out our TFLfrontrow coverage of Hyundai’s news conference above. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for more TFLfrontrow livestreams!


2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Photos: