by Cheryl Eldridge
Have you ever been impressed with an automobile? Well, the 2013 Sonata Hybrid Limited is one cool car. Not only does the exterior body keep you in the mind of a Mercedes CLK, it delivers just as well.
My one week test drive with the 2013 Sonata Hybrid limited was a just my “cup of tea.”
Hyundai has come a long way baby, and you will be surprised with all of the new amenities.
My 2013 Sonata was priced at $32,490 and is noted as carrying the Satisfaction Award with Hyundai Assurance.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in base and Limited trim levels.
Standard equipment on the base model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, Bluetooth, Hyundai’s BlueLink emergency communications system and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Hyundai doesn’t offer any major options on the base Sonata Hybrid, so if you want more amenities, you’ll need to look to the new Limited model.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited comes with 17-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power driver seat with lumbar support, heated rear seats, a navigation system with a 7-inch touchscreen, rearview camera, an upgraded Infinity audio system with nine speakers and HD radio, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A panoramic sunroof is optional on the Limited.
My 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid tester was powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine generating 159 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque that is paired with an electric motor rated at 47 hp (35 kilowatts) and 151 lb-ft. Combined, the two power units are good for 199 hp. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.
For 2013, Hyundai says fuel economy estimates will be 35 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 38 combined. Note that the Sonata Hybrid’s combined rating drops to 37 mpg on the heavier Limited model.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Hyundai’s BlueLink emergency communications system is also standard.
In government safety tests, the Sonata Hybrid earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four out of five stars given for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata earned a top rating of “Good” for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.
Not surprisingly, the Sonata Hybrid’s passenger cabin looks and feels very similar to its traditionally powered sibling. The interior is handsome and controls are straightforward and intuitive to use, regardless of whether you have the base model or the Limited and its standard touchscreen interface. The slick-looking gauge cluster sets the interior apart from the non-hybrid model and includes a separate LCD display meant to encourage more fuel-efficient driving.
Front seats are comfortable and supportive. The backseat offers plenty of room for two adults, though taller passengers will find headroom in short supply. All hybrid sedans lose a good bit of trunk space due to intrusion from the hybrid system’s battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception, with 12.1 cubic feet of capacity compared to 16.4 cubic feet in the regular Sonata. Among hybrid midsize sedans, the Sonata Hybrid offers comparable trunk space to the Fusion Hybrid and 1 cubic foot less than the Camry Hybrid.
Until next week, drive safe , and don’t text and drive. It’s the law.