Base Price for Plug-in Hybrid Drops By $1,350
Hyundai presented a refreshed 2018 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid at the Chicago Auto Show last February, but didn’t reveal many details, including price and fuel economy numbers. Last week the Korean automaker announced that for next year (2018) the plug-in sedan’s price has been slashed by $1,350 and will have a slight increase in electric driving range.
The base 2018 model is priced at $33,250, plus an $885 freight charge. Pricing for the top-end Limited increases by $250 to $38,850, but now comes standard with a host of new features. As for electric driving range, an increase from 27 miles to 28 miles won’t set off any fireworks, but it’s nonetheless welcome. Total driving range is an EPA-estimated 600 miles.
Hyundai has earned a reputation as a value proposition and even with the price cut, the base Sonata plug-in hasn’t decreased the standard equipment list. Buyers will continue to get a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with LED running lights. There are no options, so what you see is what you get.
Want more goodies? The Limited model adds ventilated leather front seats, a power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, LED headlights with Bending Light technology and packs an 8.0-inch touchscreen with embedded navigation. Also included are a panoply of safety systems that includes automatic braking, rear parking sensors and lane-keep assist. The added safety systems alone make it worth the price bump.
Refreshed Exterior And Interior
Closely aligned with the standard Sonata, which also received a refresh for 2018, a redesigned grill anchors the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid’s exterior changes. That includes more horizontal lines and a lower placement of the Hyundai logo. The hood, front fenders and a new shape for the fog lights gives the car a stronger presence and sleek look. At the back are new clear taillights and a new deck lid.
Inside, the center stack receives a slight makeover, and a new leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel is in place.
Both 2018 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid models feature a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder gas engine and a 67-horsepower electric motor that make a combined 202 horsepower. Rather than a continuous-variable transmission (CVT), a six-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties. The Sonata can decouple its four-cylinder engine from the rest of the drivetrain and rely solely on the electric motor for forward motion as long as it doesn’t exceed 75 mph.
A 9.8-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery provides juice for the electric motor. Hyundai says the pack is five times larger than the one used in the standard Sonata Hybrid and can be recharged using 240-volt Level 2 technology in two hours and 42 minutes. The battery can also be charged overnight plugged in to a standard household 110-volt outlet.using the Level 1 charger that comes with the car.
The 2018 Sonata Plug-In is available now and qualifies for a $4,919 federal tax credit and other state or local incentives.
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