The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is just a great automobile! It’s incredibly luxurious and comfortable for a lower-priced car, it handles like a dream and it delivers excellent fuel economy (34/40 mpg). It also boasts more power than the previous model, which makes the ride even better.
The new Sonata Hybrid comes with an advanced version of Hyundai’s Hybrid Blue Drive system. It increases fuel efficiency and operates in the all-electric mode more often and for a longer time.
Hyundai engineers have increased the overall amount of available electrical drive power and improved the efficiency of the Hybrid Blue Drive operating system in this latest Sonata Hybrid. Using a higher output 35 kW electric motor and the more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack, the Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain maximizes electric-only driving. The improved operating system takes advantage of newly developed driving pattern detection and engine on/off optimization logic. The availability of more battery energy allows for more flexibility in running the gasoline engine at optimum efficiency, which saves gas. Better kinetic energy recovery and increased charging efficiency powers the Sonata Hybrid in the allelectric mode more often and for longer periods of time, thus increasing fuel economy.
Interestingly, the Sonata Hybrid’s new 47 kW lithium polymer battery pack not only is more powerful and more energy dense, it also weighs less and takes up less space in the trunk. The weight has dropped from 96 pounds to 91 pounds, while trunk space has increased from 10.7 cubic feet to 12.1 cubic feet. The improved efficiency of the battery pack is key to recovering more kinetic energy from braking and charging from the engine to help drive the vehicle. The newly optimized system allows the battery to store more usable energy, allowing more all-electric driving, cutting both fuel consumption and emissions. In pure electric drive, the Sonata Hybrid has a top speed of 75 mp.
The 2013 Sonata Hybrid design is basically unchanged, except for re-shaped front and rear fascias with a deeper air dam, extended rocker panels and lower drag wheels that allow air to flow around the body with less resistance. There are two different model trim lines to choose from — Sonata Hybrid ($25,650) and Sonata Hybrid Limited ($30,550). The Limited model adds 17-inch spoke alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob, heated rear seats, power driver seat with lumbar support, a navigation system with highresolution touch-screen display, rear backup camera, Infinity premium speakers, subwoofer and external amplifier (400-watt), HD Radio Technology with multicasting and an auto-dimming mirror.
For an extra $1,000, you can get the Panoramic Sunroof Package that includes the sunroof and a glossy black door surround and outside mirror housing.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to <Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com>.