Drive Notes: 2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today I bring you notes on a slick road-trip ready hybrid sedan. The 2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited recently graced my "driveway" (read: parking spot in large multi-car parking garage) and I was genuinely sad to see it go.


Mostly because it seemed like, with one major exception that we'll get to, the Sonata Hybrid seemed road-trip ready.

It's also a smooth and silky commuter car, to boot.

Before we get to the pros and cons, here are the specs. This hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for 192 system horsepower. It's front-wheel drive and uses a six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing was $37,200 with the only option being carpeted floor mats. With that and the D and D fees, the as-tested price was $38,560.

Pros

  • This is one of the quietest, smoothest non-luxury sedans I've driven in a while. It felt Lexus-like. There was a time, not long ago, that I never thought I'd say something like that about a Hyundai or Kia, but lately I've been thinking that more and more about cars from both brands.
  • The ride is supple.
  • Hyundai and Kia's infotainment system remains one of the better ones in the business.
  • Interior storage is thoughtfully laid out. There's a nice slot next to the wireless device charger for miscellaneous item storage -- my sunglasses fit perfectly -- as well as key-holding slot ahead of the cupholders.
  • Cornering seems flat and smooth.
  • Thanks to the hybrid setup, the overall fuel range was more than 550 miles. A bladder-buster, for sure.
  • Despite a sloping roofline, there was decent rear-seat headroom for a six-foot-one adult. Those taller might not feel so comfortable.
  • The interior materials look and feel upscale.
  • Trunk space is generous.
  • Generally the gas-to-electric transitions were smooth.

Cons

  • Here's the big one -- the driver's seat wouldn't go low enough. I realize this won't bother everyone, but I felt too upright to be truly comfortable. I managed to settle in OK for longer wheel stints, but for this car to truly be a great road-tripper, or even great commuter, the seat needs to be able to go a bit lower to accommodate taller drivers.
  • The steering felt a bit overboosted and almost too heavy at times, though it was dialed in nicely at other times.
  • I still don't love the column shifter that we're seeing across the Hyundai and Kia lines.
  • Hyundai's key fobs are now a bit too large to carry easily in a pocket.
  • The plastic around the window switches smudged with fingerprints too easily.
  • While I enjoyed driving this Sonata, it's not nearly as sporty as the Honda Accord Hybrid or even the last Camry I drove. That won't matter to everyone, but if you prioritize sportiness, this wouldn't be your first choice. The Sonata Hybrid is setup for commuting comfort and long freeway drives.
  • The styling is polarizing -- it's sleek and better looking than some past Sonatas, but the company has always struggled to come up with a design for this car that has consensus approval -- except for the "fluidic sculpture" Sonatas, which still look great.

If I were shopping for a mainstream, mid-size sedan with an eye towards saving fuel via a hybrid powertrain, the Sonata's appeal would lie in its smoothness. In a vacuum, it's a very good option and if I did road trips often I'd be looking hard at this one. Not necessarily only because of range -- the Accord and Camry hybrids have similar ranges -- but because it offers a silky ride and quiet cabin.

That said, the Accord Hybrid is sportier and similarly priced. It's been a while since I've driven a Camry Hybrid but I seem to remember that car also being a bit more dynamically engaging and the price of entry on the Toyota is cheaper, even for the top trims.

For the enthusiast, the Accord trumps the Toyota and the Hyundai, and the Camry also may win out over the Sonata. That said, if comfort matters more than sport to you, or long stints at the wheel are the norm for you, this Hyundai won't disappoint.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 54 comments
  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jun 28, 2024
    Hyundai needs to make their standard models more like the N-Line when it comes to handling prowess and the N-Line closer to that of the N (just without the extra power and heat mitigating components of the N). With the new front clip, the current Sonata is a better design overall than the melted "fluidic design" Sonata. And yes, the new key fob is not only too big, it's also hideous. When the new 2.5T hybrid system becomes available, need to get rid of the base 2.5L and just offer the Sonata with 2 hybrid powertrains.
    • See 1 previous
    • Aja8888 Aja8888 on Jul 03, 2024
      Why are we worried about what a key fob looks like or how big it is? This has nothing to do with the quality of the car.
  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jun 28, 2024
    I know that many will disagree, but now when I see a 6th generation 'fluidic sculpture' Sonata, I think, 'hey that is a nice looking sedan'. I am not a fan of the crease that goes from the front doo to the trunk, but other than that, it is a fairly clean design. In just about every sedan or coupe being offered the front end is far too low to be practical. Including the car being reviewed. It scrapes on speed bumps, on many driveways and in snow creates a real issue. One reason perhaps why CUV's outsell sedans/coupes?
  • The Oracle Not interested at this time. Any will be BEV only and I’m not ready for one of those.
  • Jeff I doubt most will be aware of this name t especially since the last Capri was a 2 seat front wheel drive sports car made in Australia from 1989 thru 1994 exported to the US which had no similarity to the original Capri of the 70s. This EV Capri looks nice enough but it is still relatively high priced. As for the Maverick I own a 2022 Maverick hybrid and I bought it on the basis of what it was not on the name. I remember the original Maverick it came out in the Spring of 1969 as a 1970 model with a starting price of $1,995. I like my Maverick and I would have bought it even if it was named XYZ. I looked at both the Maverick and the Santa Cruz because I was interested in a compact pickup not because of the name.
  • TheMrFreeze I'll give credit for GM selling a halfway decent vehicle like this for a pretty affordable price, but I'm legit stunned that the fuel numbers for that turbo-3 are so low. I realize the engine is probably maxxed out 95% of the time trying to keep that thing moving, but still...
  • TheMrFreeze Not if I have a viable alternative. I have no doubt that a Chinese company *can* make a good car if they wanted to though, but I'm not at all interested.
  • 1995 SC No
Next