2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and PHEV Efficiently Debut in Chicago

Following the refreshed 2018 Hyundai Sonata that made its debut last year at the 2017 New York auto show, the Korean automaker revealed the hotly anticipated hybrid variant of its bread-and-butter sedan at the 2018 Chicago auto show.

The Hybrid carries the same updates as the reworked Sonata and only a few key visual changes that set it apart from the regular car. Up front, the bumpers are reworked with a touch more definition around the grille, along with subtly reworked headlights. Around back, the rear bumper is slightly revised, with new Elantra-esque tail lights. Buyers have the choice of two new sets of wheels, exclusive for the Sonata PHEV and Hybrid.

Inside, the only changes of note are an updated gauge cluster, a new steering wheel with available heated function, and the all-important USV charge port for the passengers in the back seat. Build yours out with the updated navigation package, and it will come with Qi wireless charging. For those who don’t check that box, never fear–Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

Stick with the regular Sonata Hybrid, and power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder pushing out 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. This is augmented by a 51-hp electric motor that boosts that total to 193 hp. According to Hyundai, estimated mileage is 39 mpg city and 45 mpg highway, enough to shuttle you an impressive 650 miles on a single tank. That is, if you don’t explore the available electric torque too much.

Step up to the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid and you receive a 9.8-kWh battery with a perfect-world all-electric range of 27 miles before the gas engine steps in. Once you deplete the EV range, it will take less than three hours to charge it back to full on a Level 2 charger. Motivation arrives from the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but the electric motor now puts down 67 hp for a combined system total of 202 hp.

If you’re absolutely unable to handle the rampaging horsepower, both Sonata Hybrids are safer than ever before, incorporating standard blind-spot detection and rear-cross-traffic alert and lane change assist. If you want more to rein yourself in, you can spring for the automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist.

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid arrives on showroom floors later this or next month. You’ll have to wait for the PHEV, slated for the second quarter of 2018. Look for pricing info close to the car’s availability.

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