2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid facelift revealed – 43 km EV driving, over 1,000 km range

Hyundai has unveiled its redesigned 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models at the Chicago Auto Show. This heavy facelift of the seventh-generation LF first surfaced in South Korea in March last year, with conventional petrol engines.

The heart of the Hybrid is unchanged, with a 2.0 litre Nu GDI four-cylinder engine (154 hp, 190 Nm) coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a 38 kW electric motor (51 hp, 205 Nm) and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. The transmission uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. Total range is estimated at more than 650 miles (1,046 km) under typical driving conditions.

The 1.76 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack sits under the boot floor, which allows for a flat load space and available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The Sonata Hybrid offers 377 litres of cargo volume.

The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid drives similarly to the regular hybrid, but with the additional benefit of a 50 kW motor (32% more powerful than the hybrid’s, total system output is 202 hp) and extended all-electric range. Its 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is more than five times larger than the hybrid’s, and that’s good enough for an EPA-estimated all-electric range of up to 43 km. Total estimated range is 950 km.

Both the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in use the same functional design cues to improve drag coefficient to a class-leading 0.24 Cd. There are new 16-inch and 17-inch eco-spoke wheel designs. A stiffer front anti-roll bar, recalibrated steering assistance feel and retuned bushings improve response.

Available goodies include the hands-free smart trunk, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, memory for the driver’s seat and side mirrors, rear window sunshades, powered and ventilated front seats and Smart Cruise Control with stop/start.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid facelift revealed – 43 km EV driving, over 1,000 km range

There’s also a an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external amplifier. Qi wireless phone charging comes with navi-equipped models.

Safety wise, the latest Sonata gets a reverse camera, seven airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system with individual tyre pressure display as standard. LED headlamps with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) function is optional. Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard, while Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam Assist are available.

Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice navigation services. Blue Link brings tech like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Features can be accessed via the car cabin, online and app.