The Koreans are plugging in. The 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV, which made its debut at January’s Detroit auto show, arrives at “select dealerships” this week. The Sonata’s cousin, the Kia Optima, is also expected to appear in a plug-in version in the second half of 2016. The Korea Herald recently reported that Hyundai plans to launch a new brand of electrified vehicles, which will include hybrids, PHEVs and pure EVs, in January.
The new Sonata PHEV sports a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery system, a 50 kW electric motor and a 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder gas engine. Total system output is 202 hp at 6,000 rpm. It’s rated at 99 MPGe in EV mode, with 27 miles of electric range.
Active safety technologies include Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam Assist and rear parking sensors. The Blue Link smartphone app offers various remote features, including the ability to manage the charging schedule to take advantage of off-peak electric rates.
The plug-in Sonata will be available in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. MSRP starts at $34,600 (plus delivery charge), and the vehicle qualifies for a $4,919 federal tax credit.