2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE (1123)


This is the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE. The thought occurred to me that as time marches on, different people and companies rise to the top of the heap or King of the hill in their specialty. Remember when everything in the auto industry was measured by the quality of Cadillac. If something was the Cadillac it meant it was the best it could be. Well those days are gone and that term is just a remnant of that past.

In the scheme of things it is clear now that Japan took over as the favored car maker and the Big 3 American Car makers and Detroit became little more than a ghetto. Today it looks more like a war zone – and it would appear America lost that war.

The new kid on the block however in the current market is Korea. Hyundai and Kia (sister company’s) have catapulted themselves into a position of prominence in the automotive market. They have done that because they had to prove themselves just as Japan had to half a century before.

I believe they have succeeded in capturing the hearts and minds and more importantly the pockets and purses of American car buyers.


Relative to my opening comments about the growth of Hyundai in the auto market, I have made a few other observations.

Remember when the Hertz was number one in the car rental business and Avis was number two?  Well they launched an ad campaign stating: “We’re number 2 – We try harder”. Being Numero Uno is sometimes a handicap. Number One is a tough place to be because everyone is shooting at you. Everyone is clamoring to beat the best to become the best. And the best seldom remain ‘best’ for very long….. relatively speaking. Well, that fact is what the Hyundai companies are taking advantage of. They have been ‘wanna-bees’ and they have also been doing a pretty good job at finding how to be best.

Friend Richard has a saying, “Faint hearted men are the product of a luxurious society, the same soil will produce neither luxuries nor heroes”. It simply means, to me, that when a company or even a society rises to the top they get complacent and they will fall because its people get lazy and over confident. They lose their good reputation and place of importance and become irrelevant and inept.

We all like winners and the Korean’s are at the forefront of their own “Industrial Revolution”. They can thank America and American lives lost during the mid-20th Century Korean Conflict. It wasn’t even deemed a war but many died protecting the 38th Parallel. That is the place that marks the spot or demarcation of North and South Korea. Go to Google Earth and look at both sides of the 38th Parallel and you will see the difference between Capitalism and Communism (Socialism).

That picture is worth volumes of books on the success and failure of the two ideologies. The North is a land the world forgot. It is a century behind the times while the South is a vibrant thriving half of the country heavily invested in the 21st Century. It is booming with industry. Those in the North continually risk death or imprisonment fleeing the oppression of the Communist government.

General Information: It is assembled in Asan, Korea; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Korea 91%; Engine and transmission – Korea;Classification is Midsize Cars. Cars from Hyundai: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra Touring, Equus, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe,Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, Veloster, Veracruz.

Handling & Performance:

I happen to hate all-Electric cars because they are unreliable in range. Hills will drain the batteries 12 times faster than on level ground from my experience. On the other hand, Hybrids are “SAFE” since there is always a backup engine to guarantee you won’t get stranded or need a layover to recharge the batteries.

What impressed me most with this Hyundai Hybrid was how seamlessly and truly fast the car accelerated. Getting on and off the freeway was easy. And on top of that the car averaged 37.8 mpg even though I was driving very aggressively.


Lovely design in and out in my opinion.

Fit and Finish:

Very nice.


At around $25,000 you get a lot for the money.

Conveniences and comfort:

The Smart Trunk Opener after being activated will automatically pop open the trunk when you approach the car.

Hyundai Blue Link is a fully integrated connected vehicle system using an embedded telematics to gather vehicle Car Care information such as Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Automatic Crash Notifications. The system utilizes mobile apps to allow the customer to Remote Start, Stop, Lock or Unlock their Hyundai.

Consumer Recommendations:

Recognized Competition:

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid $26,000, Ford Fusion Hybrid $26,000, Toyota Camry $27,000.

Good News:

Good value to buy and operate with exceptional fuel economy, Best warranty of all the competition.

Bad News:


Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter gasoline direct injection 4-cylinder engine combined with a Hybrid system 193 horsepower, permanent magnet synchronous motor (38 KW), 270 volt Lithium Polymer Battery and Hybrid starter generator, 6-speed automatic transmission, Stability Management and traction control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with integrated regenerative braking and Electronic Brake Force Distribution and brake assist, front, front side impact and side curtain and driver knee airbags, rearview camera, tire pressure monitor with individual tire pressure indicator, 16” alloy wheels, auto headlights and LED daytime running lights, rear spoiler with LED tailights, heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, driver blind spot mirror, proximity key entry system with push button start, hands free smart trunk opener, dual climate control, color LCD trip computer with Hybrid technology display, cloth seating, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio and phone controls, 5” color touch screen audio display, AMFM/CD/MP3 audio system with iPod and USB / Auxiliary input jacks, Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth hands free phone system, Hyundai Bluelink telematics system.

Gas Stats:

$2.85 Gal avg. January 23, 2016


for more information.

40 City and 44 Highway MPG


MSRP $26,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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