2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai is banking on the Sonata Hybrid's class-leading fuel efficiency numbers to steal sales from the likes of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. Hyundai originally guesstimated that the Sonata Hybrid would come in with numbers of 37 miles per gallon city and 39 mpg highway. The projected highway rating would put the Sonata Hybrid out in front of both of its competitors from Ford and Toyota. Hyundai now admits that its original estimation may have been too low. As Hyundai chief executive officer John Krafcik remarked:
We're working on final calibration...and the fuel economy estimates could come in a little better than before. We said the Sonata Hybrid will have the highest fuel economy of any mid-size hybrid. We predicted 39 mpg, we may hit 40 mpg.
40 mpg certainly sounds more enticing than 39, but it's only one mpg, so what's the big deal? In the hybrid wars, breaking into the 40s is a significant achievement. Krafcik also revealed some pricing hints for the Sonata Hybrid. Krafcik told us to expect the hybrid version to closely follow the pricing of the Sonata 2.0T model, which should start at about $26,000 and top out at $30,000. The price compares favorably to the Fusion Hybrid's base price of nearly $28,000. If Hyundai hits the best-in-class highway mpg numbers and sticks to the estimated price, then the Sonata Hybrid's success is almost guaranteed.


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