Saturday, January 20, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers: 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

\



Like other successful midsize sedans, Hyundai's stylish Sonata has a hybrid counterpart. For 2013, the Hybrid gets an upgraded electric motor and a smaller — and lighter — battery. Hyundai says this results in improved fuel efficiency. Also new, the Limited trim level, which was the model we drove.

Appearance: The Hyundai badges and a prominent logo on the trunk lid announce it's a hybrid. It also has styling features unique to the hybrid, such as a blacked-out hexagonal grille instead of the regular Sonata's horizontal chrome slats. The look is more like Hyundai's Elantra or Genesis Coupe. The hybrid shares the "Fluidic Sculpture" design philosophy that was a breath of fresh air in the midsize sedan market when this generation Sonata was introduced as a 2011 model. This design philosophy translates into a curvaceous car with front-to-back body creases and an elegant roof line. The car's solar-control windows are large, which helps reduce blind spots. Both the upswept headlamps and taillights get LED accents.

Performance: The Sonata Hybrid has Hyundai's Blue Drive technology, which puts out a combined 199 horsepower from the electric motor and a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine (159 horses). The transition from EV mode to gas is barely detectable. The 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic also is a smooth operator. For those who play the mileage game, there are lots of on-screen monitors to show how the Blue Drive system is working. Lyra finds those driver aids distracting. The Sonata's estimated mileage is 36 city and 40 highway, which is okay for a hybrid, but should make you ask: Is it worth the extra cost when the four-cylinder Sonata gets 24/35? Hyundai made its lithium-polymer battery pack 5 pounds lighter and smaller. The trunk space increased slightly by 2 1/2 cubic feet to a good-for-a-hybrid 12.1 cubic feet. Also, to reduce weight, there's no spare tire (you get a tire repair kit instead). The regenerative brakes are not as jarring as some hybrids we've driven. The low-rolling resistance tires help with mileage, but unfortunately take away some from a sure-footed ride. But overall, the road feel is composed.

Interior: Our tester was loaded with features, including such amenities as an upgraded audio system, panoramic sunroof ($1,000 option), front and rear heated leather seats, a 7-inch navigation screen and a rearview camera. The cabin is laid out sensibly and it's roomy, except for rear headroom because of the sloping roof. The driver gets a welcome eight-way power seat with lumbar support. Most of the car's controls are ergonomic, and we liked the crisp, if slightly cluttered, electroluminescent gauges. The standard features include Bluetooth, but Lyra found that the audio streaming stopped working on a drive to Miami.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

AC controls: I've always liked Hyundai's diagram buttons, which is easy to use at a glance.

Design: Other midsize sedans have caught up, but the Sonata is still stylish.

Battery: It has a lifetime replacement warranty for original owners.

Lyra Solochek

Ergonomic: Audio and navigation controls sit higher and at a slight angle.

MPG: Just a little over a tankful to Miami and back.

Florida-friendly: Windows keep UV rays out; interior stays cooler.

The bottom line: The car has many strengths of the regular Sonata, including the starting price, but it's for those who just have to have a hybrid.









     
       
Comments
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Published: 01/19/18
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second-oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Published: 01/19/18
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Published: 01/19/18

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Published: 01/19/18
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Published: 01/19/18
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Published: 01/19/18
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Published: 01/19/18
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Published: 01/19/18
Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

HAVANA — On a sweltering early summer afternoon in Miami’s Little Havana, President Donald Trump told a cheering Cuban-American crowd that he was rolling back some of Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba in order to starve the island’s military-run economy...
Published: 01/19/18