Hybrid-ness

Before I get into the performance and technology aspects of what makes the Sonata Hybrid tick, I've got to point out the fact that the Sonata Hybrid looks dramatically different from its gasoline-only sibling. It all starts with a radically enlarged grille and unique LED headlights up front. There are even flaps behind that grille that open and close, depending on your speed, to maximize aerodynamics.

Lightweight, aerodynamic wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires also help reduce drag. The Sonata has a lower coefficient of drag than its competition, at 0.25 Cd versus the Camry Hybrid's 0.27 Cd and the Fusion Hybrid's 0.33 Cd.

People stuck in traffic around a Sonata Hybrid will likely gawk most at its taillights, which mix LED elements with a funky starburst pattern. I've never seen anything like it on a production car.

All these touches mark the Sonata Hybrid as a green machine Ч despite its ubiquitous blue badging.

Inside, all Sonata Hybrids get a digital readout between twin analog gauges that shows hybrid performance and trip computer information. Move up to a navigation-equipped model, and you get more detailed readouts on a much larger, dash-mounted screen.

All in all, the strategy works well. It's flashy enough to shout Уhybrid,Ф but it also exudes a sense of cool, not of smugness.

And how does it do at the pump? Mileage is rated at 35/40 mpg city/highway, which outdoes the 2011 Camry Hybrid's 31/35 mpg rating and bests the Fusion Hybrid in highway mileage; the Ford is rated 41/36 mpg.

    See also:

    Radial-ply tires
    Radial-ply tires provide improved tread life, road hazard resistance and smoother high speed ride. The radial- ply tires used on this vehicle are of belted construction, and are selected to comple ...

    Check Fuel Filler Cap Warning Light
    This warning light indicates the fuel filler cap is not tight securely. Always make sure that the fuel filler cap is tight. ...

    Snow tires
    If you equip your car with snow tires, they should be the same size and have the same load capacity as the original tires. Snow tires should be installed on all four wheels; otherwise, poor handli ...