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2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid makes more of regenerative braking

Hyundai on Wednesday provided more details on the mid-cycle refresh of its Sonata mid-size sedan—including the Sonata Hybrid—for the 2024 model year.

As previewed by Hyundai in March, the refresh takes the current-generation Sonata, which arrived in early 2020 in Sonata Hybrid guise, in a different styling direction from the already-dramatic version that’s been in showrooms for the past few years.

A new front-end design with a thin strip of horizontal lighting, along with an enlarged grille and air intakes (which also help hide the headlights) give the Sonata a lower, wider appearance. It also gives the impression of a longer hood, making the proportions of hood, cabin, and trunk seem more balanced. Hyundai claims aerodynamic improvements, but it has not published a specific drag coefficient number.

2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

In this new announcement, Hyundai confirmed that the 2024 Sonata Hybrid will continue with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, but it will now feature an adjustable regenerative braking mode aimed at increasing efficiency. Paddle shifters have been added for what is likely a carryover 6-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai also added “e-Motion Drive,” which the automaker says “enables a smooth and comfortable driving experience in various driving conditions.”

Hyundai hasn’t yet said how this will affect fuel economy. The 2023 Hyundai Sonata earned a stellar 52 mpg combined in its efficiency-focused Blue guise.

The 2024 Sonata Hybrid will again be sold alongside non-hybrid models with a 2.5-liter inline-4, and a sporty Sonata N Line model powered by a 2.5-liter turbo-4. Some of the non-hybrid models will get all-wheel drive—a first for the Sonata—in addition to the standard front-wheel drive. So far, Hyundai hasn’t given any hints that might eventually be available on the hybrid, but it does combine this single-motor hybrid system with all-wheel drive in the Sorento Hybrid SUV, among others.

As discussed earlier this year, the 2024 Sonata also gets an interior update. The shift lever has been moved behind the steering wheel to free up more space on the center console, and a panoramic curved display consisting of two 12.3-inch screens in one housing. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard as well.

2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Since this generation of Sonata Hybrid was released, the competition hasn’t changed much. Primary rivals include the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which hasn’t changed much since the current-generation Sonata Hybrid’s introduction, as well as the Honda Accord Hybrid, which was redesigned for the 2023 model year.

In a review of the previous Sonata Hybrid, we found it to deliver lots of interior comfort, combined with excellent efficiency. Hyundai also hasn’t yet indicated whether that model’s mpg-boosting solar roof is coming back.


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