Drive Notes: 2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited


Today I bring you notes on a slick road-trip ready hybrid sedan. The 2024 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited recently graced my “driveway” (read: parking spot in large multi-car parking garage) and I was genuinely sad to see it go.

Mostly because it seemed like, with one major exception that we’ll get to, the Sonata Hybrid seemed road-trip ready.

It’s also a smooth and silky commuter car, to boot.

Before we get to the pros and cons, here are the specs. This hybrid pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for 192 system horsepower. It’s front-wheel drive and uses a six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing was $37,200 with the only option being carpeted floor mats. With that and the D and D fees, the as-tested price was $38,560.


  • This is one of the quietest, smoothest non-luxury sedans I’ve driven in a while. It felt Lexus-like. There was a time, not long ago, that I never thought I’d say something like that about a Hyundai or Kia, but lately I’ve been thinking that more and more about cars from both brands.
  • The ride is supple.
  • Hyundai and Kia’s infotainment system remains one of the better ones in the business.
  • Interior storage is thoughtfully laid out. There’s a nice slot next to the wireless device charger for miscellaneous item storage — my sunglasses fit perfectly — as well as key-holding slot ahead of the cupholders.
  • Cornering seems flat and smooth.
  • Thanks to the hybrid setup, the overall fuel range was more than 550 miles. A bladder-buster, for sure.
  • Despite a sloping roofline, there was decent rear-seat headroom for a six-foot-one adult. Those taller might not feel so comfortable.
  • The interior materials look and feel upscale.
  • Trunk space is generous.
  • Generally the gas-to-electric transitions were smooth.


  • Here’s the big one — the driver’s seat wouldn’t go low enough. I realize this won’t bother everyone, but I felt too upright to be truly comfortable. I managed to settle in OK for longer wheel stints, but for this car to truly be a great road-tripper, or even great commuter, the seat needs to be able to go a bit lower to accommodate taller drivers.
  • The steering felt a bit overboosted and almost too heavy at times, though it was dialed in nicely at other times.
  • I still don’t love the column shifter that we’re seeing across the Hyundai and Kia lines.
  • Hyundai’s key fobs are now a bit too large to carry easily in a pocket.
  • The plastic around the window switches smudged with fingerprints too easily.
  • While I enjoyed driving this Sonata, it’s not nearly as sporty as the Honda Accord Hybrid or even the last Camry I drove. That won’t matter to everyone, but if you prioritize sportiness, this wouldn’t be your first choice. The Sonata Hybrid is setup for commuting comfort and long freeway drives.
  • The styling is polarizing — it’s sleek and better looking than some past Sonatas, but the company has always struggled to come up with a design for this car that has consensus approval — except for the “fluidic sculpture” Sonatas, which still look great.

If I were shopping for a mainstream, mid-size sedan with an eye towards saving fuel via a hybrid powertrain, the Sonata’s appeal would lie in its smoothness. In a vacuum, it’s a very good option and if I did road trips often I’d be looking hard at this one. Not necessarily only because of range — the Accord and Camry hybrids have similar ranges — but because it offers a silky ride and quiet cabin.

That said, the Accord Hybrid is sportier and similarly priced. It’s been a while since I’ve driven a Camry Hybrid but I seem to remember that car also being a bit more dynamically engaging and the price of entry on the Toyota is cheaper, even for the top trims.

For the enthusiast, the Accord trumps the Toyota and the Hyundai, and the Camry also may win out over the Sonata. That said, if comfort matters more than sport to you, or long stints at the wheel are the norm for you, this Hyundai won’t disappoint.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

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