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For 2016, the Sonata hybrid version 3.0 addresses some of those shortcomings. Hyundai tackled the fuel-economy issue by shrinking the previous-gen model’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine to 2.0 liters but added direct injection along with a bigger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor. Gas-engine output dropped from 159 to 154 horsepower and torque plummeted from 154 to 140 lb-ft, but the lithium-polymer battery grew to 1.6 kWh and the electric motor gained 4 horsepower. EPA estimates rose from the previous version’s 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway to 39/43 for 2016 Limited test car.
Performance-wise, the beefed-up electrics offset the gas-engine shrinkage; the 2016 Sonata hybrid runs from rest to 60 mph in the same 8.1 seconds as the 2013 model. While not nosebleed-inducing, the Sonata’s zero-to-60 time is a full second quicker than the Fusion hybrid’s, although it’s 0.9-second tardier than the 7.2-second sprints of the Camry and Accord hybrids. Hyundai has added a Driving Style Guide to the color display in the gauge cluster; the feature acts as sort of a car shrink, delivering feedback on whether your accelerator-pedal usage is economical, normal, or aggressive.