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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm considering buying the Sonata Plugin hybrid (2017 model, brand new) for my commute needs (80+ miles/day), And we will have approximately 20,000 miles every year.

I am really concerned about the problems with this car people are posting on the internet -
issues with the car shutting its engine off on the freeway, and engine warning light coming up, the dealership drama and all that. Is there anyone here who has accumulated tens of thousands of miles on it without any problems?
What are the reliability levels? Is this car going to be a good choice for me?


The only other alternative I am thinking of is the Kia Optima Plugin. I am thinking both cars are on the same platform; the Sonata feels more luxurious while the Kia has cheap interiors. Which one would you prefer? which one is more reliable?
Feel free to throw your insight on the other differences that exist!



Will appreciate if you guys can help me out, thanks.
 

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Kia and Hyundai all come from South Korean..... I doubt if they share the same technology in some aspects.

PHEV sonata doesn't have a large battery pack. It only has 27 miles all-electric range, and combined mpg is 39, while HSH can do 42-45. IMO a regular hybrid is better.
 

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I own one and would advise against buying one. Maybe lease one, but never buy it.

My list of gripes are: One, Hyundai seems to have trouble supplying parts in a reasonable time frame. I have no confidence in Hyundai fixing this going forward. Two, the techs don't seem to know how to fix any issues that don't show up as a code. Three, the gas engine runs far, far too much to heat the car in the winter, so what's the point? Four, the car should have been designed to have the gas engine drive a generator so the car would run on electricity only. Five, Hyundai should have put in a heat pump instead of an AC compressor. Six, the car needs a larger battery. Seven the traction battery should have been designed with a liquid cooling system to keep the traction battery in its optimum temperature range. Eight, Hyundai should have designed the car to use the traction battery more from a stop in HEV mode. Nine, there is no capacity loss warranty on the traction battery that I know of.

On the plus side, the car is large. It drives nicely. After you have experienced driving in EV mode, driving in HEV mode just plain sucks.
 

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As an alternative, you might take a look at the new Honda plugin hybrid. However, if it uses the gas engine to directly supply heat in the winter, then what's the point.? If Honda is using a heat pump to heat the car interior, then I'm more interested.

Also make sure the traction battery is liquid cooled.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As an alternative, you might take a look at the new Honda plugin hybrid. However, if it uses the gas engine to directly supply heat in the winter, then what's the point.? If Honda is using a heat pump to heat the car interior, then I'm more interested.

Also make sure the traction battery is liquid cooled.
Thank you so much for the insight; I liked the Honda Clarity, but the stereo in it was very bad, even in the highest trim, this is a deal breaker for me.
What do you think of the Kia?
 

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Thank you so much for the insight; I liked the Honda Clarity, but the stereo in it was very bad, even in the highest trim, this is a deal breaker for me.
What do you think of the Kia?
I think there isn't much difference between the two cars.

If the Kia uses a heat pump to heat the interior then that's a huge benefit. My guess is that Kia doesn't use a heat pump.

Again the two things you need to look for in a plugin vehicle is a heat pump and liquid cooling for the traction battery. If it doesn't have those two things, then don't buy the vehicle. Lease maybe, but don't buy.

Over the next five years, you are going to see a lot more choices. I believe Mitsubishi is suppose to offer their SUV in a plugin model.
 

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With a 2017 hybrid and the 2.0 engine expect to get 44 mpg... You will go 40 miles one way killing the battery after 27 miles, so it will use gas all the way home unless you can charge it. Plus you need to setup the plug in system.

When I fill up.. my gauge shows 620+ miles to empty.. and I just drive it like a regular car. Drove 2 days to TN (10 hours total). Never needed to look for a charging system...just drove at 75 MPH, then drove all over the place down there without looking for a charging station.
 

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I have 16k miles on my 2016 PHEV. All of them without a hiccup, except for 2 times it didn't charge when I plugged it in (out of literally hundreds of times I charged it), and the one time I got the PHEV system malfunction error (disappeared without trace after turning off, turning on again).
 

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However, if it uses the gas engine to directly supply heat in the winter, then what's the point.?
I think you are grossly underestimating how much energy it takes to warm up a car interior using a heat pump. But, just for the sake of argument, would you accept the car if it used a heat pump, but it cost you 40% of your range when you used it? Those are along the lines you should be thinking... Great! No gasoline engine running! But now I can only go 16 miles until the engine is going to turn on anyway.

This might not be a bad thing...especially for short trips to the grocery store or something...but it's certainly not "free" to just use a heat pump instead of the gasoline engine to provide heat. Best case scenario? A car which lets you choose which mode to use based on the distance you expect to travel.
 

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I think you are grossly underestimating how much energy it takes to warm up a car interior using a heat pump. But, just for the sake of argument, would you accept the car if it used a heat pump, but it cost you 40% of your range when you used it? Those are along the lines you should be thinking... Great! No gasoline engine running! But now I can only go 16 miles until the engine is going to turn on anyway.

This might not be a bad thing...especially for short trips to the grocery store or something...but it's certainly not "free" to just use a heat pump instead of the gasoline engine to provide heat. Best case scenario? A car which lets you choose which mode to use based on the distance you expect to travel.
In my case, that would be acceptable since 90% of my trips are under 25 miles.

However, it would be interesting to see how much the gas engine would run with the engine driving an electric heat pump in parallel with the waste heat of the gas engine.

As it stands now, the car is showing between 35 and 45 mpg of gasoline usage just to keep the car lukewarm at a 45 degree ambient temperature. That's a pretty serious hit!

see https://www.greencarreports.com/new...p-work-in-a-toyota-prius-prime-plug-in-hybrid
 

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2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV
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I've been surprised at how little the engine runs to heat the car. My car starts off in a 55 degree garage, and it's around 40 degrees outside when I drive to work. I keep the interior temp at 66 degrees (on manual mode - I haven't tried the 'auto' mode in winter). The engine runs for the first mile or so and then turns off. It usually will stay off for the rest of the 8 mile commute. I still always see 99 mpg on the trip odometer.

As far as a recommendation for the car. We like the car very much. We've never had any sort of driveability issues, but have had both oxygen sensors and the gas cap replaced. This fixed the many check engine lights we've had. I don't think I'd recommend the car, not because we don't love it, but because of the lack of parts locally. Even these small parts had to be ordered and took about a week to arrive; the stories of big parts taking a month to arrive are a bit scary. Hyundai clearly isn't pushing the PHEV, and if I was shopping now I would certainly look hard at the Honda and Toyota offerings. The Volt was the only other comparable car when we were shopping two years ago, and my wife just didn't like it. The Ford offerings at the time wouldn't have completed the commute on battery alone.
 

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As a long distance commuter (130 round trip), I'll second the recommendation of looking at the standard hybrid instead of the plug-in. Where you are going to exceed the capacity of the battery daily, I'm not sure that the hassle of plugging in the car every day would be worth the (potential) savings in fuel. Consider also you'll get a smaller fuel tank, less cargo space, and the car costs quite a bit more. You'll need to step up to a 220V charger if you want to charge the car in a reasonable amount of time - extra cost. For the extra amount of money you'll spend, you could buy a lot of gas. Since the highway MPG isn't any different, are you going to make up the difference in fuel savings?

As for comparing the HSH to other brands, when I was looking I wanted a car that was comfortable to drive, could easily carry full sized passengers and a reasonable amount of luggage. Since I put a lot of miles on the car (about 25,000 miles per year) I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a car that wouldn't be worth much when I traded/sold it. That pretty much ruled out brands like Lexus, BMW, etc. I looked at Ford, Subaru, Kia, Toyota, Chevy. Coming from a VW diesel, I had a hard time with gas-only vehicles due to the mileage difference - it's hard to go back to 23 MPG after getting 40+. Didn't like the look/feel of the Ford Fusion. For me, it came down to Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.

The Honda - Liked the look, it drove nice and was comfortable. BUT, it has a buzzy engine that was loud, no trunk space and I don't think that the rear seats folded down. I figured that if I put my golf clubs in the truck I would have maybe 6" of room left over. Between that and the loud engine (it has a CVT, and that means the engine runs at higher RPM more often - more efficient, but also louder) I dropped it.

That left Toyota and Hyundai. I looked at loaded models of the Sonata and Avalon. Both cars drove and rode comparably. The Avalon was perhaps a bit more luxurious on the inside, but it also had touch sensitive controls for everything. Neat feature, but when you tried to operate them bouncing around on the road they were a bit tricky. It was also about $10K more expensive. Between the price, and Hyundai's warranty, the Sonata won.

After owning the HSH for almost a year, I'm glad I purchased it. In the winter (Idaho) it's a bit persnickety until it warms up (hard shifts, grabby brakes), but it warms up before I get across town and on the interstate. Once warm (or in the summer), I almost never hear the engine, and rarely feel the transmission shifting (moderate acceleration). Very quiet interior - even with the sun roof popped up. Comparing it to my VW Passat TDI, it feels more spacious, rides better, and gets about the same mileage, with cheaper fuel. As others have said, I consistently get about 43-45 MPG in warmer weather, and 38-40 in the winter. I generally keep the acceleration below 40%, but even getting on the interstate that's enough to get me up to speed by the time I merge in ECO mode. In Normal mode it's no problem.

I have only one problem, and one complaint. The problem - I had a bad computer that caused a bunch of errors when I started the car for the first time, AND the temperature was below 20F. The dealer replaced the unit, and yesterday when the temp was about 15F it started with no problems. The complaint - if you go into the hybrid display, you can pull up a screen that shows a graph of your MPG and electric motor usage over time. The electric motor usage has never indicated a value. This appears to be common in all the hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
 

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My ‘16 Sonata PHEV was wonderful, until it stopped charging after 7 months—it spent 9 days in service to get it fixed. After another 7 months, it spent 41 days in service to get it fixed. Since then, it has spent 10 more days (4 service trips), for more error messages. The charging system has a finite warranty too. It would have cost near $7K to fix, had it not been under warranty. At seemingly random times, since ownership, it has failed to charge overnight too. I am going to replace it with a 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My 2016 PHEV has over 38,000 miles. Only problem is a periodic OBD code P1E0C, no one seems to know why. Just drove the car on a 1,500 mile trip, Runs great, comfortable and is a great daily driver. Have gotten over 1,800 miles between fill ups.


Would I buy another, sure but Hyundai seems to not agree to that by discontinuing production of the PHEV for 2018.


Sucks, Trade In value in the toilet.


Oh well, maybe some folks might come up with a good class action lawsuit... **** everyone sues today for anything right??
 
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