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I'm enjoying our new plug in hybrid, but I have a question that maybe someone on the forum can answer.

The explanation of ECO driving in the owner's manual is fairly weak. Can someone explain how it works? Under what conditions would you not use ECO driving?
 

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I'm enjoying our new plug in hybrid, but I have a question that maybe someone on the forum can answer.

The explanation of ECO driving in the owner's manual is fairly weak. Can someone explain how it works? Under what conditions would you not use ECO driving?
00000732 and congratulations mesayv1

You are the first PHEV HSH on this forum. ECO (Blue Drive) is like driving with overdrive where your transmission shifts into a higher gear asap. With it off (Black Drive) it will respond better and get you off the line faster. Most of us use the default blue drive as it is not all that sluggish.

Here is Wayne's Review of the PHEV HSH

http://www.cleanmpg.com/community/index.php?threads/2016-hyundai-sonata-phev-27-drivetrain-receives-wards-10-best-engines-accolade.52736/
 

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mesayv1, did you get your Sonata in Beaverton? They have had a handful that they've sold. I was able to test-drive one and my initial impressions were favorable. I'm hoping to get one, but I want to test drive a Volt before I make a decision.
 

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Congrats on the buy!

Can't wait to hear how she performs. Our HSH is an original, 2011, with only a little over 50k kilometres, about 33k miles. Have it on fuelly at about 36 mpg us which we consider pretty good given the hilly and mountainous terrain here in BC.

As we near the end of the warranty and start looking to trade up, we'll be keenly interested in the plug-in.
 

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Yes, I got it at Beaverton. Pricing was 33,750 with 1,000 trade in on a van worth 500 at best. We love the car so far. We have a short commute so we're mostly all electric. I was not impressed by the volt compared to sonata, but it really boils down to preference. We're averaging 70 mpg to the gallon in hybrid mode, but most of the time were in electric. In 2016 they are upping the tax credit for installing a level two charger at our house, so we're waiting until then to install it. Let me know if you buy it, I'd love to have someone to compare notes with.
 

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In 2016 they are upping the tax credit for installing a level two charger at our house, so we're waiting until then to install it.
Regarding the tax credit you mention for the L2 charger, is that a federal credit or a state credit? I ask because we just bought an all-electric car (BMW i3 with range extender), in addition to our 2011 HSH and are about to install one as well.

BTW, we also looked at/test drove the 2016 Sonata PHEV, 2016 Chevy Volt, and the 2016 Nissan Leaf (larger battery version).
 

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Hi! Seeing your post here convinced me to register. I'm also a new Sonata PHEV owner. I'm kind of jealous by your fuel efficiency because I'm using primarily electric too, but I'm only averaging about 60 MPG according to the dashboard readings, I haven't gotten any gas yet, so I'm not sure how the actual is going to work out.
 

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I sure hope the manuals aren't too lacking. I feel like there's so much tech going on here that I may actually ready auto manuals for the first time. Of course to see how to stretch the elec milage as far as possible. And of course the dealerships I've been bugging since the Spring didn't even seem to know as much as I have about the Plug In. Looks like the other owners on here are in Portland. I've got a Plug In Limited (white with gray int) being shipped from Van Nuys, CA to Minneapolis as of course we don't carry them here yet. Supposed to be here before xmas. Portland may be a bit 'wintery' but I'm thinking I may be using mine in the coldest environment here in MN, so we'll see how my eMPG and etc compare to yours. I've heard with EV's that using the heater a lot can suck battery juice so we'll see what happens here.

One thing I'm wondering about is how the remote start works? Is it a traditional one that starts the combustion engine, or does it happen to work like and EV and just runs the heater off battery? I'm hoping the later as I'd think if I remote start it while plugged in my garage, I won't loose any (or little) battery, nor smoke our my garage before I go in it. But not sure how EV car like they went of this vs just another step away the combustion based car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Regarding the tax credit -- it's only here in Oregon. I called and they are upping it to 50% of the cost of installation or $750, whichever is less as of Jan 1, 2016. Which is why we're waiting for another month.
@m40dotcom -- The heater does not work off just the battery. The combustion motor comes on, if you turn the heater on. Not sure how remote start works, it requires Bluelink and we're not paying for that service. It just doesn't get cold enough here for it to make sense.

The manual is a bit lacking...but worth the read. I'm trying now to figure out if there is a way to download data off the car regarding mpg. Anyone out there know?
 

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RE: Remote start: I'm almost certain that the remote start is all ICE, especially if you set the climate control to warm the cabin. I had to switch EV to HEV mode while driving just to get the heater to blow warm while I was driving this morning.

I played with the remote start once, but found using it from the app rather clunky and impractical because it takes quite a bit to set up. I'm really hoping it's something they improve soon or I'll cancel the option after my 3-month trial. You have to manually log into the app, hope pressing the button actually triggers what you want to do, enter your settings, THEN enter a pin.) I did it mostly to test the feature because where I live in Oregon has pretty mild winters and I don't really need to remote start it.

RE: Downloading data: I'd be really interested in this ability too. Right now, I'm just snapping pics of the 5-trip history screens and manually transcribing them to a spreadsheet.
 

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Cool, did it seem to affect your EV range very much? On my older Leaf it really hurts the range (the newer ones have a heat pump that does MUCH better).
 

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Cool, did it seem to affect your EV range very much? On my older Leaf it really hurts the range (the newer ones have a heat pump that does MUCH better).
I wouldn't be able to answer that. It was on for a total of about 20 seconds (it cleared the windshield very quickly). I had to do it again at some later point, so another 20 seconds. It certainly didn't change the displayed EV range... At some point I also turned on the rear defogger. Again, no perceived difference, but that one doesn't involve any fan blowing air...I left that one on.
 

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So I've been having a great time with my new Plug In for the last 2 days now. Feeling like I'm playing a video game of how much I can get outta the 27 EV miles. A ton of great things that I love about it, and of course some things that kinda bummed me out too, but minor of course vs how great it is overall.

Regarding the heating/defrost and etc as I've seen in 2 days in a Minnesota December, I think I'm figuring out how it works. First, I'm assuming that since the car is based on a standard Sonata model, it sure seems like ICE is used/needed for anything with the heater and front defrost. Now the steering wheel, seat heat, and rear defrost I'd think may be able to be EV only as they're just heating elements vs the system to move the heated air into cabin and front glass. I've also had to have the car idling for extended period with my infant sleeping in the back while wifey was shopping, and the ICE would go on/off when it seemed the cabin heat needed to be brought back up, then it'd wind down where it is either idling extremely quiet, or totally off I think. Also while I've been in EV mode on flat road with heat blowing and ICE was running, I switched the heat from Auto (68deg) to OFF and almost immediately the ICE turned off and I was on pure EV again but the steering wheel and seats I believe keep their heat going.

One 'bummer' thing I quickly realized is that although you can remote start the car from BlueLink app, you can't do it while it's plugged in which kinda sucks. I mean who didn't plan to plug it in at night so it's 100% charged in morning, and you pre heat it before you head out to it to unplug it and leave for work/etc. Pretty sure both Tesla's and Leaf's both can preheat while being plugged in, but of course we also have an ICE so maybe it's a safety issue with starting the combustion engine while there's the 110/220 plug still attached? Wonder if Volt's do the same? Just really kinda sucks as we have a detected garage and that thing can get like -15F come mid Jan/Feb. So if I want it to be able to remote start in the morning yet be 100% charged, I'd have to have it charged first by bedtime, then go out there (in the bitter cold) just to unplug it so that in the morning it will remote start. Wife doesn't know all that yet, as I know she wouldn't be dedicated to do all that and would rather just remote start with EV range secondary. (if someone wants to do a software hack to make this possible, drinks on me! )

Another (nerd) bummer is that I thought it came with Apple CarPlay preinstalled, which it's nowhere to be found. Very little info about it online as far as how to get it, when it may be available, etc. Sounds like there's already a bunch of annoyed 2015 owners that have been waiting and complaining to Hyundai about it. I mean, sure it's just another tech toy, but that's really is a good selling point (along with Android Auto that is missing too) so I sure hope they get it figured out soon. Not sure if it'll just be in a firmware update with it, etc. There's the ability to download apps and all too, but only 2 silly Hyundai apps and Yelp to get from what I'm seeing. The big 8 inch display is real nice, the HPEV stuff is great, music options and handsfree cool, but seems like they're still ramping up the whole apps thing, and late on the promise of both those Apple and Android options.

Other 'negatives' are the things I mentioned before in that the top of the line Plug In isn't available with Sun Roof, rear seat heat, rear shades, rear seats can go flat and the smaller trunk (with bump) from the batteries/motor taking up space. But hey, it is built off a base standard gas car, so they can't just put all the batteries flush under the car like how Tesla does and also achieves amazing balance and low center of gravity.

But enough of the negative stuff as that's just being picky as I do love this car so far. As I've read in PR/reviews, it really does seem to drive really smooth where you don't even know if it's all elec, engine is on and idling or it's shifting between the two or engine gears. Really just handles all that so smooth. Been having fun watching the fun graphics that show what seems like 6+ modes for full EV, idle charging, regen charging, or whatever they call them. I swear it'll display 4 'mode's within 5-6 seconds sometimes as you are simply driving up to a stop light so it's just doing so much work and quick calc but if you didn't have the PHEV display on, you really don't feel it in the driving. And of course when it does take off in EV, it just is so smooth and quiet. With our weather, the ICE seems to at least need to idle to get the heater up from 20-30 degrees to the 68 "Auto" setting I have it in.

Feel more randoms thoughts as I could continue to ramble on about it.
The 'instrument cluster' display that I believe is exclusive to the Plug In really has so much functionality on it that it took me a bit to even discover it all. From user settings on Smart Trunk, welcome lights, Smart Cruise Control stuff, radio/music info, Lane Departure warnings, and a smaller version of the cool graphics showing if EV motor or ICE are currently being used or not used for by the split second. I mean you see slick animations of the power going from battery to motor to wheels, or ICE to motor to wheels, or then regen showing it going backwards from wheels to motor to batteries. So cool it can easily be distracting when it's the shiny new thing. The default on that display is the total range and splits of Elec or Gas miles left. So I can see that I may have driven in EV+ECO and used 25 elec miles, but then maybe 3 gas miles of gas range as the ICE was on/off for heat I assume over the 28 mile total. At least that how it seems to be working. I'd imagine in spring when minimal heat/ac is needed, it may use 0 gas range at all for that same drive. Todays trek to my parents and around/etc showed something like 72MPG for the trip report when you turn the car off, and that after I ran down to 0 EV range before getting home too. I can live with 72MPG in 30 degree temps.

I love the subtle backlit door handles at night, not sure if that's on base model or only Limited. Same for the keyless entry where the car unlocks itself when your on the drivers handle. Smart truck is pretty slick too, but there is something where it's only when the doors are locked for like 20+ secs for it to activate. So not so great when you just stop and go right to the trunk for something, but great from when coming outta grocery store and stop the cart by the trunk as it opens right up for ya and you can just get to packing it up.

ECO mode vs Normal. The (rather massive) owners docs I've looked through seem to just say that it alters the shift points of the engine for eco or normal. Believe it also said that it will always default to eco, and you'd have to switch it off to 'normal' if desired, but really I think I tested it's acceleration in both and not sure anyone will notice a diff or care. There is no 'sport' mode like some other Sonata models. I'd think anyone buying this car wouldn't ever bother switching from Eco. Now if there was an 'ludicrous' mode that'd be another story.

EV vs HEV mode or HEV charging mode (something like that). Now this I don't know if I fully understand yet. I have it in EV mode as I think it defaults too, but if you do gun it, you will see the EV light go off, and hear the engine drop and gun it, so I'd think that's then the same as HEV mode anyways, just on demand. It is nice to see that EV lite up as then you know you're driving the most efficient way. Again, not sure what the HEV + charging type mode is or even why you'd do that. It runs the engine to both drive and charge batteries at same time. Guess I don't know why you'd burn gas to charge to then use that charge to drive vs just burn it to drive and lose the middle man of the batteries? I'm sure I'm missing something.

Anyways, just rambling to possibly give more insight to potential buyers/owners as it does seem like the dealers don't really even know much about this car and/or explain how much the tax credits can make it cheaper than more base models. I'm gonna try and run by my local dealer tomorrow to show them it, and make sure it can be serviced there too if needed, since they've never seen or carry them.

Never thought I'd be up at 1AM on a holiday rambling about a car not made by Elon Musk, I really must like this thing.
 

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RE: Remote start:
I played with the remote start once, but found using it from the app rather clunky and impractical because it takes quite a bit to set up. I'm really hoping it's something they improve soon or I'll cancel the option after my 3-month trial.
Oh and I totally agree with this comment. The App is functional and doesn't look terrible really, but sure does feel 'clunky' vs just the most standard key fob w after market remote starter on it. I was hoping there'd be a remote start button on the FOB even with 2 way confirmation (it is a 2016 after all), and the app remote start was just a bonus, but doesn't seem that way. Kinda crappy to have to pay for the ability to use the remote start if ya ask me. In MN those things are so needed. I mean, could you even have an aftermarket one setup, or are they crazy to do with these highly electronic cars? No idea. But as I noted I didn't know that it had to be unplugged to remote start so after sending the command, it later notified me it didn't go through, but didn't know why. Kinda blows when you have a infant and wife wondering why the car is still frozen when you swore you started it ;) Oh and when you do actually start it, it's got a 10 min max before it shuts off. I mean I know there's some places with even laws for cars idling with nobody in them, and it's not efficient, but when it's -15 out here, I highly doubt an idle car will be warm enough in just 10 min. And if it is but you take 15-20 min to get to it, well it will have started to cool back down too. Hmmmmmm.

And yeah even the log in setup on the app if a bit amateur. I mean it saves your username and password, but you still have to hit 'login' after you launch it. How about like every other app with saved login info, when I launch it you just go to the screen of functions and get us moving. Not sure if you've done the 'refresh' command of what's going on in the car (current ranges, locks, etc) but that just seems to take like 20 seconds for me. Not sure why as it's like 6 minor pieces of basic info.

And I have WIFI setup to use my house and/or phone hotspot, so I thought they're may be some cool stuff to do, firmware updates even maybe, but I really don't see if the wifi is good for anything right now? Hopefully in future firmware releases it'd improve and get more apps to use.... and Apple CarPlay finally.
 

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@m40dotcom Thanks for the random musings. I agree with much of what you said.
-- Can't wait for Apple Play to come. I'm not impressed so far with the operating system reading music from my iPhone. It's rather clunky to get to the right song. Being able to use Siri to request music will be huge.
-- Eco Mode vs. Normal Mode -- pretty pointless, I agree.
-- HEV vs EV mode -- Yes, it defaults to the last one chosen which is perfect, because we want to drive in EV mode as much as possible. Right now with the heater on, we're getting 73 mpg on our short runs. That will improve during the summer months.
-- I wish there was a way to download data off the car. Is there? I haven't tackled the manual far enough to figure out a way to do it.

OK and here's the big question -- So when you pull up the screen that gives you an ECO Driving score...how is that calculated? I can't ever seem to get up to 7! :^) There is nothing in the manual that tells me anything about it. Not really a big deal, but I wish there was more info on it.
 

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I also agree on all points mentioned, as I near one full week with my new car.

The fact that it doesn't remote start while plugged in seems completely backwards. Fortunately, I'm unlikely to need the feature (the seats and steering wheel heat up fast enough for me...).

Agree that the app itself is slow and clunky.

A few issues with the entertainment system:

1) I love the fact that it has 6 gigs of in-car storage called "My Music", but the interface for loading songs is terrible. One song at a time. Can't select a folder, or an entire USB stick and have it copied to the car. Yuck.

2) It seems to always default to the CD player if there is a CD inserted. For me, this isn't great. I generally listen to audio books on CD. But I don't always want it to auto-play.

3) Where's my Android Auto!? (previously mentioned, but high on my list of wants)

Also, started reading the big manual, and found a couple of things which I hadn't known. The side-view mirrors automatically shift down when you put the car in reverse. Great for seeing curbs. It will only do this if the switch for adjusting the side view mirrors ISN'T in the middle position (which is where I normally leave it to prevent accidental re-positioning of the mirrors). I now leave that switch pushed to the right (passenger side mirror), because I like the auto-shift to see curbs.

Also found that the rear-view mirror's compass needs to be told what "region" you are in if you want it to be more accurate. I may turn that compass off entirely, anyway. It seems redundant with the Nav.

My EV range has gone from 27 to 25 when the charge is at 100%. I'm assuming (hopeful?) that that is adjusted for ambient temp which has gone from high 60s to 40 today. It's still enough to get me the 22 miles to work (where we have free charging). So, I've yet to use *any* gasoline for the week I've had the car.
 
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