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Hyundai Hybrid Car

sonata-hybrid.jpg

Almost every car company has at least one hybrid vehicle in its fleet. Hyundai joined the hybrid crowd this year with its 2011 Sonata -- and the company has high hopes for its newest car.

Saying on its web site that "hybrid technology has finally caught up with our standards," Hyundai is not taking aim at the Prius or other smaller hybrid cars.

Instead, the Sonata is a mid-sized sedan that will take on the Toyota Camry hybrid and the Ford Fusion hybrid. However, it is priced much lower than those cars -- prices for the Sonata start at $25,795.

"The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the new kid on the block, but it's not a follower," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "Its full parallel hybrid configuration and breakthrough lithium polymer batteries offer a new take on traditional hybrid design, while its unique design sets it apart from the mid-size hybrid pack."

Hyundai's site said the Sonata will achieve 35mpg in the city and 40mpg on the highway. Most hybrids get better mileage in the city, but the Sonata's engine is different.

“Unlike traditional [power-split] hybrids that trade off highway fuel economy for higher city ratings, the Sonata Hybrid delivers best-in-class highway fuel economy, while still delivering about a 40 percent improvement in city fuel economy compared to a Sonata equipped with the Theta II GDI engine,” Krafcik told HybridCars.com. “We think this is a better balanced approach for the majority of car buyers.”

As far as the exterior, Hyundai chose to go with a more traditional sedan look, rather than the futuristic looks of such hybrids as the Prius and Honda Insight.

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