Is the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2016 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid was Hyundai’s first PHEV, and it’s still a solid choice for comfort and economy today. Click here for more!
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 6, 2022
As Hyundai’s first PHEV model and an early challenger to the Toyota-dominated hybrid market, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid offered cutting-edge performance that still holds great value today. 
Buying used can be a smart way to save money on the purchase of a car, and buying a used hybrid means savings that extend long past the point of purchase! If you’re in the market for a used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), don’t overlook the 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV. 
Come along with insurance
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and licensed broker
Jerry
as we take a look at the specs of this car. We’ll cover cost, features, performance, and also how to get the best possible
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid car insurance
out there with no fuss. 
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2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

The 2016 Sonata PHEV was Hyundai’s first PHEV. As an early challenger to the dominance of Toyota in the arena, it made a splash on several fronts. 
The styling was fairly staid, but a host of high-end touches and a hybrid powertrain with impressive specs let everyone know that Hyundai was serious about this new territory. Although the high sticker price of the early PHEV models was a bit of a barrier for some, Hyundai made sure that the Sonata felt worth the extra expenditure.  

Pricing

When it was new, the 2016 Sonata PHEV had a base price of around $40,000. Today, a used one will run you between $16,697 and $19,942
Since it’s not a new model, you unfortunately won’t qualify for any federal incentives—but the money you’ll save at the gas pump and the helping hand you're giving to the environment still provide some pretty nice bonuses!

Performance and fuel economy

Let’s get into specs! The 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV has a two-liter inline-four engine combined with a single electric motor and a 68-kWh lithium-ion battery. Combined, they yield a total of 202 horsepower. 
The transmission is a six-speed automatic. There is a manual mode, but it was reported to be a bit sluggish and slowed down the shifting process. 
The Sonata PHEV has solid fuel economy in any mode, with an EPA-reported 99 MPGe for gas and electric and 40 mpg combined on gasoline alone. The Sonata PHEV has a range of 27 miles in all-electric mode, which at the time was pretty good. 
Charging can be done in less than nine hours with a standard Level 1 outlet or in around five hours using a Level 2 outlet. Either way, home charging can be easily done overnight, and if you have a Level 2 charger, so much the better. 

Exterior styling

One of the things that people either loved or hated about the first hybrids was that their exterior styling immediately identified them as such. With the 2016 Sonata, you won’t have that issue. Other than some exterior badges and the PHEV plug-in port, there isn’t much to distinguish the Sonata PHEV from its gasoline-only cousins. 
It’s a subtly aerodynamic, unassuming four-door sedan whose classic design means it will (and has) aged well. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Interior and comfort

The interior of the 2016 Sonata PHEV is roomy and comfortable, with enough space to accommodate adults in the back seat. The dashboard is aesthetically pleasing, with real knobs and buttons for climate and audio control. The Sonata’s interior material quality is quite good for its class. 
The larger battery needed for the PHEV model means that there’s less room for cargo—this model has 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space as opposed to the standard hybrid’s 13.3 cubic feet. However, it is better than some comparable models—for example, the 2016
Ford
Fusion Energi PHEV will only give you 8.2 cubic feet in the trunk. 

Technology

Technology moves fast, but for its time the 2016 Sonata PHEV offered some generous technological touches. Heated and ventilated front seats with driver’s side memory, a heated steering wheel, and a standard (and very user-friendly) 8-inch touchscreen are included in the list of available amenities. It’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible
Available safety tech features include:
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go function 
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Lane change assist
  • Forward collision warning
Other niceties include keyless entry, hands-free trunk access, and a premium Dimension audio system

Warranty coverage

A major bonus with any new Hyundai is the industry-leading warranty coverage. With a used 2016 model, you unfortunately won’t get all the perks of a new Hyundai PHEV warranty, which are:
  • Limited warranty: Five years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Powertrain warranty: Ten years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Battery warranty: Lifetime warranty for the original owner
But depending on the mileage and who you buy the car from, you might still be able to get some use out of the 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

Trim levels and options

There were just two trim levels available for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV: the base trim and the higher-level Limited trim
The base trim is far from basic and includes a host of features for safety and comfort. Heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and leatherette door trim are all included on the base trim. 
Models with the Limited trim have xenon headlights with automatic high beams, heated and ventilated front seats, perforated leather upholstery, and an upgraded Infinity sound system. Safety tech is upgraded here as well, with adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors among the list of additions. 

The bottom line

If you’re in the market for a used PHEV, then the 2016 Sonata is a solid choice. Is it fancy or flashy? No. But if you want a reliable eco-friendly used sedan that also offers a nice ride and plenty of comfort features, then you could do a lot worse. 

2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV vs. 2016 Ford Fusion Energi PHEV

How did the Sonata PHEV stack up when it came to similar models available at the time? We’re so glad you asked. 
Similar in size and make-up is the Ford Fusion Energi PHEV, which offers a faster Level 2 charging time but falls short on the electric-only range and fuel economy. Unless there’s a reason you have to have this particular
Ford
, the 2016 Sonata PHEV is a better choice.
Model
Price range
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
$16,697 to $19,942
40 mpg
99 MPGe
27 miles
5 hours
Lifetime (original owner)
2016 Ford Fusion Energi PHEV
$10,990 to $22,590
40 mpg
88 MPGe
20 miles
2.5 hours
N/A
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2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV vs. 2016 Chevrolet Volt PHEV

Another competitor for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid and early strong player in the field was the 2016
Chevrolet Volt
The specs on the Volt are superior to the Sonata, but that also comes with a higher price tag. Chevrolet had a few years’ head start in the PHEV arena when compared to Hyundai, so it makes sense that they’d have a bit of an edge. 
Although the 2016 Sonata PHEV is a fine car, it stands to mention that the 2016 Chevy Volt was selected as one of Edmunds’ best used cars.
Model
Price range
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
$16,697 to $19,942
40 mpg
99 MPGe
27 miles
5 hours
Lifetime (original owner)
2016 Chevrolet Volt PHEV
$17,990 to $25,990
42 mpg
102 MPGe
53 miles
4.5 hours
N/A

How to save money on car insurance

You’ve made a great money-saving choice by buying a used hybrid—now, keep the savings going by shopping for your car insurance with
Jerry
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As a licensed broker and
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The process is fast and easy—just download the top-rated app, enter a bit of information, and in a matter of seconds, you’ll have access to a selection of competitive quotes chosen just for you. Switching your coverage is easy and can be done entirely through the app, but if you have any questions, Jerry’s friendly licensed brokers are available to help with anything you need. 
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