Is the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

With an all-electric range of up to 27 miles, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a great option for affordable fuel efficiency.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 6, 2022
If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid within your budget, the 2017
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
may be a great option for you.
Hyundai
committed to the electrification of its lineup years ago, and for some time, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) was its banner car living up to that promise. Like many of Hyundai’s PHEVs and electric vehicles (EVs) offered since 2017, the Sonata featured understated styling and above-average fuel economy at an affordable price.
If you’re thinking about picking up a used PHEV or you just want to know more about what this Sonata has to offer, read on.
Jerry
, the
super app
designed to save drivers money on
car insurance
, is here with a complete 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid review.

2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

The Hyundai Sonata first added a PHEV option in 2016, and it returned for 2017 largely unchanged.
A key selling point for the Sonata PHEV is its above-average all-electric range. Even as a relative newcomer to the scene, the 2017 Sonata PHEV outperforms competing plug-ins, like the
Ford Fusion Energi
.
For excellent fuel economy, a quiet and smooth ride, and seamless electric-to-engine transitions, look no further than the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid.

Pricing

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV’s original MSRP was $34,600. Only one trim other than the base was offered: the Limited. It was priced at $38,600
Today, buyers can find used 2017 Sonata PHEVs at prices ranging from $18,031 to $20,718, depending on which trim you choose and your location.

Performance and fuel economy

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV is a standout option for its above-average all-electric range, but even when the engine kicks in, it still rates very well for both miles per gallon and MPGe.
The Sonata PHEV’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with a 50-kilowatt electric motor and six-speed shiftable automatic or CVT. When fully charged—which takes approximately 3 hours at a 240-volt Level 2 station or 9 hours on a traditional 120-volt household current—the 2017 Sonata PHEV will take you up to 27 miles before waking the traditional gas engine.
Once the engine does fire up, you’re still looking at impressive fuel economy. The EPA estimates a combined fuel economy of 39 mpg for the Sonata PHEV, but when the pure-electric range is added, the Sonata’s fuel economy soars to an estimated 99 MPGe.
As is the case with many PHEVs, blazing acceleration isn’t really a selling point for the 2017 Sonata PHEV. That said, it can reach 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, which is less than thrilling but still impressive. The standard gas Sonata with a 245-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine only shaves half a second off the task.

Exterior styling

The new Hyundai Ioniq 7 and the Kona Electric aside, Hyundai has largely ignored the trend that has manufacturers styling their EVs and PHEVs like spacecraft.
The Sonata PHEV looks much like the standard gas Sonata, with the only difference being the addition of the charge port in the front fender. In fact, while the standard Sonata is available in five colors for 2017, the PHEV comes in four: Hyper White, Nocturne Black, Metropolis Gray, and Skyline Blue.

Interior and comfort

Like the exterior, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid’s interior is unassuming but comfortable. Most impressive is the exceptionally quiet cabin, especially when the vehicle is in all-electric mode. But even when the engine kicks in, you barely hear it. 
Otherwise, the Sonata PHEV’s interior features quality materials, though the storage cells do intrude on trunk space.
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Technology

We’re talking 2017 here, so Hyundai still had a ways to go with their now class-leading Smart Sense technology. That said, the 2017 Sonata PHEV isn’t without its technological merits. 
The base model treats drivers to features, such as:
  • A rearview camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alerts
  • Smartphone integration
Those who opt for the Limited trim add the following features to the package:
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Forward collision warnings
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Automatic high-beam headlight control

Warranty coverage

Hyundais are known for their outstanding vehicle warranties. The 2017 Sonata PHEV features both the standard powertrain and limited vehicle warranty and the PHEV battery warranty:
  • 10-year or 100,000-mile standard powertrain warranty
  • 5-year or 60,000-mile limited warranty
  • Lifetime battery warranty for the vehicle’s original owner

Trim levels and options

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is available in just two trim levels: base and Limited. Most drivers will be more than happy with the host of standard features included on the Base trim. 
In addition to the technology features already outlined, the base trim offers such perks as:
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • 7-speaker sound system
  • Heated mirrors
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
Upgrading to the Limited trim adds:
  • Xenon headlights
  • Leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Power front passenger seat
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Driver’s seat memory settings
  • 9-speaker sound system
No packages or options are offered on either trim. 

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a great used PHEV, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a solid choice. It’s no racecar and it doesn’t feature the futuristic styling often associated with EVs, but when it comes to fuel efficiency—which is the thing that matters most here—it’s in the top of its class.
Note that Hyundai removed the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid from its lineup in 2020 after a light refresh in 2018, so you can no longer buy the Sonata PHEV new.

2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV vs. 2017 Kia Optima

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV certainly isn’t alone in its field, so let’s see how it stacks up against another key player in the game: the
Kia Optima
You were probably expecting a comparison with the
2017 Prius Prime
, but when it comes to car type and size, the Optima is actually stiffer competition. In fact, it shares many mechanical components with the Hyundai Sonata, which is why many of its operating specs are identical. 
You’ll notice that both the Kia and the Hyundai earn EPA fuel economy ratings of 39 mpg and 99 MPGe, while the Optima is able to squeeze two more miles out of its battery for an electric-only range of 29 miles
All else being largely equal, the main question is how much are you willing to spend? The base Optima PHEV is only $100 less expensive than the Sonata PHEV’s top-tier Limited trim. If the goal of picking up a PHEV is to save money on fuel, why not save money on the car itself, as well, and go with the Hyundai?
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
$34,600
39 mpg
99 MPGe
27 miles
3 hours
Lifetime
2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid
$36,500
39 mpg
99 MPGe
29 miles
3 hours
Lifetime
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2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV vs. 2017 Ford Fusion PHEV

Another of the 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV’s major rivals is the 2017 Ford Fusion PHEV.
This is a close one—the Fusion’s 42 mpg gas-only operation edges out the Sonata’s 39 mpg rating, but the Sonata gets that back with an MPGe of 99—two miles more than the Fusion. Plus, the Sonata’s electric-only range is a full 5 miles longer than the Fusion’s 22 miles. 
The Fusion may charge a bit more quickly at a Level 2 station, but with a meager 8-year battery warranty, we call the Sonata the winner in this category as well.
Finally, it comes down to cost. The base Fusion Energi is a bit less expensive than the base Sonata, but it’s not nearly as well-equipped. To get features and options similar to what’s found in the Sonata’s base model, you’d need to opt for one of the Fusion’s two higher trims. 
Unless you’re truly dedicated to driving a
Ford
, we’d recommend the Hyundai here as well.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
$34,600
39 mpg
99 MPGe
27 miles
3 hours
Lifetime
2017 Ford Fusion Energi
$33,995
42 mpg
97 MPGe
22 miles
2.25 hours
8 years

How to save money on car insurance

One of the main things driving many of us to look at PHEVs these days is the opportunity to save money on fuel. If you’re looking to save money at the pump, why not take a minute to see how much you can save on
car insurance
as well?
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