Until now, there have only been two hybrid architectures: Toyota/Ford
CVT, and Honda IMA. The Sonata provides a third option, fixed gear
ratio, single motor transmission. In three months, the Sonata hybrid
made significant market penetration against the Ford Fusion and Toyota
Consumer Reports doesn't like the first generation, Sonata hybrid but
that is just what we'd expect for any first generation car, hybrid or
not. I have no doubt the infantile problems will be identified and
corrected, probably retro-fitted to the existing cars. For example,
the newest 2010 Prius "braking pause" was just a software fix easily
handled in normal service calls.
My understanding is it has pretty good highway mileage and might be a
good option for 'road warriors.' My mom saw one at the dealer and
remarked about the automatic, solar shields, something Oklahoman's are
well aware of for cabin heat control.
No, I'm not interested in selling our Prius, 52 MPG is hard to walk
away from but some folks prefer sedans.
Hyundai uses a more advance battery technolgy Lithium-Polymer
which has a higher power density than Lithium-ion and NiMH batteries.
Hyundai's fixed gear ratio transmissions are better for towing than
the Prius' eCVT ,variable ratio transmission.
Hyundai is selling the hybridized the Sonata first because it
the bigger motor vehicle market ( a higher potential profit margin
market than its smaller Elantra/Accent models) but Hyundai hopes
to expand to other models in the future. Hyundai and Kia
share production/designs/components - so you might want to
drop by the Kia dealership as well to look at their hybrids as well.