The midsize sedan is equipped with solar panels on its roof that can provide up to two miles worth of electricity daily, but are also able to power the climate control and entertainment systems when the vehicle is parked.
It’s a standard feature on the top-of the-line Limited trim, which is rated at 47 mpg, but not offered on other trims. The most efficient is actually the Blue model, which is rated at 52 mpg — thanks to a lower weight different tires and wheels, and more aerodynamic bodywork — which matches the best-in-class Toyota Camry Hybrid LE.
The front-wheel-drive Sonata Hybrid is powered by a drivetrain that comprises a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that send 192 hp to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
A host of technology is available across the lineup, including automatic emergency brakes, adaptive cruise control, a lane-centering system and a 360-degree bird’s-eye view camera. One thing missing from the options list, however, is the Smart Park remote parking system, which is reserved for the conventional versions of the Sonata.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the last-generation Sonata Hybrid had starting prices ranging from around $26,000 to $32,000.
The Sonata isn’t the first car to feature a solar panel. The original Nissan Leaf had a small one that helped keep the 12v accessory battery charged, while the current Karma Revero plug-in hybrid’s has a similar output to the Sonata’s.