When it appeared in 2011 to counter rivals like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid generally didn't fare too well in head-to-head matchups. Complaints of a lack of refinement in the hybrid powertrain and braking feel were cited, and the Sonata routinely under-delivered on the fuel economy front. Hyundai seems to have been listening, as these are exactly the areas the company focused on for the 2013 Sonata Hybrid, and the result is a top-notch, fully competitive hybrid sedan ready to take on the competitors.
Changes start with the powertrain: The same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine remains, but it now makes slightly less power, 159 horsepower compared to the 2012 model's 166. This is made up for by a more powerful electric motor, rated at 35 kilowatts instead of the last model's 30. Net power thus drops from 206 in the 2012 model to 199 in the 2013, but this is the only trade-off for superior performance, fuel economy and cargo room. The 2013 Sonata Hybrid's lithium polymer battery has a higher capacity, but it's also lighter and better packaged, allowing the trunk's cargo room to grow from 10.7 to 12.1 cubic feet.