Sonata Hybrid v. Prius--- Indecision!

Discussion in 'Hyundai Sonata Hybrid' started by jpear, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. jpear

    jpear New Member

    Just discovered this website and joined a few minutes ago. I'm trying to decide which hybrid to buy. Had my heart set on the new Prius but stopped at the Hyundai dealer to take a "look-see" and I discovered the Sonata Hyundai!!!! I was impressed with all the features, specs, comfortable ride, battery type& lifetime warranty, etc. I don't know id i should even bother looking at other brands---don't see how they could compare. The problem for me is the brand. Have been a happy Toyota owner for 40+ years and I lack the confidence to choose a company that doesn't have nearly the track record as Toyota. I keep my cars for at least 10 years so I would benefit from Hyundai battery warranty in this case.
    Can someone give me an estimated guess as to the average cost of replacing the battery on a Prius on down the road? What do they cost presently?
    Incidentally, I really like the body style of the HSH as compared to the Prius...night & day!
    Can anyone provide any additional info to boost my confidence in Hyundai?
    I'm ready to buy.
  2. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    The sonata is much better looking, and they are nice comfortable cars. A friend of mine has a non-hybrid Sonata and it is pretty comfortable. If I had to choose between the two I would choose the Sonata. Another nice one is the Ford Fusion hybrid though.
  3. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Chances are you will never have to change a Prius traction battery as they seldom give trouble. If it happens you would be looking at about $2500 installed. Prius is a proven reliable Hybrid and Sonata is new. I would not gamble when a Prius is on my list as I don't believe any other Hybrid comes close. HCH2 or HCH3 may be the closest. Sonata is however a smart looking car and people are buying them for this reason. Looks mean nothing to me! results do! H
  4. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    With Honda's hybrid battery problems, how can they be close?
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    The cars are not even close to being in the same class in terms of style and luxury. The Prius battery is warrantied for 10 years/150k miles in California, I believe you get the HOV lane sticker with the plug-in version.
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    You really need to test the HSH well before buying. Being an assist hybrid, mileage is heavily dependent on how you drive.

    I think part of the disappointment people are having with the HSH is that they bought it precisely because it felt more conventional and assumed that they could get good mileage driving it as if it were a conventional car.
  7. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    a lot Sonata Hybrid owners are not getting Prius mileages, if that is important to you
  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    What kind of driving do you do? If it's primarily highway, get the Sonata. That's it's strength. The Prius is hands down the best for stop-n-go city driving.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Colin:

    The Sonata is a full hybrid just like the Prius but its a different kind of full hybrid ;)

    Jpear, welcome to CleanMPG!

    Both are excellent choices. Follow PaleMelanesian (Andrew's) lead. The HSH is far more comfortable and far better equipped for similar $'s but it is not the city vehicle most would have hoped for. The Prius can eek out a few more mpg's on the highway and around town, it will eat up every vehicle other than a full electric.

    For an 80% or more highway commute, I would choose the HSH or KOH. For a 70/30 or less split, the Prius would get the nod.

  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    If your doing a lot of urban driving with lots stop and go traffic the Prius is your car. If your spending time on the road with normal traffic and thirty to forty mile runs then the Sonata is your car. The max time I can stay comfortable on highway drives in my Prius is about four to five hours. If your mainly driving the car around town then the Prius is for you. Mostly highway then go with the Sonata. Don't worry with the Prius battery there are first and second generations with 200K plus miles on the clock and the battery is still running strong.
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Oh yes, last I knew Prius battery pack MSRP is $2,589. You'll pay more for installation. But you can save a lot by sourcing a salvage battery.

    As herm notes there's a 10 year/150,000 mile warranty on the Prius battery in CA.

    At just $4/gallon (and I'm sure you're paying more than that) 150,000 miles is $3789 difference assuming 38mpg for the Sonata Hybrid (a high-end estimate based on Fuelly) and 50mpg for the Prius (conservative for Southern California).

    The Prius battery record is impressive so failing after 150,000 miles would be unlucky.

    If you're considering a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, you might also want to consider a Camry Hybrid or Prius v. They should be more comfortable than a Prius and should provide better mileage than a Sonata Hybrid, especially if you're regularly driving in stop-start in the city or on the highway.

    If your driving is mostly steady highway then you might even consider a regular Sonata. Depending on the amenities you want in the car it could work out much cheaper.
  12. milburnr

    milburnr Member

    I am now on my second Sonata hybrid. We bought a 2011 base model in September, and after working with the dealer, traded up to a 2012 ultimate model. We absolutely love this car. My fiancee and I both agree, we hate the look of the Prius, always have (it must be an aquired taste). The Sonata is a luxury car, it might not be a Lexus, BMW, or MB, but the ride and comfort, plus size for handling 3 kids, is every bit as nice in my opinion (well, saving $20k probably helps it feel better than it is). It is very comfortable on long trips as well.

    That said, we did seriously consider a Ford Fusion hybrid. It is similar, or maybe a little better, in comfort levels, and city mileage is a little better. What someone said about having to drive the HSH like a hybrid and paying attention or you won't get the mileage, is absolutely true. On the other hand, to me it has made driving more interesting. Trying to get better mileage by improving driving techniques is much safer than my previous driving skills I would work on in the sports cars I used to own ;-)

    I have heard that most hybrid owners are first time hybrid owners and they would not buy another. Our experience after having the HSH (2 of them) is that we may never buy a non-hybrid again. And we have nothing but good to say about the dealership as well.

    BTW our first tank on the 2012 HSH was 40.5mpg avg (calculated) for 560 miles.
  13. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    milburnr I have to agree with you I love my Prius every time I fill up at the pump. I'll probably never buy another car that isn't a hybrid.
  14. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    I bought the Prius strictly for size, cost and mpg. Over time, I have come to like its looks (yes probably an acquired taste) and even more its comfort. It's just extremely comfy to drive, not too small or too big, surprisingly large interior volume.

    It has certainly delivered mpg!! First full tank out of the box was 61.8mpg calculated, followed by a string of 65mpg tanks. Long (140 mile) highway trips have delivered outrageous mpg in the summer: 73mpg (after correction for 5% error in the mpg display).

    Winter mpg has been just under 60mpg, except for tanks when a leadfoot friend drove it at <50mpg!!

    The styling of the HSH and the KOH don't appeal to my eye, too much of the current Mercedes/BMW look. Not that the Prius is beautiful either, I just like it a bit better.

    My impression is that the HSH, the FFH, and the KOH are slightly larger and more luxurious than the base version of the Prius. But the Prius is exactly big enough to suit my needs and mpg is most important to me, so even if they were the same price or a bit cheaper I'd go for the base Prius - or perhaps the cheapest PHV Prius if I had a place to plug it in.
  15. jpear

    jpear New Member

    Thanks for all the feedback.
    I have decided to go with the Prius since 80% of my driving is city/5-8 mi trips. I live 45 mi. East of LA so i don't get a chance to do a wide open stretch much less ever use cruise control. (I will not test the HSH so I won't know how it drives!)
    I only use c.control when driving to Vegas a couple times a year. I prefer the open cabin look of the new Prius V---and it's little bigger cargo space, however; I don't feel the loss of several mpg's is a trade-off I'm willing to accept. Anyone think the the Prius lll or lV pkgs are worth the extra $$? At my age, I'm not into JBL's, upgraded sound systems and certainly don't need heated seats in winter. What I would use is a GPS system. Is the base model the very same under the hood? Perhaps i could get an aftermkt GPS installed in a base or II model.
    Thanks again for any input.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  16. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Good choice. H
  17. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Yes the different trim levels of the regular Prius are the same under the hood.

    If it would be large enough for your uses, you might consider a Prius c. It has a smaller gas engine (1.5 rather than 1.8), is cheaper, and I think has a better EPA city mpg rating than the regular Prius (though overall EPA for both is 50mpg).

    Yes I'd get an add-on GPS if you use them rather than pay $$$ for a higher trim level. I have the base model and am perfectly happy with it, particularly after adding Wet Okole seat covers, which I find more comfy than either cloth or leather.
  18. jpear

    jpear New Member

    will have to read about Wet Okole.....thx for your feedback. I will test drive the Prius C
  19. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I got the III because I wanted the better stereo and the Blue Tooth hands free cell phone option. I agree with you the IV and V were not worth the money to me for the extra toys. Just more expensive stuff to break as the car ages plus I like cloth seats much better than leather.

    One option I would suggest for the car since you live in southern California is check on a windshield shade. It will cut the effect of the sun on heating up the cabin when parked.
    $35 on Amazon.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  20. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Absolutely right, but they can be had for much less than $35.

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