2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Delayed A Month, Misses Tax Credit

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The U.S. launch of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has slipped a month, just enough to preclude buyers from taking advantage of a $1,300 Federal tax credit that expires December 31.

According to Hyundai, the first cars will now reach dealers in January or perhaps later, rather than in early or mid December as it had originally hoped. Spokesman Miles Johnson confirmed the delay to High Gear Media editor Marty Padgett.

The 2011 Sonata Hybrid is expected to be one of the few hybrids that delivers higher gas mileage in highway use than in the city. Hyundai cites statistics showing more than half of U.S. driving time is spent at higher speeds.

Hyundai predicted in June that the hybrid Sonata would achieve U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings of 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

The eagerly awaited hybrid version of the popular 2011 Sonata was first unveiled at the New York Auto Show in March. It is unique among hybrids in having entirely different front styling than the conventional gasoline car on which it's based. That provides clear exterior identification for buyers who want to show off their green credentials.

To reassure any customers who might have qualms about buying a hybrid-electric vehicle from a manufacturer without a previous history in hybrids, Hyundai said last month it would warranty the car's battery pack for 10 years or 100,000 miles of use.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the first mass-market hybrid sold with a lithium-ion battery pack, which is more compact and holds more energy than the older nickel-metal-hydride chemistry used in hybrids from Toyota, Honda, Ford, and General Motors.

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Comments (7)
  1. This is a definite dislike. We have been strung along for nearly a year by being told the car would be out before the holidays. Makes one wonder how good of a car this really is when delivery slides a month. Is there a problem with the car that we do not know about? In a month or two or three, we might know. Very disliked. That just makes the car cost $1300 more.

  2. Not sure what to make of them highlighting the 40 MPG highway rather than the 36 MPG city. Are they embarrassed by the 36 MPG city? Compared to the Prius, it would seem pretty bad. On the other hand, it looks pretty good compare to most other cars on the market expect for the Fusion hybrid and the Insight hybrid.
    Personally, I say job well done Hyundai.

  3. Well this is too baad because my company needs the tax credit.

  4. I think missing the federal tax credit for early buyers is at least unfortunate, but with this delivery delay, they (Hyundai) might NOT even be the "first lithium battery hybrid" to hit the market, as deliveries of the Volt are imminent and could beat the Sonata Hybrid to customer garages.
    Despite what GM has often said in describing the Volt, it now appears that it IS a hybrid and not a pure EV, so...IF it gets to customers before the Sonata...
    Just an observation...

  5. How much longer until the people (me) get a real electric car? I was excited about the Chevy volt, but it turned out to be another hybrid compromise. If I was rich I would buy a car from Tesla Motors Inc. (TLSA). I might be able to afford couple of their stocks. Have you ever noticed how people who really care about something (environment) do something about it (like Tesla Motors Inc.). I was thinking about what I could do to help get an electric car on the road. I found this company called Electric Car Company, Inc. (ELCR)(www.limo land.com ). I thought this would help make a difference. I spent $200 dollars. Turns out that the company is floundering. Once again know one cares. There giving the stock away! If everyone spent $50.00 we could take this company over. The Electric Car Company, Inc. can convert city buses to electric. You would think my friends in the bay area would be all over this company! There such big talkers! Not one politician has thrown this company a bone! They could have given this company a city contract to convert the metro over to electric. Which would have been a good job maker. Just more big talkers!

  6. I was really disappointed by this news. All the hype, all the awards, yet no car. I've contact my local Hyundai dealers and some of them didn't even know there was a Sonata Hybrid coming out. *head desk* The $1,300 tax incentive made a difference for me. C'mon Hyundai get it together! At least, let us pre-purchase the car now to get the tax credit. Is that possible?

  7. Come on people. Would you rather have a car released without issues, or get one early and have to be inconvenienced with issues? What makes you think there won't be any incentives this year? The trend is green, and this battery technology is state-of-the-art and longer lasting than the current technology. I happen to be in the technology business, and if we were to release something early into the marketplace and it did not perform as expected, we would lose the trust of the customer - that doesn't help anyone. Besides, $1,300 may cost you $20/month on your payment - not chump change, but not the end of the world - I'd rather have it work. I bet Hyundai makes up for it somehow . . . they seem committed to customer care.

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