The Sonata earns a standout fuel-economy rating of 35 mpg highway for base versions--while the Hybrid outranks all other family sedans with a highway rating of 40 mpg.
The gas-only Sonata comes with a six-speed manual transmission, a rarity in this class. And that's what helps it earn such a strong fuel-economy figure in base trim. The EPA gives the entry-level Sonata a rating of 24/35 mpg, which falls only to 23/35 mpg when the six-speed automatic is specified.
Add on a turbocharger to the automatic-equipped car, and the resulting Sonata 2.0T gets a rating of 22/33 mpg.
The Sonata Hybrid hits the highest gas-mileage numbers of the lineup. Initially rated at 35/40 mpg, the sedan sports some of the best highway fuel-economy figure in the mid-size sedan class; the Ford Fusion Hybrid emphasizes city fuel economy more, in earning its 41/36 mpg rating.
The 2011-201 Sonata Hybrid is one of a set of vehicles found to have overstated fuel-economy numbers. Hyundai initially submitted figures of 35/40 mpg and 37 mpg combined to the EPA, which allows automakers to self-certify fuel economy. On a confirmation check of several vehicles, the EPA found the Sonata Hybrid's actual tested fuel economy to be 34/39 mpg or 36 mpg combined. Owners can register with Hyundai to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels; more details are found at HyundaiMPGInfo.com.