21 Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid Review
Can’t put solar panels on your house? Well, how about your car? Better yet, just let Hyundai do it for you. You’ll find them on the roof of this weeks test drive, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited, a stylish, fuel-efficient midsize sedan that received a fantastic redesign for the 2020 model year. It’s my third time behind the wheel of the 8th-generation Sonata. This year is a carryover with no changes with the exception of the new for 2021 performance-minded N Line I recently reviewed.
The 2021 Sonata is less a sedan and more a sporty fastback thanks to its coupe-like sloping roof. My Limited model in Calypso Red sports 17-inch wheels, a wide, glossy black mesh grille and side rocker panels along with chrome trim and body tone and chrome door handles.
The Limited is equipped with LED matrix-type headlights. Graduated LED Daytime Running Lights are cleverly hidden in a chrome strip until turned on. In back, a continuous LED tail light bar stretches across the tail end and a spoiler topped with aero fins gives it a sporty look.
For me, a big story is whats on top. Two solar panels on the Limiteds roof turn the suns rays into energy. They produce 205W of electricity which Hyundai says increases mileage about 2 miles a day.- adding up to about 700 miles a year. The panels also help recharge the battery and prevent battery discharge when the car is off. But you do give up a sunroof for the feature.
The Sonata’s modern and tech-forward two-tone interior impresses but seems geared more towards a younger driver, as opposed to say the 2020 Toyota Camry XLE that my 75 something parents own. The cabin features a leatherette dash and leather-trimmed seats that are on the firmer, sportier side. The driver’s side is 8-way power with power lumbar, the passenger seat is 4-way power.
A leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel with paddle shifters houses easy to use controls for voice command, safety and infotainment features.
The center stack houses large dials for dual zone climate and switches for the heated/ventilated seats. A slim glossy black console houses your cup holders, push-button gear selector, as well as controls for your drive modes, auto brake hold, parking sensors and 360 camera.
Rear seat passengers have their own A/C vents, center armrest with cupholder and they even have manual sunshades. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split. My model has optional 169 carpeted floor mats.
The hands-free Smart trunk release opens to 16 cubic-feet of cargo space, plenty spacious for my pet supplies.
Technology shines in the Sonata. A fully digital driver gauge display animates and changes colors when you switch between drive modes. Blind Spot Monitor cameras will also display within the gauges, which is a really terrific feature.
A 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen is all-around impressive as its quite responsive when you swipe between screens. Voice Command is excellent, so too, is navigation/mapping.
The backup camera resolution is also a standout feature and that goes for its 360-degree camera view as well. The 10.25-inch setup includes a really superb 12-speaker Bose stereo system.
A feature called Sounds of Nature pipes in certain sounds in the cabin, ranging from beach waves, a rainy day and lively forest to a wintry day and even an outdoor cafe.
Connectivity tech includes dual USB ports and wireless charging. You can start the engine remotely using the key fob.
The Sonata hybrid no longer offers the most horsepower in the Sonata lineup. That honor now goes to the sporty new 290-horsepower N Line model. The Limited hybrid delivers 192-horses that feels like more, thanks to the hybrid system electric motor paired to a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. A six-speed transmission comes with paddle shifters and offers four drive modes: Custom, Eco, Smart and my favorite, Sport mode, which sharpens responses.
Ride and Drive
The Sonata is one of the more engaging rides in its class with a sportier ride and drive. Im most impressed with the hybrid models off-the-line acceleration, especially in Sport mode using the paddle shifters. Its suspension is on the overall stiffer side, but I have to say it handled potholes quite smoothly. Steering is responsive but not super tight and the Sonata is certainly easy to drive and maneuver. As I noted in my 2020 review, the cabin was a bit noisy during highway driving.
The Sonata comes with great standard safety tech that includes Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, Forward Collision-Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection, Parking Collision Avoidance. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, Driver Attention Warning, and Smart Cruise Control with stop and go. I also love the automatic shut off feature.
The Limited is also equipped with semi-autonomous Highway Driver Assist, Blind Spot View Monitor, a Color Head-Up Display and rear parking sensors.
The Sonata Hybrid Limited is a modern, tech forward sedan geared towards a younger midsize sedan buyer with a FOCUS on sportiness and technology, including a solar roof. It’s well-equipped for its 36,464 price point. I’d love to see Hyundai add optional all-wheel drive to the lineup.
- What I liked most: Impressive off-the-line acceleration. Bose sound system. Technology.
- What I would change: Offer it with AWD. Reduce highway cabin noise.
- MSRP: Base price, 35,300. as equipped 36,464.
- Fuel Economy: 45 city/51 highway/47 combined.
- Official Color: Calypso Red.
- FWD/AWD: Front-wheel drive.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,959 miles.
- Weight: 3,505 3,530 lbs.
- Spare Tire: Temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height:192.9 long/73.2 wide w/o mirrors/56.9 high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gallons.
- Towing Capacity: N/A
- 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid: A technology standout in its class with impressive acceleration.
- Final Assembly Location: Asan, Korea.
- Warranty: 5 year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty; 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain; 10-year/100,000-mile hybrid powertrain; 7-year/unlimited miles anti-perforation; 5 year/unlimited miles 24-hour roadside assistance.
- Manufacturers website:Hyundai
Complete review of Hyundai solar panels in 2023
Hyundai Energy Solutions is a solar panel manufacturer based in South Korea. The renewable energy branch started in 2004 and has since been spun off into its own company. Since its inception, Hyundai has become a global supplier of solar panels, selling in Europe, the United States, Australia, and throughout Asia.
Hyundai tests its products in UL and VDE-accredited labs, and they build their solar panels to be salt mist corrosion-resistant, durable, and high-performing.
Although Hyundai’s solar panels aren’t as popular as some other brands, the quality of its panels and the company’s strong corporate support landed them the #9 spot on SolarReviews’ 2023 Top Solar Panel Manufacturers list. Let’s take a closer look at what Hyundai offers and why they made it into our top 10.
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- Hyundai Energy Solutions offers two lines of residential solar panels: the XG Series and the YH Series.
- Hyundai solar panels could cost you between 13,300 to 19,600 after the federal solar tax credit, depending on the model and installer you use. This is right around the average cost of solar panels.
- The XG Series is best suited for residential rooftop installations and ranges from 350 W to 375 W.
- The YH Series panels are bifacial, making them better for residential or small commercial ground-mounted systems.
- Hyundai solar panels come with a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.
What types of solar panel models does Hyundai offer?
Hyundai manufactures both commercial and residential solar panels. It currently offers two lines of solar panels: the XG Series and the YH Series.
Hyundai XG Series
The XG Series is made up of high-quality panels that use half-cut monocrystalline solar cells and multi-busbar technology. That’s a lot of solar jargon that basically means Hyundai is using some of the industry’s best techniques to make higher-efficiency panels.
Hyundai’s XG series is between 19.2% and 20.6% efficient, which falls in line with other popular brands on the market. Power ratings for the XG Series range from 350 watts (W) to 375 W.
Hyundai YH Series
The YH Series is similar to the XG Series with one major difference. they’re bifacial. Bifacial solar panels are able to collect sunlight from both the front and the back of the panel. This isn’t super useful for most residential rooftop solar panel installations, as the backs of the panels won’t be able to pick up extra sunlight. But, if you’re considering a ground-mounted solution for your home, these could be a great pick.
Because the YH Series is bifacial, they have slightly higher output ratings, from 385 W to 410 W. The efficiency for the YH Series is just about the same as the XG Series, with the lowest being 19.3% and the highest being 20.5%.
How much do Hyundai solar panels cost?
An average 8-kilowatt (kW) Hyundai solar panels system can cost anywhere from 19,000 to 28,000, depending on your chosen model and installer. When you consider the federal solar tax credit, the price is closer to the 13,300 to 19,600 range. Hyundai’s pricing typically falls in line with the average cost of solar panels, which sits around 16,800 for an 8 kW system after the tax credit.
You may also see the solar panel cost written out in “dollars per watt”. This makes it easy to compare the cost of solar panels without having to worry about the size of the solar system. For Hyundai solar panels, the cost per watt is between 2.48 to 3.50 per watt. The average for solar panels in the U.S. is about 3.00 per watt.
Hyundai solar panel performance
The best way to determine if one solar panel brand is better than another is to compare metrics like its power rating, efficiency, and temperature coefficient.
Power rating and efficiency
The power rating of a solar panel is pretty straightforward. it tells you how many watts of power a solar panel will produce under specific lab conditions. The higher the wattage, the more power the panel will produce. The XG Series starts at 350 W and goes up to 375 W. Many of Hyundai’s competitors are offering panels closer to the 400 W mark. This doesn’t mean Hyundai’s panels are bad, it just means you may need one or two more of them on your roof to generate all the power you need.
Solar panel efficiency represents the percentage of sunlight that hits the solar panels that is turned into usable electricity. Most solar panels today have efficiency ratings of at least 17%, with an average of around 19%. Hyundai’s residential solar panels have efficiency ratings between 19.2% and 20.6%, which is right around average.
The temperature coefficient measures how much the panels’ power output decreases with each increasing degree in temperature. That’s right – solar panels actually produce less energy the hotter they get.
Most solar panels have a temperature coefficient between.0.3% and.0.5% per degree Celcius. This drop in panel performance is minimal, but a good temperature coefficient indicates quality manufacturing. Hyundai solar panels have a temperature coefficient of.0.347% which puts them right in the middle of the typical range.
What is Hyundai’s solar panel warranty?
Hyundai panels are covered by a 25-year product warranty that covers materials and workmanship. Most solar panel companies offer either a 10 or 12-year product warranty, putting Hyundai ahead of its competition.
Hyundai’s performance warranty also has a 25-year term. After year one, the panels’ performance under Standard Test Conditions will not drop more than 2%. From years two to 25, the annual degradation rate will not exceed 0.54%. This is pretty standard for most solar panels, except the degradation rate is a little higher than most, which means Hyundai’s panels technically will degrade faster than some others on the market.
The best part about Hyundai panels is that they are backed by a huge corporate group. This means you can trust that they’ll be around to honor your warranty should anything go wrong. The peace of mind this provides greatly outweighs the slightly higher-than-average degradation rate.
Are Hyundai panels right for you?
Hyundai solar panels are a solid choice for residential solar energy systems. The cost for Hyundai solar panels depends on which model you buy, local rebates or incentives, and the cost of installations in your area.
Although Hyundai solar panels are competitive in terms of their efficiency and temperature coefficient, they have a solid warranty. Plus, being part of the Hyundai family means the company will be around for years to come to honor that warranty, should anything happen.
Your solar installer can help you decide if they make the most sense for your home based on cost, energy needs, location, roof pitch, and more.
A new model of the Sonata is equipped with solar panels to help charge its battery.
South Korean automaker Hyundai has released a solar panel car version of its Sonata hybrid. The vehicle, which has solar panels on its roof, can supposedly generate enough energy from the sun to provide the battery with up to 60% of its power.
The solar panels provide enough power to propel the Sonata for 1,300 km a year.
specifically, Hyundai said that the panels on its solar panel car could charge between 30% and 60% of the battery. To generate up to 60% power, the company says that the solar roof would need to be used for six hours a day.
Additionally, the panels can provide sufficient power to propel the vehicle for 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) a year.
“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider,” said, Heui Won Yang, senior vice president of Hyundai, Sky News reports.
“The technology allows our customers to actively tackle the emissions issue”.
The Hyundai solar panel car will soon be available in the US.
Currently, this new eco-friendlier model of the Sonata is on sale now in Korea and will soon be coming to the US.
Beyond this Sonata model that comes equipped with the solar panels, Hyundai reportedly has plans to roll out the solar roof technology to other vehicles across its range in the years to come. Essentially, the panels will be offered as an optional extra.
Hyundai isn’t the only automaker to use solar energy to help provide green power to its vehicles. Last month, Hydrogen Fuel News reported that Japanese car maker Toyota intends to launch a drivable solar-powered electric vehicle. Called the Prius PVH, public road trials were slated to commence at the end of July.
Hyundai’s solar panel car, on the other hand is a hybrid and is not an emission-free vehicle. As such, the panels are there to only play a supporting role in powering the car. That being said, the company hopes that one day they will be able to produce vehicles that are free of fossil fuels.
Hyundai unveils solar roof charging system
South Korean auto giant Hyundai has launched the New Sonata Hybrid, complete with a solar panel roof charging system. The company said the technology would be introduced to other vehicles over the next few years.
The solar roof is intended to give support to the car’s electric power source, to lower carbon dioxide emissions, and boost fuel efficiency, Hyundai said. The silicon solar panels are attached to the vehicle’s roof and charge whilst on the move.
The panels are able to charge from 30% to 60% of the car’s battery per day with six hours of charging daily. Hyundai says that this amounts to an increase of 1,300 km (800 miles) every year in a driver’s travel distance.
“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider. The technology allows our customers to actively tackle emissions issue” said, Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group. “We are striving to further expand the application of the technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engine.”
Composed of a solar panel and a controller, the system works whens solar energy activates the panels’ surface. This then converts energy by using photons of sunlight, thus creating electron-hole pairs in silicon cells that ultimately generate electricity.
The energy generated from the process is then converted to standard voltage and stored in the vehicle’s battery. Hyundai says it was taking both efficiency and design into account during the developmental phase of the solar charging system.
The vehicle is only being sold in South Korea, with plans to eventually release it onto the North American market. While there are no plans to release the New Sonata Hybrid in Europe, the technology is set to be rolled out to other vehicles in Hyundai’s range.
This is not the first time solar panels have been attached to a vehicle, and it is not necessarily restricted to land transport.
In August 2018, Airbus completed an unmanned maiden flight using a solar-powered aircraft. The journey took 25 days, 23 hours and 57 minutes.
In 2016, Solar Impulse 2, a manned aircraft powered by the sun’s energy, circumnavigated the globe without using fuel in a 17 leg trip.
Gebrüder Weiss now generates solar power in Switzerland
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Enlight acquires 525 MW of solar and wind projects in Croatia
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Hyundai with solar roof
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Energy system structure
Hyundai releases car with solar panel roof
Hyundai has released a version of its Sonata hybrid that has solar panels to help charge its battery
The Korean carmaker said up to 60% of the power for the car’s battery could be supplied if the solar roof was used for six hours a day. The panels would provide enough power to propel the Sonata for 1,300km (800miles) a year Hyundai said it planned to offer the roof as an optional extra on other models in its range. It added that the mid-sized passenger car had an improved engine control system to ensure energy use was as efficient as possible.
Writing on the Digital Trends news site Stephen Edelstein said: Hybrids like the Sonata have smaller battery packs than all-electric cars, so a solar roof can make a bigger difference in charging. Hyundai is working on a second-generation solar roof that would be semi-transparent to help light the car’s cabin. Hyundai is not the first car manufacturer to use solar panels on a vehicle. The sun-powered charging systems are available as an option on the Toyota Prius, and the luxury Karma Revero is also available with one. In addition, Dutch start-up Lightyear is working on an electric car that uses solar panels on its bonnet and roof to help charge the vehicle’s batteries.
The car is going to be on sale in 2021.