Monday, January 16, 2012

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Lifetime warranty on batteries


Hyundai has just decided to offer a lifetime warranty on the batteries for the Sonata Hybrid.
Of course it's a good thing.
Especially for the used car market.
But...

It is rated at 35MPG city and 40MPG Hwy.
Not really great numbers when compared to the competition:
-Camry Hybrid: 43/39
-2013 FusionHybrid: 47/45 (expected)
-2013 Jetta Hybrid: 45 Combined (expected)
And there is an all new Altima Hybrid around the corner...

As for price, the Hyundai starts at $25 850.
While the new Camry Hybrid is $ 26 600.
Not much of a difference.

The battery warranty isn't the problem.
It seems that the Sonata Hybrid is already outdated compared to the competition.
Remember, this isn't the regular mid sized sedan market.
This is the Hybrid market, where one thing counts more than any other: MPG.
That's why people buy them.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

After seeing the Fusion over the weekend in Detroit, I believe that it is totally going to own the mid-size segment including hybrids. The car was best in show and looks like a $70,000 car. Ford has really nailed it this time.

wallabyguy said...

Vince,

I totally agree on the MPG point. In this segment, that's THE major concern.

Now that said, the lifetime warranty on the battery is a huge deal. This could save the owner $7k+ for just the first exchange. It will certainly help stabilize residuals which will also help sales. I'm just not sure it will be enough to counter the poor performance.

moore said...

Used car market? I thought "lifetime warranty" meant as long as the original owner had the car?

Anonymous said...

Considering the cost of replacing it, it will be another winner for Huyndai. They are really leading across the board.

Jenn of the GWN said...

I cannot understand why we are being flooded with hybrids that it appears very few consumers want. This is especially annoying when there are clean diesel options that are as fuel efficient and with a turbo also offers better performance. For example the Ford Fusion hybrid is listed at 47/45(est.)MPG while the current Ford Mondeo (European Fusion) diesel is listed at 45.9 MPG combined. Short of moving to Europe how the hell can we get the auto industry to start delivering the clean diesel option they ALREADY sell in Europe here in North America.

Dav said...

'Outdates'...Seriously?

The difference is simply NOT that great when it comes to real-world milage, not to mention that there's so much more choosing a vehicle than mere MPG numbers, and I (for one) would gladly take the Sonata or (especially) the Optima Hybrid over something as dreadfully mundane/boring as a Camry, Jetta, or Fusion (yes, even the 2013), not to mention the 10/100,000 warranty the Hyundai/Kia group offers.

john m said...

That's a great idea if the warranty is transferrable. People usually don't keep their cars longer than about 5 years. It would also be great if the batteries could be easily swapped out and refurbished.

Anonymous said...

The same thing is going to happen with the Sonata as happened with the BMW 7 series hybrid and the Malibu hybrid. They just attached a hybrid system to a car and figure that "some sucker will buy it." Personally, I can't stand the Camry Solara sedan style of the Sonata and can't understand why anyone would buy one. I certainly don't understand why anyone would pay more for a hybrid one. But the Sonata sells well, and I'm sure they'll sell many of the hybrid versions

Anonymous said...

Lifetime of the car or lifetime of the battery? Most cars today will last for 250,000 miles. Hybrid batteries start to lose charge between 60,000 & 120,000; which is a $5000 to $8000 expense to buy a new battery (installed). 45MPG on a new battery does NOT mean 45MPG on a 4-year old battery. So used Hybrids are usually a really bad deal for the buyer (unless the battery is BRAND NEW). Depending on the details, this warranty could be a really really big deal to the consumer who does the math. A 35MPG Hybrid with 10-year battery guarantee will cost thousands LESS (to operate) than a 55MPG Hybrid with the typical warranty; even if (the 35MPG one) sold for $6000 more when new. These things are very expensive to dispose of (envronmentally toxic) and at some point laws may change to make owners pick up more of that cost. Is THAT part of the battery warranty? I still think today's Hybrid is yesterday's Ethanol vehicle. Great in theory, and only financially possible with a ton of governmental discounts, subsidies, rebates, research grants, CAFE credits, and other market manipulations to create incentives for consumers to do what would otherwise make no sense to anybody. The "feel good" effect is more BS & shell games than reality at this point.

Anonymous said...

To be fair at the time this hybrid was released it was better than Camry '11 and fairly close to the Fusion combined rating.

But main complaint in most reviews was not mpg but the drive wasn't very smooth (Kia Optima same issue).

This is their first hybrid so I'm sure they will improve it in the next gen...

Anonymous said...

To Jenn, "I cannot understand why we are being flooded with hybrids that it appears very few consumers want."

When the US Federal Government starts manipulating markets (as is the case with Hybrids) all kinds of counter-intuitive things happen. Compare the huge increase in Hybrids to the huge increase in easily-available home mortgages. The government-backed Fannie May & Freddie-may created the housing bubble (which then busted) and in the same way over-regulation created a plethoria of Ethanol Plants and E85 cars. In the same way they have created a plethora of Hybrid Vehicles. In the end it will burst like Housing did and like E85 is about to. So there are 2 lessone: 1)Don't buy stock in a company heavily vested in Hybrids; and 2)Don't get caught owning a Hybrid 5 years from now!

Anonymous said...

its not just mpg, but the actual drain time capacity of the battery that's concerning to me. I'd surely trade of the "instanateous" mpg for "duration" mpg's (which are not accounted for by epa's current measures for hybirds.)

Driving School Birmingham said...

Beautiful car and that is a great idea if the warranty is transferrable.It would also be great if the batteries could be easily swapped out and refurbished.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Hyundai...here it goes, I have been holding back. Hyundai has improved their quality , they had to, they built very sub standard cars in the past. Their styling is a look that is "Trying too Hard". They look good for about 6-8 months then they get old quick. Hybrids are not the answer, there are cars out there now with combinations of Variable valve timing, Direct Injection, coated pistons, cvt transmissions etc, that are 1/2 to 3/4 the price of a hybrid . As well, they get 85-90% of a hybrids economy. Full electric is the onlt real alternative for city driving.

Anonymous said...

hybirds, the fed, ahhh, yes, memories of recent history fading fast. when was it, 1997, when the feds mandated tougher emissions standards? they cheered when they reduced emmisions by 10% (while failing to recognize the additional catylitic converter generally yielded a 12% reduction in fuel economy) - increase fuel consumption by 12% while producing 10% less emmisions = NO NET DIFFERENCE in emissions (just consume more fuel).

flc2006 said...

This will make the hybrid sonata my next car so what if ford gets 7 more mpg; give me the lifetime warranty instead.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty warranty for them to offer, seeing as the batteries in most hybrids have proven to be very reliable. Anyone know if there are any exclusions to this warranty?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone believe/quote EPA numbers? Its just a little stupid.

Anonymous said...

There is not a chance in hell that ANY manufacturer can meet Tier 2 bin 5 diesel emissions in the USA. The germans pay hefty fines on each diesel car they sell because they dont meet emissions. Actually the consumer pays the fine in higher car price.

Thats why.

hyundai dealers said...

For my part, I don't see any of my cars lasting a lifetime. But with proper care and some maintenance along the way, these cars will be serviceable for a long time.