2019 Chevrolet Bolt vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Bolt are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Bolt Premier has a standard Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Bolt and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Bolt. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Bolt’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Bolt third among small cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Bolt gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity (128 city/110 hwy vs. 99 city/100 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Bolt gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid running its gasoline engine (128 city/110 hwy MPGe vs. 37 city/42 hwy).

The Bolt’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 238 miles on a full charge. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can only travel about 29 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Chevrolet Bolt as a “Zero Emissions Vehicle” (ZEV). The Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is only certified to “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV) standards.

Tires and Wheels

The Bolt’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires.

The Bolt has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires standard on the Bolt can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Bolt may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

The Bolt is 2 feet, 3.1 inches shorter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, making the Bolt easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Bolt has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid (16.9 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Bolt’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

The Bolt’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

The Bolt has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Bolt’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Bolt has a standard rear wiper. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Both the Bolt and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The Bolt Premier also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Chevrolet Bolt as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Bolt first among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

The Bolt was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2017. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Bolt was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Bolt as the 2017 North American Car of the Year. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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