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Hyundai vehicles rate high, except for hybrids

September 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Even in a weak economy, Hyundai cars have been big sellers and several get top ratings by Consumer Reports. However, that's not the case with Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid.

The gas-powered Hyundai Sonata has responsive handling and delivers a comfortable ride; it earned top scores in Consumer Reports' tests.

But the Sonata Hybrid is a different story- braking distances are considerably longer and it doesn't do as well in emergency handling.

"The hybrid's low-rolling-resistance tires help improve fuel economy, but they don't provide as much grip," said Rik Paul from Consumer Reports.

The hybrid does get better fuel economy- 33 mpg overall versus 27 mpg for the regular Sonata.

But the hybrid doesn't transition smoothly between gas and electric power.

"The Sonata Hybrid is a disappointment, but it's also an exception," said Paul. "Overall, we've seen real improvement with new Hyundais. They generally perform well and provide good value for the money."

The Hyundai Elantra is Consumer Reports' top-rated small car, with its nimble handling and comfortable ride.

And the Genesis is the top-rated upscale sedan. It provides most of the benefits of a luxury car for $10,000 less than its competitors.

There is another reason to consider buying one of the top-rated Hyundais- the company has one of the longest warranties of any carmaker.

It covers the repair or replacement of many parts for either 10 years or up to 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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