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Hyundai's Sonata PHEV cited as top 8 noteworthy eco cars

Hyundai Motor Co.'s Sonata plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) ranked fifth among the top eight "noteworthy" eco-friendly vehicles unveiled during this year's Detroit motor show, a U.S. eco car review website said Tuesday.

The website ( selected eight noteworthy eco-friendly cars unveiled during the motor show. The C350 PHEV of Mercedes-Benz, Acura NSX of Honda and Chevrolet Volt were among the vehicles.

"Hyundai can now take its place alongside Ford, Toyota, GM and others in the budding plug-in hybrid market with this one powered by a downsized 2.0-liter Nu GDI engine, 50-kw electric motor and six-speed transmission," the site said.

The site pointed out that the Sonata PHEV employs a 9.8-kwh lithium polymer battery to drive up to 22 miles on electric power, adding that it exceeds the non-plug-in Sonata's 193 total horsepower with 202 horsepower.

In particular, it said that the Sonata PHEV's transmission is the only regular automatic among competitors.

Hyundai Motor is to launch the domestic sale of the Sonata PHEV during the first half of this year with a plan to start overseas sales later. (Yonhap)