2019 Honda Accord vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Sonata’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Accord Touring has standard Parking Sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Sonata doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Accord’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sonata doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Accord’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Hyundai Sonata has a metal gas tank.

Both the Accord and the Sonata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 24 percent more Honda dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Accord’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 1 place higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Accord has more powerful engines than the Sonata:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Accord 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

192 HP

192 lbs.-ft.

Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

178 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

Sonata 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Sonata Limited 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Accord is faster than the Hyundai Sonata (automatics tested):

 

Accord 1.5

Accord 2.0

Sonata Eco

Sonata 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

5.7 sec

7.8 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

14.3 sec

16.1 sec

16.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Accord gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata:

 

 

Accord

Sonata

 

 

Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

26 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

22 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

28 city/37 hwy

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./Auto Eco

 

Sport/Touring 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

 

n/a

26 city/35 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto SE

 

 

n/a

25 city/33 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto SEL/Sport/Limited

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/34 hwy

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

The Accord has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sonata doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Accord higher (6 to 7 out of 10) than the Hyundai Sonata (5 to 7). This means the Accord produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Sonata every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Sonata.

The Accord has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Sonata doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Accord stops much shorter than the Sonata:

 

Accord

Sonata

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Accord has larger standard tires than the Sonata (225/50R17 vs. 205/65R16).

The Accord’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata SE/Eco’s standard 65 series tires. The Accord Sport/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Sonata 2.0T’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Accord has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sonata SE/Eco. The Accord Sport/Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Sonata 2.0T.

Suspension and Handling

The Accord offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Sonata’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sonata doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the Sonata Eco pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Accord Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Sonata Eco (26.4 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Accord EX 1.5T/EX-L 1.5T uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sonata doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Accord uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sonata doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Accord has .4 inches more front shoulder room and 4.8 inches more rear legroom than the Sonata.

Cargo Capacity

The Accord has a larger trunk than the Sonata (16.7 vs. 16.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Sonata’s liftover is 28.6 inches.

Towing

The Accord 2.0L Turbo offers up to a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Sonata has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Accord Sport 2.0T Auto/EX/EX-L/Touring 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 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Accord Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sonata doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Accord’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonata’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Sonata SEL/Sport/Limited’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Accord the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sonata can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Accord’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Sonata’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Accord Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

When the Accord Touring is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Sonata’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Accord and the Sonata offer available heated front seats. The Accord Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata.

The Accord has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Sonata SEL/Sport/Limited.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $565 less than the Sonata over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the Sonata because it costs $387 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the Sonata, including $190 less for a muffler and $288 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Accord will be $292 to $2028 less than for the Hyundai Sonata.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Consumer Reports performed a comparison test in its February 2018 issue and they ranked the Honda Accord EX higher than the Hyundai Sonata SEL.

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 22 of the last 24 years. The Sonata has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Sonata has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The Sonata has never been chosen.

The Honda Accord outsold the Hyundai Sonata by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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