2019 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Sonata and the A4 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Audi A4:

 

Sonata

A4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

26%

Neck Stress

164 lbs.

232 lbs.

Neck Compression

49 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

198/433 lbs.

431/395 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

197

236

Chest Compression

.4 inches

1 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

31/73 lbs.

324/341 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Audi A4:

 

Sonata

A4

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

132

172

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

219 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

12 inches

HIC

213

333

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The Sonata comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The A4’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sonata’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sonata has a standard 608-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Eco gets better fuel mileage than the A4 40 TFSI SMG (28 city/37 hwy vs. 27 city/34 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A4 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sonata has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Sonata higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi A4 (3 to 5). This means the Sonata produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sonata stops shorter than the A4:

 

Sonata

A4

 

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A4.

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the A4’s (35.6 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Sonata may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 200 pounds less than the Audi A4.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sonata a Large car, while the A4 is rated a Compact.

The Sonata has 14.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (106.1 vs. 92).

The Sonata has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

The Sonata has a much larger trunk than the A4 (16.3 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Sonata Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Consumer Reports rated the Sonata’s headlight performance “Good” to “Very Good” (depending on model and options), a higher rating than the A4’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Sonata’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the A4’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Sonata Limited’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sonata owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sonata will cost $1020 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonata is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $81 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sonata than the A4, including $395 less for a water pump, $23 less for a muffler, $64 less for front brake pads, $516 less for a starter, $119 less for fuel injection, $251 less for a fuel pump, $667 less for front struts and $11 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Sonata will be $12182 to $15806 less than for the Audi A4.

Recommendations

The Hyundai Sonata has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Sonata

A4

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

Top Pick

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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