2019 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Sonata and the MKZ 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 Lincoln MKZ:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

164 lbs.

200 lbs.




5 Stars

3 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

145 lbs.

197 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

16 inches




Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

46 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 MKZ was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.


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 MKZ’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lincoln covers the MKZ. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the MKZ ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the MKZ’s (7 vs. 5 years).


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sonata has a standard 608-amp battery. The MKZ’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sonata’s reliability 47 points higher than the MKZ.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 10 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.


As tested in Motor Trend the Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid:




Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.4 MPH

84.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Limited 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ FWD turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/32 hwy vs. 20 city/31 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sonata has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


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 six-speed automatic is available for the MKZ.

The Sonata offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The MKZ doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sonata’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:




MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

The Sonata stops shorter than the MKZ:





70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Sonata has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The MKZ’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the MKZ.

The Sonata handles at .84 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (35.6 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Hyundai Sonata may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sonata a Large car, while the MKZ is rated a Mid-size.

The Sonata has 9.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (106.1 vs. 96.6).

The Sonata has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Sonata has a larger trunk than the MKZ (16.3 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Sonata easier. The Sonata’s trunk lift-over height is 28.6 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Sonata offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata SEL/Sport/Limited’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MKZ doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


The Sonata has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

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 MKZ’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sonata owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sonata will cost $965 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

The Sonata will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sonata will retain 43.16% to 47.95% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonata is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the Sonata than the MKZ, including $33 less for a water pump, $409 less for a muffler, $37 less for front brake pads, $136 less for fuel injection, $137 less for a fuel pump, $146 less for front struts, $468 less for a timing belt/chain and $602 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Sonata will be $10601 to $16501 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.


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




Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Lincoln MKZ by over five to one during 2018.

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

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