2020 Audi A4 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Sonata doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Sonata doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the A4 and Sonata have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Sonata’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Sonata doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Sonata doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A4 45 TFSI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sonata doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A4’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Sonata doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the A4 and the Sonata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The A4’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Sonata’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Reliability

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The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Sonata’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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 A4’s reliability 34 points higher than the Sonata.

Engine

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The A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 8 more horsepower (188 vs. 180) and 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 195) than the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder. The A4 40 TFSI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 181) than the Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 57 more horsepower (248 vs. 191) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 181) than the Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the A4 45 TFSI is faster than the Hyundai Sonata 4 cyl.:

A4

Sonata

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.1 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

Regardless of its engine, the A4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Hyundai only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Sonata SE.

Transmission

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The A4 offers a standard 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 Sonata doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A4’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Sonata doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonata:

A4

A4 Quattro

Sonata SE

Sonata SEL

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

12 inches

12.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.8 inches

11.8 inches

The A4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Sonata are solid, not vented.

The A4 stops much shorter than the Sonata:

A4

Sonata

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A4 has larger standard tires than the Sonata (225/50R17 vs. 205/65R16). The A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata (245/40R18 vs. 235/45R18).

The A4’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’s standard 65 series tires. The A4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A4 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sonata SE. The A4’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited.

Suspension and Handling

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The A4 offers an optional 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 A4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Sonata’s (60% to 40%). This gives the A4 more stable handling and braking.

The A4 Prestige Quattro handles at .90 G’s, while the Sonata Limited pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The A4 is 6.8 inches shorter than the Sonata, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A4 Prestige Quattro is quieter than the Sonata Limited:

A4

Sonata

Full-Throttle

70 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

69 dB

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A4 offers cargo security. The Sonata’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Towing

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The A4 has a 3968 lbs. towing capacity. The Sonata has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the A4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Sonata. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 39% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

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The A4’s front and rear power windows all 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. With the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the A4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Sonata doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Sonata doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Sonata doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the A4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Sonata doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The A4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited.

The A4’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sonata offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The A4 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited. The A4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata.

The A4 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/SEL Plus/Limited.

Both the A4 and the Sonata offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A4 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sonata doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi A4 and the Hyundai Sonata, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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