2020 BMW i3 vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The i3 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the i3 and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

© 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 2020/04/05

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s (12 vs. 7 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

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 2020/04/05

On the EPA test cycle the i3 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity:

MPGe

i3

Electric Motor

124 city/102 hwy

s Electric Motor

124 city/102 hwy

REx Electric Motor

107 city/93 hwy

s REx Electric Motor

107 city/93 hwy

Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

MPGe

Electric Motor

99 city/100 hwy

The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 126 miles, about four and a half times as far as the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s 28-mile range.

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/04/05

The i3s’ 195/50R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s (32.4 feet vs. 35.6 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s (33.8 feet vs. 35.6 feet).

Chassis

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The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 800 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

The i3s is 2 feet, 9 inches shorter than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The i3 has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid (15.1 vs. 9.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the i3’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

The i3’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

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The i3’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s parking brake has to released manually.

If the windows are left open on the i3 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 Plug-In Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The i3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the i3 has a standard rear wiper. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The i3’s standard rear and 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 Plug-In Hybrid has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/04/05

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW i3 and the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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