2020 Ford Fusion vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fusion 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 Fusion Titanium offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sonata doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion’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 Fusion’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 Fusion 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available 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 Ford Fusion is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:

Fusion

Sonata

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

234

245

Neck Compression

26 lbs.

49 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

232/354 lbs.

198/433 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 Ford Fusion is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:

Fusion

Sonata

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

132

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1 inches

Hip Force

338 lbs.

408 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

327

354

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

74 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

721 lbs.

773 lbs.

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

Warranty

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Sonata was rated third.

Engine

The Fusion has more powerful engines than the Sonata:

Torque

Fusion SE/SEL 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

185 lbs.-ft.

Fusion Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 lbs.-ft.

Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

195 lbs.-ft.

Sonata 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

178 lbs.-ft.

Sonata Limited 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Fusion Titanium 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Hyundai Sonata 4 cyl.:

Fusion

Sonata

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

85.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion SE/SEL FWD 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Limited 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Fusion ECOBoost FWD’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sonata doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Fusion 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.

Brakes and Stopping

The Fusion stops much shorter than the Sonata:

Fusion

Sonata

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Fusion has larger standard tires than the Sonata (215/60R16 vs. 205/65R16).

The Fusion S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata SE/Eco’s standard 65 series tires. The Fusion Titanium’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 Fusion Titanium has standard 19-inch wheels. The Sonata’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Fusion’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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Sonata (112.2 inches vs. 110.4 inches).

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sonata Eco (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Fusion 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.

Passenger Space

The Fusion has 2.7 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonata.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 24.4 inches, while the Sonata’s liftover is 28.6 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Sonata’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Towing

The Fusion has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Sonata has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Fusion SEL/Titanium 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 Fusion’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sonata’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Fusion’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/Sport/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Fusion the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Sonata can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Sonata doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The Sonata doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Fusion’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’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Fusion SEL/Titanium has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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 Fusion (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Sonata doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Fusion with a number “1” insurance rate while the Sonata is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Sonata because it costs $209 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Fusion than the Sonata, including $133 less for a water pump, $80 less for a muffler, $36 less for a starter, $79 less for a fuel pump, $41 less for front struts and $75 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Ford Fusion outsold the Hyundai Sonata by 65% during 2018.

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

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