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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sonata Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sonata Hybrid Limited has standard Reverse Collision-Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Sonata Hybrid Limited has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the Sonata Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.
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, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 79 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Accord Hybrid is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.
The Sonata Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Accord Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Accord Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Sonata Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Accord Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).
Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sonata Hybrid for 3 years and 30,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Accord Hybrid.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 6 places higher in reliability than Honda.
On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Accord Hybrid CVT (50 city/54 hwy vs. 48 city/47 hwy).
The Sonata Hybrid’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Accord Hybrid are solid, not vented.
The Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Blue) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Accord Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata Hybrid is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Accord Hybrid.
For better maneuverability, the Sonata Hybrid’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Accord Hybrid’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).
The Sonata Hybrid has .5 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the Accord Hybrid.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sonata Hybrid’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Sonata Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The power windows standard on both the Sonata Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sonata Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Accord Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”
On extremely cold winter days, the Sonata Hybrid Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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