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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sonata Limited has standard Reverse Collision-Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Jetta doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Sonata’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Jetta doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Sonata Limited has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Jetta only offers a rear monitor.
The Sonata’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 Jetta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Sonata and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 4 years and 28000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Jetta. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta ends after only 6 years or 72000 miles.
There are over 28 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sonata’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Sonata’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Jetta’s camshafts. If the Jetta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 6 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.
The Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 33 more horsepower (180 vs. 147) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 184) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (191 vs. 147) than the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
The Hyundai Sonata comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta.
For better stopping power the Sonata’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Jetta:
For better traction, the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (235/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).
The Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited has standard 18-inch wheels. The Jetta’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.
For superior ride and handling, the Hyundai Sonata has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Volkswagen Jetta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Jetta (111.8 inches vs. 105.7 inches).
For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Jetta’s (35.8 feet vs. 36.4 feet).
The Sonata has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 5 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.
The Sonata has a much larger trunk than the Jetta (16 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Jetta doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Sonata uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Jetta 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 Sonata Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Jetta doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
Both the Sonata and the Jetta offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sonata has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Jetta doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Hyundai Sonata (except SE) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Jetta doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Sonata Limited’s Remote Smart Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. Remote Smart Parking Assist will park and retrieve your car remotely: press a button and watch it park itself. This is ideal for tight locations. The Jetta doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by 16% during 2018.
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