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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 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The ILX doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
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 ILX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Sonata Limited has a standard Around View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Sonata and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ILX last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.
The Sonata comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The ILX’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Acura covers the ILX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the ILX ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.
The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the ILX’s (7 vs. 5 years).
Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sonata for 3 years and 30,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ILX.
There are over 3 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sonata’s warranty.
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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 22 places higher in reliability than Acura.
The Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Sonata SE with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the ILX Auto (28 city/38 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Sonata SE’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 ILX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The ILX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Sonata has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Sonata SEL’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ILX:
The Sonata stops much shorter than the ILX:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ILX (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R18).
The Sonata has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the ILX (111.8 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ILX.
The Sonata’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (60% to 40%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Sonata more stable handling and braking.
The Sonata Limited handles at .89 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the ILX’s (35.9 feet vs. 36.8 feet).
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sonata a Large car, while the ILX is rated a Compact.
The Sonata has 15.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (104.4 vs. 89.3).
The Sonata has 2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, 4.3 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 2.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.
The Sonata has a much larger trunk than the ILX (16 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).
The Sonata’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
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 ILX 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 ILX 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’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The ILX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
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 ILX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Sonata’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The ILX has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The power windows standard on both the Sonata and the ILX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sonata is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ILX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Sonata’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 ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
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’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the ILX’s headlights are rated “Poor.”
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Sonata detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Sonata Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The ILX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Sonata’s optional (except SE/SEL Plus) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Both the Sonata and the ILX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sonata offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter.
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 ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Acura ILX by almost six to one during 2019.
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