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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Sonata are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
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 A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
To help make backing safer, the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Sonata and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and around view 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 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 A-Class has not been tested, yet.
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 A-Class’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the A-Class’ (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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the A-Class.
There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Mercedes 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 15 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.
The Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 3 more horsepower (191 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the A 220 FWD Auto (27 city/36 hwy vs. 24 city/35 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Sonata has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (15.9 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Hyundai Sonata, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A-Class.
For better stopping power the Sonata SEL’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A-Class:
For better traction, the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).
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 A-Class; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the A-Class don’t have a run-flat feature, either.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the A-Class (111.8 inches vs. 107.4 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A-Class.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sonata a Large car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.
The Sonata has 11.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (104.4 vs. 93).
The Sonata has 4.3 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.
The Sonata has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (16 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.
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 A-Class’ automatic parking system does not offer parking by remote control.
The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Mercedes A-Class by almost five to one during 2019.
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