2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the MKZ and the Sonata 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available front parking sensors.

Reliability

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The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the MKZ’s reliability 29 points higher than the Sonata Hybrid.

Engine

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The MKZ’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 53 more horsepower (245 vs. 192) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 271) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The MKZ’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 produces 158 more horsepower (350 vs. 192) and 129 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 271) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The MKZ’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 produces 208 more horsepower (400 vs. 192) and 129 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 271) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The MKZ AWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sonata Hybrid (18 vs. 13.2 gallons).

The MKZ 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the MKZ 2.0T/3.0T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonata Hybrid:

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Sonata Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the Sonata Hybrid (245/45R18 vs. 205/65R16). The MKZ’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata Hybrid (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Hybrid Blue’s standard 65 series tires. The MKZ’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sonata Hybrid Blue. The MKZ’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited.

Suspension and Handling

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The MKZ has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Sonata Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MKZ’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis

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The front grille of the MKZ Hybrid 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKZ uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The MKZ has .5 inches more front hip room and 2.2 inches more rear legroom than the Sonata Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The MKZ has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Sonata Hybrid has no towing capacity.

The MKZ 3.0 Turbo/Hybrid (except 2.0 Turbo) can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the MKZ can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Sonata Hybrid can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 47% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MKZ’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 Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the MKZ 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 Hybrid 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 MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Sonata Hybrid 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 MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Sonata Hybrid 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 MKZ’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 Hybrid’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the MKZ has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the MKZ Reserve to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The MKZ’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited.

The MKZ’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sonata Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The MKZ has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Sonata Hybrid SEL/Limited. The MKZ Reserve also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata Hybrid.

The MKZ Reserve offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Sonata Hybrid.

Both the MKZ and the Sonata Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the MKZ has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The MKZ 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKZ Reserve’s Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lincoln MKZ and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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