2020 Nissan Altima 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 2020/04/05

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Altima 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 Altima and the Sonata Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 125 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonata Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

© 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 2020/04/05

There are over 29 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.

Engine

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The Altima’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 56 more horsepower (248 vs. 192) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 271) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Altima’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 Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Altima AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sonata Hybrid (16 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Altima FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sonata Hybrid (16.2 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Transmission

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The Altima 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Altima has larger standard tires than the Sonata Hybrid (215/60R16 vs. 205/65R16). The Altima SR/Platinum’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata Hybrid (235/40R19 vs. 215/55R17).

The Altima S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Hybrid Blue’s standard 65 series tires. The Altima SR/Platinum’s 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 Altima SR/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Sonata Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Altima 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 Altima SL/Platinum 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

© 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 2020/04/05

The Altima has .1 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom, .1 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Sonata Hybrid.

Ergonomics

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The Altima 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.

If the windows are left open on the Altima the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sonata Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 2020/04/05

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Sonata Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

The Nissan Altima outsold the Hyundai Sonata by over two to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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