2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid 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 Avalon Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sonata Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Avalon Hybrid 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Avalon Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sonata Hybrid.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Avalon Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Avalon Hybrid’s reliability 24 points higher than the Sonata Hybrid.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Avalon Hybrid second among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Sonata Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The Avalon Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 22 more horsepower (215 vs. 193) than the Sonata Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Avalon Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Hybrid:

MPG

Avalon Hybrid

XLE 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/43 hwy

Sonata Hybrid

SE 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

40 city/46 hwy

Limited 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

39 city/44 hwy

Transmission

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The Avalon 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Avalon Hybrid has larger standard tires than the Sonata Hybrid (215/55R17 vs. 205/65R16). The Avalon Hybrid XSE/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

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

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

The Avalon Hybrid 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 Sonata Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Avalon Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Sonata Hybrid (113 inches vs. 110.4 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Avalon 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 Avalon Hybrid XSE offers available 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 Avalon Hybrid has .5 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 4.8 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonata Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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The Avalon Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the Sonata Hybrid (16.1 vs. 13.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Avalon Hybrid’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Sonata Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

Ergonomics

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The Avalon Hybrid 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 Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Avalon Hybrid’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sonata Hybrid’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Avalon Hybrid’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 Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Avalon Hybrid 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Sonata Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Avalon Hybrid Limited has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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 Avalon Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Sonata Hybrid Limited. The Avalon Hybrid Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sonata Hybrid.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Avalon Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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