2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla 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.

The Corolla Hybrid’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 Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla Hybrid 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla 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 Corolla Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid first among compact cars in their 2018 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Hybrid (53 city/52 hwy vs. 40 city/46 hwy).

Transmission

The Corolla 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

The Corolla Hybrid offers an optional 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

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Sonata Hybrid’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.6 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

The Corolla Hybrid is 8.8 inches shorter than the Sonata Hybrid, making the Corolla Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

The Corolla 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 Corolla 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. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Sonata Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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