2020 Toyota Corolla vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata

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 2020/06/06

The Corolla has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Sonata doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Compared to metal, the Corolla’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Hyundai Sonata has a metal gas tank.

Both the Corolla and the Sonata 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

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 “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonata has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 49 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Corolla’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 Corolla’s reliability 18 points higher than the Sonata.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla second among compact cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Sonata was rated third 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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 6th.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Corolla SE/XSE 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder is faster than the Hyundai Sonata 4 cyl.:

Corolla

Sonata

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/06/06

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

Corolla

Sonata

2.0 4 cyl./Manual

29 city/36 hwy

n/a

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/40 hwy

26 city/35 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/38 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

n/a

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/37 hwy

n/a

n/a

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

Transmission

© 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 2020/06/06

The Corolla 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 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Corolla stops much shorter than the Sonata:

Corolla

Sonata

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/06/06

The Corolla SE/XSE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata 2.0T’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Corolla XSE handles at .83 G’s, while the Sonata Eco pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Corolla SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sonata Eco (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

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

Chassis

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The Toyota Corolla may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata.

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

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla easier. The Corolla’s trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the Sonata’s liftover is 28.6 inches.

Ergonomics

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The Corolla (except L/LE/Manual) offers a 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 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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

If the windows are left open on the Corolla 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 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Hyundai Sonata isn’t available as a four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Corolla owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Corolla with a number “3” insurance rate while the Sonata is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Sonata because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla than the Sonata, including $30 less for a water pump, $244 less for a muffler, $5 less for front brake pads and $172 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/06/06

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

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Hyundai Sonata by over three to one during 2019.

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