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SAFETY 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking optional in the Sonata as “Superior.” The Camry scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Sonata and the Camry 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, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Toyota Camry:

 

Sonata

Camry

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

33%

Neck Stress

164 lbs.

462 lbs.

Neck Compression

49 lbs.

93 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

198/433 lbs.

479/545 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

197

240

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

33%

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

81 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

31/73 lbs.

428/419 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Toyota Camry:

 

Sonata

Camry

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

132

144

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

199 G’s

Hip Force

408 lbs.

543 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

15 inches

HIC

213

361

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

773 lbs.

975 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

WARRANTY 

The Sonata comes with a full 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Camry’s 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Camry. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Camry ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Camry’s (7 vs. 5 years).

RELIABILITY 

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sonata has a standard 608-amp battery. The Camry’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked fourth.

ENGINE 

The Sonata has more powerful engines than the Camry:

 

Torque

Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

195 lbs.-ft.

Sonata 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

178 lbs.-ft.

Sonata 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

260 lbs.-ft.

Camry 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

170 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE/XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

248 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Camry 4 cyl.:

 

Sonata

Camry

Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.4 MPH

88.4 MPH

FUEL ECONOMY AND RANGE 

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Eco gets better fuel mileage than the Camry (28 city/36 hwy vs. 24 city/33 hwy).

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

 

 

Sonata

Camry

 

 

2.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/36 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

22 city/31 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

The Sonata has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Camry (18.5 vs. 17 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

TRANSMISSION 

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Sonata Eco, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Camry.

The Sonata offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Camry doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

BRAKES AND STOPPING 

For better stopping power the Sonata’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Camry:

 

Sonata

Sonata 2.0T

Camry

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

11 inches

The Sonata stops much shorter than the Camry:

 

Sonata

Camry

 

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

TIRES AND WHEELS 

For better traction, the Sonata 2.0T’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Camry (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

SUSPENSION AND HANDLING 

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Camry (110.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Camry.

The Sonata Sport 2.0T handles at .84 G’s, while the Camry XSE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sonata Sport 2.0T executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Camry XLE (27.5 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Camry’s (35.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

PASSENGER SPACE 

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Sonata is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Camry is rated a Mid-size.

The Sonata has 3.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Camry (106.1 vs. 102.7).

The Sonata has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front hip room and 1.6 inches more rear hip room than the Camry.

CARGO CAPACITY 

The Sonata has a larger trunk than the Camry (16.3 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Sonata offers cargo security. The Camry’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata’s available trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Camry doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

ERGONOMICS 

When two different drivers share the Sonata Limited, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Camry doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Sonata Limited/Sport 2.0T’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Camry doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Sonata and the Camry have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sonata is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Camry prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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

Both the Sonata and the Camry offer available heated front seats. The Sonata also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Camry.

Optional air conditioned seats in the Sonata Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Camry doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Sonata Limited’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Camry doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES 

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonata is less expensive to operate than the Camry because typical repairs cost much less on the Sonata than the Camry, including $204 less for a starter, $141 less for fuel injection, $107 less for a fuel pump, $280 less for front struts, $1928 less for a timing belt/chain and $152 less for a power steering pump.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

The Hyundai Sonata has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Sonata

Camry

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE