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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Sonata



  • tomsr1tomsr1 Posts: 130
    Salesmen and politicians have a lot in common.The silver tongued devils both will steal from widows and orphans.
    At least a salesman is not feeding from the public trough. :P
  • Savagekei05 wrote this about Hyundais: "Yes, they have the best warranty because they know their cars cannot last long. "

    Just wanted to add my two cents about about warranties and Total Cost to Own (TCO) because several people on this thread have it wrong/incomplete or just have a different opinion from me. I have owned two Honda products and now own a Sonata so I don't think I'm being biased.

    As to warranties, I really don't think that manufacturers offer a longer warranty if their products are inferior to others. A warranty is just one of the ways manufacturers use to entice buyers. It acts as both a feature and as an assurance. As any feature, it costs the manufacturer money, just like low interest financing, lots of standard features, free service... So the shorter it is, the less it costs the manufacturer. The longer it is, the less money the manufacturer has available to put into other features or to take as profit. As an assurance, the duration that a manufacturer offers is much more based on customer perceived quality than actual quality. JD Power, Consumer Reports and the like reflect quality scores closer to actual current quality. Customer perception may be based on actual and previous perceived quality from years ago, like with American cars and Hyundai vehicles. Both are much better than they used to be. It's kind of good for Hyundai owners that now actual quality is quite good while public perception may be lagging. So we get a longer warranty on a vehicle that's less likely to need warranty work. It's a nice safety net. My Hyundai hasn't needed any warranty work. Only one of my Hondas was purchased new and that didn't need any warranty work, either.

    As to TCO, Edmunds gives it for 5 years of ownership. This time period probably indicates that Hondas cost less to own than comparable Hyundais and may be on par with Hyundais if we take into account the actual price we paid after negotiations and rebates, if any.

    If we own our vehicle a long time then the depreciation factor may swing in Hyundai's favor. After 10 years the $22,000 Honda may be worth $2,500 and the $18,000 Hyundai may be worth $1000. Yes, the Honda is worth more than double. However, the Honda lost $19,500 of value while the Hyundai lost only $17,000. So if you want to look at cost of ownership, it's important to think about how long you plan to own your vehicle. I plan to own mine a long time. And my V6 cost me less than a comparable 4 cylinder Accord. Of course, gas for the V6 will cost more than for the 4. But I could have gotten a 4 cylinder Sonata if I wanted to make a fair comparison.

    In the end, when discussing the merits and shortcomings of vehicles, there's no reason to bash one car maker when comparing to another. Each company makes vehicles that appeal to different people. And that's good. The more competition, the more choice for all of us and the lower prices for all of us no matter which car we choose!
  • drdonrsdrdonrs Posts: 164
    My son owns an 04 Accord V6 EX and let me tell you my 06 Sonata LX6 and Azera Limited has it all over that car. His car was delivered with loose engine mounts, his brake pads failed in less then 10,000 miles and the rotors were out of round. A known fact that Honda uses CHEAP brake pads. Now he has all 4 shocks completely non functional and Honda is replacing them under warranty. I'll match my Hyundai's to any car in their class. If you are still around you would know that Hyundai quality is on a par with any manufacturer and in many instances it's better. I came out of Accura TL's (leased 6 over recent years) and I don't, for one minute, regret switching to Hyundai, my Sonata is 1 year old and my Azera is 5 months old, and my wife and I are enjoying them both. :) :P
  • jack47jack47 Posts: 312
    Savagekei05 wrote this about Hyundais: "Yes, they have the best warranty because they know their cars cannot last long. "

    Another classic oxymoron.
  • joecarnutjoecarnut Posts: 215
    Well said.
    I have a friend that works for Hyundai and is in a great position to know of their quality.
    And from what I've learned from him, a Hyundai Sonata is definitely on my short list now for a new car along with the Civic Sedan, Camry, and Rav4.

    I also appreciate that Hyundai's feel bigger inside and always seem to have great leg room. And now they are including XM radio on most trims.
    And the standard safety feature is a plus.
  • gpkgpk Posts: 38
    I own a 06' Civic EX and I think that this car is wonderful. But at the same time I have heard good things about Hyundai as well. I like the Sonata because it offers a lot of value. I do wonder how everybody claims really low prices for the Sonata. I see them all list for 21000+. My only concern is resale.
    As far as arrogance at Honda dealers well that goes without saying. I think that out of the 10 dealerships that I have been to I think maybe only 1 has been all right. My next car I plan on cross shopping. I have been a Honda fan for a long time but the arrogance is really getting on my nerves.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    While they may list for $21K (plus or minus) depending on model options etc. they usually have rebates of a grand or so plus you can negotiate a bit. Try that with a Honda dealer especially on a Fit or Civic when gas is creeping upwards. You absolutely can buy a Sonata GLS with more everything (except fuel economy perhaps)for less than an EX auto sedan Civic if you check around. Resale on Hyundai products is going up as the good news spreads and people have positive experiences with them. It took Honda and Toyota for that matter quite a while to establish the perceived quality image they rightly or wrongly have right now. We have been a Hyundai "family" owning 4 (2000 Elantra,2003 Elantra, 2002 and 2003 Santa Fe) until I bought the 2006 Civic we now own. I was totally happy with Hyundai and now am less than happy with Honda. Do not be afraid to look at Hyundai they are not junk.
  • flc2006flc2006 Posts: 81
    In my opinion the Sonata is better buy than those Japanese compacts because the top of the line models cost as much as mid level sonata, if resale is your thing go with Honda, but if value is your thing go with the sonata with the V6, i was going to buy a Scion TC spec package even the sonata was 4k more than scion but it had a V6, front and rear Airbags,Electronic stability control with traction control, the sonata has my name written all over it, i'm glad did not settle for less
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    Seems to me that a comparision of the Civic with the Elantra would be more fair. I have owned both Hyundai's and Honda's and haven't had problems with either. But you do pay a premium for the Hondas and unless you trade in every year or so, you don't get it back.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    It might be more fair to the Civic to compare the Elantra to it, but since (as noted earlier) the Sonata can be had for about the same money or actually much less than a comparable Civic (e.g. advertised price in my town last weekend for a Sonata GLS was $13,998), buyers may compare the Civic and Sonata if they are looking for "most car for the dollar." Those looking for a small car with high fuel economy won't shop the Sonata of course.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i still don't mind hyundai's,but having them being sold for so cheap isn't reasurring. :surprise:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Honda Accords can be had for less than a Civic LX too, but I don't lose any sleep over it. Nor do I lose sleep over the inflated pricing of Civics.

    Prices of Hyundais have come UP overall in the past couple of years. Who would have paid over $30k for a Hyundai 2-3 years ago? They do now (Azera, Veracruz). Good luck finding a fully loaded Elantra with leather, alloys, AT, moonroof, ABS etc. for $13k as I did a little over 3 years ago. Incentives have dropped on the Sonata also compared to last year.
  • lengallilengalli Posts: 3
    I AM a Honda dealer. I will not say one bad thing about the crooked H cars, as I find them quite enjoyable. However, some facts. One, the Civic competes with the Elantra, NOT the Sonata. LX vs same type Elantra and the REAL prices are $2000 apart when factoring in rebates etc etc etc. Still, the Honda is a better VALUE. For $2000 more, you get more reliability, more safety, and more economy (CHECK CONSUMER REPORTS IF YOU DONT BELIEVE ME). You get an ACE frame/sub-frame in the Honda, not avail in the other H. DRIVE them both, you will find the HONDA drives better, and FEELS better, and LOOKS better, (DRIVE THEM before thinking otherwise). Trade in. EVERY dealer is paying TOP DOLLAR for used Honda's, meaning, you CAN get KBB/Black Book on a HONDA. YOU CANNOT GET ANYTHING NEAR THAT ON A HYUNDAI. PERIOD. THERE IS NO MARKET FOR USED HYUNDAIS. PERIOD. The ONLY people buying USED crooked H cars are people with BAD credit, or "get me boughts". Dealers DO NOT pay the rediculous prices KBB spews from its webiste as "trade-in". FACT, dealers are paying THOUSANDS less than "trade-in" to buy used Hyundai's. You CAN check this out, by looking at what dealers are charging for used Hyundai's and when you do, you will see them priced retail - AT or BELOW WHOLESALE! This MEANS that they OWN the car for a lot less than that. (OFTEN $3,000 or MORE Less).

    Warranty, if you want a REAL warranty, get HONDA CARE (LOOK IT UP). It is VERY inexpensive, covers the WHOLE VEHICLE, is transferable (UNLIKE the Hyundai warranty) AND if you do NOT use it, get a refund !!!!!! HONDA, not Hyundai has the BEST warranty. And, lets not forget - the company with the real BEST warranty is the one where you NEVER have to use it. (Check consumer reports reliability ratings, HONDA is #1, NOT Hyundai).

    BUY AMERICAN, take a look at where your CAR is built. CIVICS are built in the US, by US workers making them a more US car than MANY "domestics".

    While the Hyundai is guaranteed to get you where you are going. The HONDA does it so much better.
  • lengallilengalli Posts: 3
    One more thing. ALL CARS DO NOT AGE THE SAME. One thing I love to do for "cross-shoppers" is this. I show them what a 3 or 4 or 5 or older year competitor vehicle looks like, vs a Honda from the same period. I do this because, 5 and even 10 year old Honda's look, AND DRIVE, just like they did when they were NEW. The competetion doesnt even come close. Consumers have this weird thought process going on when they read that so and so car manufacturer is "getting better", or "most improved". Its almost like they think of the car like a person, which is what the car manufacturer wants. Fact is, whatever car you buy, is NOT going to IMPROVE at all, its not going to GET BETTER, if and when someone makes a car better than HONDA, your car will NEVER be THAT car. Those words simply give HOPE that ONE day things will get better. Thats NOT how cars work, they are not students in high school that 'could' do better 2marro.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Thanks for saying up front "I am a Honda dealer." That explains a lot.

    It helps to stick to facts though. For example:

    * Some people buy the most car they can with their budget. That pits the Sonata against the Civic, whether you like it or not. Size-wise, the Civic does compete more with Elantra, but the Elantra enjoys a big advantage in real-world price and interior room (mid-sized). The Accent actually has more interior room than the Civic. Also, CR named the Elantra SE their Top Pick in the Under $20k sedan class, over the Civic. Check CR if you don't believe me.

    * As for reliability, the Sonata is one of the most reliable sedans according to CR. Civic is reliable also. A wash.

    * More safety? Civic has an advantage in the IIHS side crash test (Good vs. Acceptable), but Sonata has standard ESC on all trims. I'd say that's no worse than a wash for the Sonata.

    * More economy? Sure. You get higher fuel economy on a compact car with a 1.8L 140 hp engine than on a full-sized car with a 2.4L, 175 hp engine. That is the tradeoff in driving a much larger, smoother, quieter, more comfortable car. The Civic gets better FE than the Accord too--so what? (And the Sonata gets better FE than the Accord.)

    * Feels better? Again you are trading off crisper handling (on a much smaller car) for considerably better ride smoothness. Yes, I've driven both. Have you?

    * Looks better? That is totally subjective. I think both cars look good outside, but I much prefer the looks of the interior of the Sonata.

    * There is no used market for Hyundais? That is a laughable statement.

    * Warranty? Honda Care costs extra, correct? Hyundai also offers an extra-cost extended warranty that is fully transferrable and provides 100k miles of bumper-to-bumper protection.

    * Buy American? Did you know the Sonata is made in America, by American workers?.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    You've never owned a Hyundai, have you? I've owned two--a 2001 Elantra that is now nearly 8 years old, and a 2004 Elantra. The 2001 is owned by my sister now. She loves it and says it still drives and looks like new. And it has been very reliable. My 2004 Elantra also drives and looks new, and the biggest problem it's had in over 4 years is that I had to replace the headlamp bulbs--covered under warranty. And these Elantras are a fairly old design, not nearly as good a car as the current Sonata. Hyundais are getting better with each generation.

    The day when someone makes a car that is better than Honda has already arrived. Examples: CR's Top Pick in the economy sedan class is the Elantra, not the Civic. CR's Top Pick in the mid-sized SUV class is the Santa Fe, not the CR-V or Pilot.

    I recommend you take a close look at what you are competing with. You might be surprised.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I pretty much agree with everything you say. Nice post; well-rounded.

    And before anyone says otherwise, there are 3 Hondas in my driveway, zero Hyundais. Yet...
  • tiger72tiger72 Posts: 21
    Apples and Oranges are both relatively round fruit. They both grow on trees. They can both be squeezed to make juices.

    I find it funny that you're comparing the Elantra AND the Sonata to the Civic, whenever it suits your purpose. I also find it funny that when it comes to the engine size difference, you whitewash the argument by bringing the Accord into the mix.

    Stop comparing one mid-sized vs full-sized on full-size standards. The reason Civic owners own a Civic over the competition can't be based on full size standards (e.g. larger engine, more seating room, etc.).

    Compare the Civic to the Elantra, Corolla, and the Sentra. Not to the competitor's full sized sedans.

    And no, there is no market for Hyundais that are used or out of warranty except for teenager's first cheap cars. I almost thought about buying a Hyundai until I saw that the True Cost To Own over 5 years is thousands higher on the Hyundai thanks to its amazingly high depreciation rate.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Here here backy! That dealer guy is completely clueless. My friend has a top of the line civic and it's a nice car for sure. But my sonata is just as nice and feels just as nice for the interior and driving. Also the fuel economy is only a few miles less in city and highway for a much larger car. I like Civics, but not enough to overpay for one.

    Also I'd like to mention my 2003 elantra had the BEST tco ever. I paid 12.2k OTD and was cashed out after a totalled accident for $8200 for 5 years - deductible. That's a freaking $4000 depreciation for 5 years. NO civic or corolla could ever beat that. Hell no car I know of in the entire world could beat that! I know my new sonata unfortunately won't, but I'll enjoy it nonetheless. So saying that hyundai cars have no resale value is [non-permissible content removed]. Their depreciation is higher, but not THAT much higher.

    Also I'll note my car's reliability was top notch. The only issue I ever had was a minor door seal wind noise problem. Once that was fixed, no problems in 5 years...besides my own accidents :) I hope for the same reliability in my new vehicle.

    Honda's are nice, Hyundais are just as nice. Don't spew millions of tons of propoganda here. This is not a mormon or scientology board ;)
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    I certainly compared the civic vs sonata when I was shopping. The reason I didn't include the accord was because it was way outta my price range.

    This was on my list of cars to consider when I was shopping for the car I got a couple weeks ago:
    Honda Fit
    Honda Civic
    Mitsu Lancer
    Hyundai Sonata
    Hyundai Elantra
    Suby Impreza

    There is on obvious thing in this...and that is the PRICE. I compare based on price and the Sonata is the same or less than a civic. As you'll note I had a definite interest in some of the Hondas, but the number of features and interior didn't compare to purchasing a Sonata. Why would we compare purely based on size? By that standard, you're saying a tiny Porsche shouldn't be compared against a large bmw 7 series if you were shopping in that market? I say bs on that :)
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