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Nissan Altima vs Hyundai Sonata



  • dgs4dgs4 Posts: 66
    Well, I don't quite fit in with the OP's thread title, as I purchased an 09 V6 Limited. But obviously I was car shopping the Altima when I decided to purchase a new car. I test drove the Accord V6 EX-L which I did not like at all, the Toyota Camry XLE V6 which wasn't too bad, but rather expensive at $32,000 (the one I tested was fully loaded with navigation, heated seats etc). The Camry felt real floaty on the road and the control in sharp turns was not very good, with excessive body roll. But it was comfortable, and absorbed bumps like they were nothing. I was able to understand and appreciate why the Camry sells so well, but I knew I needed to keep looking. Man they really wanted me to buy that car, as even though the sticker was $32,000 they were willing to take $3,000 off that price if I would buy "today." I was tempted, but purchasing a car is a big decision and I needed to test drive more before committing.

    I also test drove the Saturn Aura XR. That was a pretty decent car. I remember it being incredibly quiet on the freeway, with hardly any wind and road noise. I really liked that. Plus the V6 felt strong, although the paddle shifters were really gimmicky, and way too difficult to reach with the thumb to be of any real use. The car was pretty comfortable, and handled nicely. I did not like the turning radius, as I found out in the test drive when I needed to make a U-turn. I did some research after my test drive and found out it has a 40.4 foot turning radius, which explained why it was so difficult making that U-turn. Way too big for my liking. Plus there was no rear seat armrest/cup holders and there was no navigation system option. The Aura was nice, and the price was nice on it (I think it was $28,000 with a couple of options if I remember correctly) but I still knew I needed to keep looking.

    Then I checked out the Altima. I asked the salesman to get me the most loaded model they had. I had been driving a Dodge Neon for 10 years and I was going to treat myself to a much deserved nice car with all the bells and whistles. They brought me out a V6 SE model with the technology package and the anti-skid control option which brought the sticker price to $33,000. Nice car! I was very impressed during the test drive, and I loved all of the techno gadgets. There was more wind/road noise than I would like on the freeway but otherwise I really enjoyed that car. One thing I did not like was having to use premium gas and the fact the gas mileage was just "okay." But otherwise it as a great car.

    I came damn close to buying it, and if I hadn't test driven my 09 Hyundai Limited V6 with navigation the same day, I would have bought it. The Hyundai doesn't have as many techo gadgets as the Nissan, such as the HID lights, backup camera, or the really cool keyless entry/push starter button etc. But I thought the Hyundai was simply too good a value to pass up. The sticker on my car was $6,000 less than the Altima, and that doesn't factor in the enormous discount I got off the MSRP. The Nissan dealership was willing to make a deal on the Altima but it really wasn't so much as price since I could have easily afforded the Altima even at the sticker price. I just liked the Sonata more. It was more quiet on the freeway, got better gas mileage on regular unleaded, and was just as comfortable and spacious as the Altima. The sound system in the Sonata Limited is excellent, maybe not quite as good as the Bose in the Altima but good enough for me. The Hyundai really had everything I was looking for in a mid size sedan, and was a HUGE step up from the Neon I was driving the past 10 years.

    The Altima is an excellent car however. The handling is great, probably better than the Sonata, the CVT transmission is flawless, it has a ton of luxury/techno features if you buy the technology package, and it's just really a nice car. I couldn't fault anyone for buying an Altima. It's much better than anything else out there in the mid-size sedan class. I'm sure some would say it's also better than the 09 Sonata, and I couldn't fault anyone for thinking that. It's a great car, and one I came very close to buying. I don't have buyers remorse, but I must admit to missing some of these cool features on the Altima, the best being the keyless door unlocking. Very cool to just walk up to your car and pull the door open. Oh well, maybe the Altima will be the next car I purchase.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    I agree with your comments.

    I bought a new 2007 Sonata V6 Limited over a year ago for a great price of $19,500. It has been trouble free since then and a joy to drive. Comparably equipped Accord, Camry, Altima were at least $8K more.
  • madpistolmadpistol Posts: 126
    This is why I bought the Altima. The gadgets along with the fact that a 2.5 SL model is at least $1000 cheaper than a similarly equipped Accord EX-L 4-cyl or Camry XLE 4-cyl makes the Altima an absolutely terrific value. It puzzles me why more people don't test drive one and only compare Accord and Camry. I will admit that the ride of the Altima isn't as "refined" as the Accord or Camry, but with all the gadgets it offers plus the fact that it's a BLAST to drive no matter which model you choose, the Altima is a truly exceptional value in this class.

    At the same time, the new Malibu and '09 Sonata are setting the standard in this class for value. The Malibu is thousands under the Accord, and the Sonata is even less than the Malibu (I think). The only thing that I would be worried about in buying the Sonata would be resale value. To some people, it's a moot point if they like the car, but to me, it's an important factor as I will never be loaded with money. (I'm working on a Music Education degree, so in essence, I'm going to be a school teacher.) That was one of the only things that kept me from looking at the Sonata. I have no doubt in my mind that the Sonata is a great car, but I couldn't bring myself to get one after driving 3 other fantastic cars in this class that will hold their value far longer.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A number of personally directed posts have been removed. If you want to compare Altimas and Sonatas without insulting others, you are welcome to continue participating in this conversation. Otherwise, please make your email addresses public in your profiles and take your verbal fisticuffs offline. Those kinds of posts are not welcome here.

    Thank you.
This discussion has been closed.