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Hyundai Sonata vs Honda Accord



  • If you don't see a viable difference in the vehicles and buy on features alone, the Sonata is the vehicle you should look closely at. For me, the Sonata was boring, and didn't feel like a cohesive vehicle (I know that sounds like a load of crap but its the best way I can describe it - it felt like a lot of parts put together; the Accord felt like one piece - more solid. Maybe it was the particular example of Hyundai I drove, but it was lacking in driving pleasure (numb steering, like my ex gf's Corolla) that the Accord wasn't. It's transaction price would've definitely undercut that of my car based on features, but I couldn't see the point in spending thousands of dollars for a vehicle I wasn't pleased with. I have weird standards probably, as I value the interior design and quality along with ride/handling balance at the very top of my list. The Honda delivered on both of these in 2006. We'll wait and see if they deliver for 2008 - I haven't driven one yet.
  • I have looked closely at the Sonata and recently drove a 2008 Accord. While I didn't drive them back to back I simply cannot discern that much difference. The Hyundai doesn't feel bad in the type of driving I normally do nor does the Honda. The intangibles just don't jump out at me the way they must to some others. So much that they can quantify a "feeling". The Honda was a nice (I know not much passonate feeling there)smooth quiet ride in the test drive I did. On the other hand the last Sonata I drove was also a nice ride. It was an earlier version and I did note excess rear susension noise but I have seen that has been addressed by Hyundai. Maybe I am unrefined and therefore not able to appreciate the "more of a piece" feeling Honda owners keep talking about. Maybe I can't rise beyond owning a Ford/Dodge/Hyundai/Chevrolet (insert your own idea of inferiority) know, like the feeling owning of a Rolex verses a Casio (which I wear by the way) ;)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The difference between the Accord and Sonata is like the difference between Walmart tennis shoes, and a pair of Nike shoes. My father would say, "What's the difference?", but I can definitely tell.
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    No, what you say doesn't come off as a load of least to me. I went and tested out the Hyundai the day before yesterday, really wanting to like it anywhere as near the Accord, but ended up with similar thoughts to yours. It has merits, especially the price and warranty, but I truly wouldn't be happy with it. It just didn't do it for me, either in the way the inside was laid out of in its on road performance.

    I'm not saying that it's not a great car that will be loved by many...but not for me.

    At this point, if I choose to go to something other than a Honda, I might check out the Nissans or perhaps Acuras or Infinitis. I've test driven all, except the newer Nissans.

    Well, at least I have a year or so before I'll be buying. At that time, I expect the Acura TL's will be way down in price due to a new model coming out. If Accord prices are still high, I could well move in that direction.
  • I agree. To each his or her own, if one car or brand appeals to one more than the other, go for it.

    In the majority of the Honda vs. Hyundai, and even Toyota, discussions here on, most posters are strongly in one camp or the other, some even seriously bashing the other brand which is most unfortunate. I would put forth than the majority of those who prefer one brand over the other, or bash the other brand, haven't actually owned the "other brand," especially not concurrently.

    Our family owns a Honda (2005 Accord LX Automatic), a Hyundai (a previous generation Elantra GLS Automatic , admittedly not a Sonata as per this forum), and a 2007 Toyota LE Automatic. We also own a couple of European cars. If you want one person's relatively objective analysis on the ownership experience with these, I will do so very succinctly, in an overview fashion:

    The Accord has been quite trouble-free, although we had several warranty-related issues during the first year of ownership. It has low mileage, only 28K miles on the clock at present, but is enjoyable to drive. A bit too much road and surprisingly, wind noise, on the road, but acceptable. Enjoy the handling and excellent fuel economy. Dealership experience - Good. Overall quite pleased.

    The Elantra has over 100K, and except for routine preventive maintenance, its only true corrective-maintenance repair was the replacement of an alternator. There were no warranty-related issues during the first year of ownership. It's been an excellent car, and still drives today as it did when we drove it off the dealer's lot. Nice mix of ride, handling, and fuel economy for such a small four door sedan. Dealership experience - Excellent. Very pleased with the car.

    The Camry has been a love-hate relationship. Since it's rather new, it still has less than 7K on the clock, but has been in to the shop several times for the now infamous throttle hesitation issues. Several TSBs have been applied, but it still is afflicted with this problem. Nice car, rides very well, with little road or wind noise, and also excellent fuel economy on the road, but these DBW (Drive-By-Wire) bugs are driving my wife nuts. Dealership experience - Fair. Pleased, but with reservations.

    Moreover, the build quality and fit and finish are equally excellent on all three cars, except the interior dash panel gaps on the Camry are not consistent unlike the Honda and Hyundai.

    FWIW . . . This is just my 2 cents worth offered by a person who presently owns all three brands.
  • Geez now that intangible "feeling" between cars extends to brands of sneakers. Simply unbelievable.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I am thinking that since the last time the automotive press compared an Accord to the Sonata, the Sonata out-stopped it, so the Nike in the metaphor is the Sonata, as I expect it would "stop" you better on the court than the Wal-mart shoes.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I've driven the Sonata (2006 GLS I4 AT with alloys and moonroof) and Accord (2006 EX I4 AT) back-to-back over the same course. The Accord had the superior handling, but not by much, and the difference was not very noticeable in the urban driving in my test and which I do almost every day. But the Sonata clearly had the superior ride comfort and quietness, which I value a lot. I've read that the 2008 Accord has improved ride comfort, so it's possible Honda has fixed this issue to where it wouldn't be a blocker for me.

    I think if the Sonata is driven against the Accord over a course with lots of twists and turns, the Accord will come out ahead. (And that's what the car mags often do when they do a comparo.) Since I drive on a road like that maybe once a year, but do drive on rough roads every day, a smooth and quiet ride is much more important to me than how a car carves canyons.

    Buy what you [general "you"] like and what suits your needs, but please don't wax poetic about how Accord buyers are the ones who love sporty cars, how they are true driving "enthusiasts", and Sonata buyers aren't. I see lots of middle-aged suburbanites tooling around in Accords, and I'll bet 95% of them have never taken their car on a twisty road.
  • All cars need the same basic neccesities like oil, trans fluid, coolant, wheels and tires, suspension, I hear so many people complain about American and Korean cars, well did you know that Mitsubishi messed up Hyundai they supplied the engines, if people would follow basic maintenance in their cars they would last a long time, It is alot of men and women who know how to drive but do not change their motor oil and transmission fluid and wonder why they are stranded, any car will be unreliable if you do not take care of it.
  • Buy what you [general "you"] like and what suits your needs, but please don't wax poetic about how Accord buyers are the ones who love sporty cars, how they are true driving "enthusiasts", and Sonata buyers aren't.

    That wasn't my goal, and I'm sorry if I implied such. What it amounts to is that as a young guy, I wanted something practical as well as fun. I make road trips often enough (600 miles round-trip to the Gulf (4), 1600 miles round-trip to Oklahoma City (3), and a few 300-mile round trips to Atlanta (3) have all been had by me this year in my 06 Accord. I value ride-comfort and economy, but I want a "fun" car for when I'm tooling around away from the suburbs (say, towards a local river near my home).

    The Sonata had the same demeanor a Camry had in my eyes. Obviously that's not a bad thing to a LOT of people. It just left me wishing I was back in the Accord every time I got in the Sonata. Was the Sonata BAD? Heck no! It just didn't suit me. The differences are indeed small, but as y'all have heard me say several times in the past, my two biggest criteria when car shopping were interiors and handling dynamics. The Sonata's interior design (not necessarily the quality, but the look of it) really put me off (while the exterior was at least as good looking as the Accord), and the car drove more like a Camry. It just wasn't what I was looking for.
  • Thats understandable. If I had to pick out one thing I dislike about my 07 Sonata(and the 08 since they havent redisigned it, except for adding an extra headrest in the middle in the backseat) it would have to be the interior. Its outdated and boring. The instrument cluster is wack, and looks budget, and i really dislike the green backlights(I hope they make it Blue for 09). But I think the exterior is just as good if not better than the Camry(kinda weird looking. Would have to be the SE w/spoiler to make it look right), Accord(boxy front, dont like the rear lights), and definitely the Altima(Front looks like every other Nissan, back lights look kinda feminine to me). When it comes to cars its to each its own.... but I love my Sonata.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Sorry, I thought that by saying "general 'you'" I would make it clear that the last part of my post was not directed at you specifically, but was a general comment.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    It also depends on what you are accustomed to. If your previous car was a large domestic car, say an Impala, you would probably find the Accord ride pretty harsh. I have become accustomed to the Accord's ride and handling, so I wouldn't have it any other way. One man's harsh, is another man's stable. Your own perception is reality to you, but not for everyone.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I've never owned a large domestic car. I prefer small cars. I find the Accord's ride too firm regardless. But as you said, what you and I want in a car is not what others want. And if I drove on different kinds of roads than I do, I might not mind the Accord's ride at all.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Interesting how the 2008 Accord seems to have borrowed several pages from the Sonata's book:

    * Increase in interior volume to break into the EPA large-car class, as the Sonata did in the 2006 MY.

    * Added ESC (VSA), traction control, and active front headrests across the lineup, as Sonata did in the 2006 MY.

    * Made four-wheel disc brakes standard across the lineup, as Sonata did for 2006 MY.

    * Softer ride--more like that of the Sonata.

    And then there's little details, like regular back-lit gauges and painted plastic faux aluminum door pulls, like the Sonata's. :(

    There's still a few tricks that Accord could pick up from Sonata, e.g. make the trunk bigger, put in a convenient 60/40 folding rear seat vs. one-piece, make satellite radio standard across the line, and improve the warranty. But maybe Honda is leaving those for the next-gen Accord. ;)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Are you serious? Honda is doing absolutely nothing, because of Hyundai. The Accord has been growing every generation since introduction in 1976. I guess we are expected to believe this is all because of Hyundai? Please
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Did I say it was "all because of Hyundai"? But tell us, what other mid-sized family cars offer ESC/VSA as standard equipment across the entire lineup (and which ones offered it before the Accord did)? What other mid-sized family cars have large-car interior room (and which offered it before Accord)? Why did Honda make the Accord's ride softer for 2008 (when you and others would say it was perfect already)? I just see a pattern here and thought it was interesting.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    When Honda offered ABS on their cars back in the early 90's it couldn't have been because Hyundai had it, because they didn't have ABS until 06 (talk about slow to catch on). The Accord, (and every other midsize car) has grown since the early 90's, and they have all added safety equipment. Hyundai was the reason for all of this, I suppose? The 7th generation Accord rode smoother than the 6th, and the 6th smoother than the 5th. Research and Development have made it possible to improve the ride, without sacrificing handling. I doubt Honda engineers even new Hyundai existed back then, so the chances of them being a factor in any of it is NIL. Hyundai is a "non factor", and no other car company cares what they do. It's only interesting in your twisted mind.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Don't you find it just a little curious/interesting that Honda would make the interior of the 2008 Accord just big enough (for the LX and LX-P at least) to rate as a large car, and make a big deal of that in their marketing--just as Hyundai has done with the Sonata? And that Honda chose to make ESC/VSA standard across the Accord lineup when no other competitor except the Sonata has done that? And that a "softer" ride is suddenly considered an "improvement", when I didn't see you or other Accord fans complaining about the firm ride of your Accords?

    Here's a quote from C/D, from their long-term review of the Sonata, if you think Hyundai and the Sonata in particular is a non-factor and that Honda doesn't care what they do:

    It hasn't been until this latest Sonata that Honda and Toyota engineers have paid much attention to it. We guarantee it's now a thorn in their sides and they're losing sleep over how good the next generation Sonata might be.

    P.S. Hyundai offered ABS on the first-generation Sonata, long before 2006. ABS may have been offered on the Accord in the early '90s, but it wasn't standard across the the Accord lineup until later--2003, wasn't it? Also, did you know that side airbags weren't standard on all Accords until the 2005 MY, while they were standard on the Sonata way back in 2000?
  • Did I say it was "all because of Hyundai"?
    You didn't really state this but it did sound like it was implied. I make a point to drive Accords, Camrys, Altimas, Fusions and find I like my Sonata the best "for me". All models have "better" features in other aspects for different drivers, but the price I paid and what I have make the difference. If my Sonata treats me well for another ten years I'll buy another...unless some other manufaturer comes along with something different/better/bang for the $$$ model. I'll stick with Hyundai. Just like the Honda, Toyota, Yugo, Chrysler people. (had to put that last jab in)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    ...unless some other manufaturer comes along with something different/better/bang for the $$$ model.

    Yep, that's my strategy also. Whatever car meets my needs best, at the lowest cost, gets my money.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    backy, do you know when 4 wheel disc brakes became standard on all Accords and all Sonatas?
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    I was starting to look for the C/D article you quoted before, when I saw the Sonata listed under a very interesting list. It was called "Retirement Rides", Hahahaha. Maybe when I'm 85 years old I'll be ready for something with a mundane ride like the Sonata. I also noticed a quote from C/D. The Sonata reminded them of the previous Accord, so they think of it as a generation behind, just like I do. They also mentioned the suspension noise in the Sonata, so I guess it's not just something Consumer Reports dreamed up, huh? Want to guess which car is likely to be on C/D's top 10 list again this year. You can bet it won't be the Sonata, unless their reviewers are all ready for retirement. :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    For the Accord, the 2008 MY. For the Sonata, I'm pretty sure it was for the 2006 MY. I think before that, the base Sonata (GL) had rear drums, but GLS and LX had rear discs.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    No, I'm pretty sure the Accord will make C/D's 10Best list again, although if the new Mazda6 is out in time there's a chance it could supplant the Accord. I got a feeling reading C/D's review of the 2008 Accord that they weren't happy about its increase in size. And they always liked the Mazda6, another very good handling mid-sized car.

    Glad you liked C/D's long-term wrapup of the Sonata, including I'm sure the part about Honda worrying about the Sonata.

    Since you drive a car that is a generation behind the current Accord, maybe you'd like the Sonata?
  • Do you own stock in the Company Backy? ;)
  • You tell em backy did you also know the the 1999 Hyundai Sonata has passenger presence detector before the accord offered it in 2004,it disables the passenger airbags when no occupant is in the seat,even though ABS was optional it was still $3,000 or more cheaper than the Accord.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Since you drive a car that is a generation behind the current Accord, maybe you'd like the Sonata?

    If I would have bought an 03 Sonata instead of 03 Accord, I would have been a couple generations behind. And, since I'm not ready for the retirement village, and don't like suspension noise, I don't think I would like the current Sonata. Retirement Rides, I love it.
  • What i am talking about is Hyundai's safety advancements before Honda installed them in their own vehicles, both airbags deployed in the 2003 accord regardless if a passenger was in the seat or not.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Take a look at the crash tests for the 03 Accord and Sonata, and PLEASE tell me about it. Leg and Neck injuries are not a good thing in my book.
This discussion has been closed.