Hyundai Sonata vs Chevrolet Malibu vs Saturn Aura

flc2006flc2006 Member Posts: 81
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
The Sonata in my opinion is years of ahead when it comes to safety features Like Electronic Stability Control, even though the Malibu and Aura has standard traction control, stability control it not even available as option on the Malibu and Aura 4 cylinder models, the Sonata Has this safety system standard, The Automatic transmission Sonata GLS 4 cylinder starts at 19545 including freight, before incentives, the Sonata is is about $450 cheaper than Malibu LS model, it is also $850 cheaper than the Aura, Both offer great warranty powertrain warranties, The Hyundai beats both of them with it comes to the basic warranty which is 5 years or 60,000 miles, the GM products comes with a Industry standard 3 year or 36,000 mile basic warranty, the roadside assistance warranty on the Hyundai is 5 years unlimited miles, GM has 5 years or 100,000 which is still very good. The GM advantages are the transferable 5 year or 100,000 miles power-train warranty which transfers to the next owner if they decide to sell i or give it away in a couple of years, an example if you have 25,000 miles on the car in two years the next owner gets 75,000 miles or 3 years, In the Sonata you would get 3 years or 35,000 miles, The Sonata 10 year power-train warranty is only available to first owner only, In my opinion it would be best to buy the Sonata brand new plus you get the 10 years or 100,000 miles power-train warranty.

All cars that i have discussed are good choices it is all about what you want.


  • drwilscdrwilsc Member Posts: 140
    I wonder how many people would actually WANT to keep the Hyundai 10 years...
    The GM cars offer On Star, really a great safety feature. The Aura XR does have ESC standard.
    According to Edmunds, the V6 Sonata would be looking the the XR's tail lights: 0-60 7.4 for the Sonata vs. 6.4 for the XR.
    Saturn has been offering incentives on the Aura for some time now, minimizing or negating the Sonata's price advantage.
  • flc2006flc2006 Member Posts: 81
    My point is that Sonata is great value, in my opinion the standard electronic stability control will help you avoid accidents,I am comparing 4 cylinder models The Sonata GLs, Malibu LS and Aura XE, it did not bash Gm i am talking about weakness from a selling stand point on all three models.
  • phaetondriverphaetondriver Member Posts: 175
    You say safety comes first with the Sonata, and I say it is also first with the Saturn Aura.
    My Aura has Electronic stability control, ABS on 4 disc brakes, Traction Control, and 8 Air bags: two up front, two on each side over the windows, and one in each front seat (outside edge of the seat backs) to protect the rib cage from side impacts.
    Does the Sonata have all of the same important protection devices?
    One big reason I bought the Aura was it's performance, but the big number two was all the safety devices and their level of technical sophistication.
    I liked some of the Hyundai cars, but none had the performance I want, otherwise they look pretty good.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    8 Air bags

    Try 6.

    Does the Sonata have all of the same important protection devices?

    Yes, all standard even on the base 4 cyclinder model (which some are not available on the Aura I-4). The Sonata also has dual active head restraints.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    My Aura has Electronic stability control, ABS on 4 disc brakes, Traction Control, and 8 Air bags: two up front, two on each side over the windows, and one in each front seat (outside edge of the seat backs) to protect the rib cage from side impacts

    1. The "two" side curtain air bags on each side are actually one large curtain on each side, giving you six airbags total in the Aura (source--Saturn's own website information on the Aura)

    2. The Sonata has all those plus Active Head Restraints for protection in rear collisions (source:

    Have a nice day! ;)
  • robert1955robert1955 Member Posts: 39
    There is no 4cyl option in the Aura. I was looking at a XE but ended up with my Sonata after looking at the bottom line between both cars and the final prices.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    Starting 2008 model-year, GM came out with the 4 cyclinder option:
  • phaetondriverphaetondriver Member Posts: 175
    So the Sonata has the ribcage air bags in the front seats too.
    Great, I didn't know that. I was told that was a Saturn only thing. Those lying salesmen.

    I personally don't buy a car because it has been Ralph Nadered to the nth degree. Fact is I have built my own car and it doesn't have seat belts. No bumpers, No airbags, certainly no 4-banger under the hood. It does have 4 doors. :)
    Does 0-60 in 5 seconds and gives other motorists whiplash. :shades:
  • robert1955robert1955 Member Posts: 39
    Thanks for the correction. I had forgotten about the Green Line. So the Aura did have a 4cyl in 2007.
  • flc2006flc2006 Member Posts: 81
    The Sonata 3.3 V6 and 2.4 4cylinder scored very well on the consumer reports test, plus the current sonata has been reconmended for two years, the Saturn Aura XR was given a score of 70, the Sonata V6 had of score of 76, the 4cylinder Sonata was 74, The 2007 Aura XE V6 had a score of 62. The Hyundai name is a good one in my opinion, GM cars are alright.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I have an 05 Malibu Maxx and my wife drives an 07 Optima. The Optima's platform is closer to the Elantra but it shares a power train with the Sonata.

    1. The Optima has a quieter engine than the Maxx, however I like the 3.5 ohv v-6. Compared to Hyunkia, the Maxx has a far less expensive maintenance schedule due to its OLM. With the Optima (or Sonata), I've got to stick to 3000 mile oil changes for the severe cycle in order to keep the 100K warranty in place. Thankfully the new Hyunkia/Chrysler-Mitsu (sort of) engine doesn't have a timing belt. Replacing that on my 01 Elantra was expensive.

    2. Because of the electric steering on the 'Bu, the Optima is a better handling car. It has 17 inch Michelins. Better handling means rougher riding and much more expensive tires. Once you get used to the electric steering it's not that bad however (like lots of 04-06 'Bu buyers I've had to replace the steering column-- is the rack next?). The electric steering (na in 2007+) really helps in the mileage department. The Maxx gets slightly better gas mileage than my Optima-- which is still breaking in (Hyunkia engines are notoriously slowly improve mileage).

    3. The Optima has a much more attractive electroluminescent instrument panel than the 'Bu, Saturn or Hyundai for that matter. However I prefer the Maxx in the comfort department. I think the Sonata is more comfortable than the Optima, unlike the last generation they're not at all the same car.

    4. I recently rented an HHR and liked the four cylinder engine which got better mileage than the V6 Maxx or the Optima. Even though I like the 3.5 six, I've got to say that I think Chevy and Saturn are wise to ramp up four cylinder production in 08.

    5. GM cars (I assume Saturn as well as Chevy) have much better thought out drivers information centers. For some inexplicable reason Kia doesn't include a MPG computer. I don't think the Sonata has two trip meters: business trips and MPG computation anyone? I think some of these short comings will be corrected, at least in the Optima, in 08. I was really impressed with the HHR's DIC, including two mpg comps, tire pressure (I assume all GM cars have it in 2007+?).

    I'm sorry I didn't drive the Saturn. It seemed pleasant when I sat in it, but I was able to get an Optima with appearance group and leather for sixteen thousand, the same as my Maxx LS. Don't think I could get a Saturn for that money at least when I made the purchase.

    My Hyundais and Kias have been slightly more reliable than my recent Chevy's but I'm still happy with the Maxx despite laying out a thousand for the steering column. On the other hand, I had to pay about $800 for a sixty thousand mile check on my Elantra. With no timing belt, I'd expect the Optima to cost less.

    Up until my last experience I would have put GM dealers ahead of Hyunkia (I haven't had my Optima back to the dealer and had some real sleaze issues with my Elantra). Since my Chevy dealer has moved into new haunts they seem more agressive in pushing services and I had to fight my way out of there to keep several 100K major items from being performed at 40,000. That plus all of the pushed injection cleanings, etc.

    Styling is subjective. I think both the Optima and Sonata are attractive cars but less distinctive than their predecessors. I don't like the Malibu sedan but (apart from the front clip), do kind of like the rear of my Maxx. I think the Saturn is one of the better looking cars out there (especially the exterior). Haven't seen the new 'Bu yet, but am a bit disturbed by the c-pillar and rear clip. Looks a bit mid-nineties Diamante. I'm sure detail is much improved over the present car, however.

    If forced to choose one, I'd probably take my Maxx over the Optima because of maintenance, comfort and utility (give me a large hatch, PLEASE!)

    On balance, I suspect that both the Sonata and the GM cars are fairly well matched. I think many of the comments on earlier posts are a bit strident. I'm glad that everyone seems to like their cars, however.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    GM should have offered I-4 in the Aura at launch, IMO. Now offered at 2008 model year, better late than never, as they say.
  • flc2006flc2006 Member Posts: 81
    I have a Hyundai to keep my warranty intact i just follow the basic maintenance schedule every 6 months of 7,500 which ever comes first, i told the hyundai rep that i do mixed driving so i qualify for the standard maintenance schedule.
  • steelermansteelerman Member Posts: 36
    I have not driven either of the other cars yet. The '08 Malibu isn't out yet (the car I was waiting for) and I would not consider buying any non-American cars. My dad worked for GM for 30 years so I get a big discount. So that leaves my decision with the Malibu or the Aura. I drove the Aura a week ago and was very impressed with everything about it. I ended up getting an '07 Aura XR loaded for $22.8K plus ttl. It looks great, drives great, has great performance, and inexpensive. My co-worker bought a Lexus recently and she keeps saying, "My Lexus doesn't have heated seats", My Lexus doesn't have XM Radio or On Star", "My Lexus doesn't have remote start", etc... She also thinks they look a lot a like too - well they are both the same color!
    Bottom line: I am glad I didn't wait for the Malibu and I look for excuses to drive my new Aura XR.
  • flc2006flc2006 Member Posts: 81
    As long as your happy I am happy too, you got got a deal considering it was over 26 k MRSP.
  • colloquorcolloquor Member Posts: 482
    As with any car's warranty, but especially with either Hyundai's or Kia's, perform the 3K oil changes yourself using an OEM filter, keep your receipts, and document your work on their website or in a file folder. If you do this, all is well with their warranty coverage. You do not have to have the work done at the dealer to maintain the warranty. You can save boatloads of money by following their severe service schedule, but by doing most of the work yourself. As to Hyundai specifically, this is exactly why their Owner's Manuals have such a large section devoted to Do-It-Yourself or Self-Performed Maintenance.
  • phaetondriverphaetondriver Member Posts: 175
    I am a bit ignorant when it comes to certain aspects of these cars. I really don't know where the Hyundai cars are manufactured.
    I know my Saturn came from the Fairfax assembly plan in Kansas City Kansas. The chassis comes form Opel in Germany and the engine comes from the Cadillac.

    I am really not familiar with the Hyundai cars other than seeing a lot of them and I really like the Azera Limited. Very similar features to my Aura, A little more money and a little less performance and handling, but very nice.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    Alabama (the Sonata, that is). .
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I think the 4-cylinder engine may still come from the ROK though.
  • joe97joe97 Member Posts: 2,248
    That Azera Limited you mentioned has more features than your Aura (i.e. power rear sunshade, eight airbags, auto-wipers), has more peformance and handles, well, both aren't handling experts but more than adequate on both.

    The reason why Azera has a higher price range is because it doesn't compete directly with the Aura, the Sonata does.

    By the way, I am really digging the interior on the 09 Sonata facelift. That is one area of flaw from most critics and Hyundai responded very well. The latest pics of the exterior has me convinced this should be a successful facelift. Looking forward to seeing the North American spec (at the Detroit auto show, along with the Geensis/BH RWD luxury sedan), which I have been told should vary somewhat from the S. Korean spec but not by a lot.
  • phaetondriverphaetondriver Member Posts: 175
    I realize now that the Azera is more of a luxury sedan.
    Horse power and weight are almost identical to the Aura XR.
    It's only a blink slower to 60 MPH
    I get 30 MPG on the high way I don't know how well the Azera will do with 0.2 more liters in the DOHC V-6. What ever it is it is acceptable I'm sure.
    It must have a bit more hip room and leg room than my XR too.

    I am going to watch this one very closely for the next year or so. Might have to put one in my driveway.
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