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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Another view is, for Camry/Accord to be leading, they would need to be safer, roomier, quicker, and have more feature content for the money.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    with the exception of the interior room is debatable. With no crash tests yet for the Sonata how can you say it's safer? We know the Accord and Camry are safe. Although I will give the edge to Honda and Hyundai for offering the side curtain airbags as standard equipment.

    As far as performance goes. Without a head-to-head comparison there is no way to know which is quicker. All three sedans have a similar HP output. However, based on previous experience my money is on the Honda 4 cylinder and the Honda V6. Both engines will be gaining 10 more HP for 2006 along with a 6-speed manual option for the V6 sedan.

    Interior volume is an advantage for the Sonata. However, a Ford 500 is a larger car than the Sonata. Does that mean it's a better car? Heck, a Sonata is larger than a BMW 3-series but that doesn't mean that the BMW 3-series is chasing the Sonata.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    It doesn't matter what features a car has for what price. If it doesn't have what I want then I don't care how cheap it is. In this case, the Sonata doesn't have what I want. It has no manual transmission model available that has the options I want in my car. That, for me, makes my Accord a better deal.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I can say the Sonata is safer before there are any crash tests as easily as you can say that Sonata trails in fuel efficiency before there is any body of real-world experience to determine that.

    I am basing safety on the availability of ABS, traction control, VSC, side airbags and curtain airbags, and active head restraints on all Sonata models. Of those features, Accord has only ABS and side bags and curtain airbags standard on all models. Camry has only ABS standard on all models. If Sonata does poorly on the crash tests, I'll retract my statement.

    As far as performance, C/D has tested all the mid-sized sedans using the same methodology. They found that the Sonata ties the Accord V6 in 0-60 and beats the Camry V6. The only car in this class that tested faster is the V6 Altima with a manual shifter. And since we are talking present tense here... I can't buy the '06 Accord or Camry yet.

    Does a larger interior make the Sonata a better car? All things being equal, I'd rather have more space in my car than less space, especially if there is no penalty in the car's length. Wouldn't you?

    Obviously the Sonata is not the car for you because you need a stick shift and a moonroof. That doesn't mean it isn't a desirable car for others.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I would rather be wrong about MPG than about safety. We KNOW that the Accord gets great gas mileage and has great crash test scores.

    Performance can vary depending on temperature. If they tested one car in the summer and one car in the winter there would be different results. Either way, with 240HP the Accord is comparable to the Sonata. Again, the 2006 Accord will have 240HP and the 4 cylinder will also get a bump to 170HP. So it's safe to say that with 10 more HP the Accord will probably have a slight advantage even if they are equal now. And to say that we must talk present-tense is very near-sighted. The 2006 Accord will be out within a few months. Just as you thought Dan Healy should have acknowledged that all Hyundai's will have XM in the near future I think it's only fair to point out what the Accord will have in the near future.

    The Accord has more than enough room for what we use it for. If I needed more room I would look for a car with more room. Since the Accord has enough for me it's a non-issue.

    I never said it wasn't desirable to some. My point is that some are saying that the Accord and Camry are now chasing the Sonata. If all you look at is price then that may be true. All things considered though the Accord and Camry are competitive in all categories and they are a known entity. Let's wait until we have crash tests, reliability data, and resale info before we say the Accord and Camry are now on the chase.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Manual tranny a/k/a standard tranny is not a feature most drivers want. Most cars either come with automatic & offer a downgrade to standard or they charge extra for automatic. Funny how you switched from "more refined, more efficient and better engineered" to your transmission preference.

    Pick any one single attribute for a mid-sized car and you can skew the results.

    I think backy was talking the total package, everything that comes with the Sonata vs other models. Where does one get the most bang for the buck?

    Sonata seems to be leading the way. Mine is a 3 month old '05, a different car. So far, 2900 miles, it's been fantastic. Compared to other '05's, quality, features & bang for the buck, there was no comparison. Sure a Toyo or Honda could have gotten me about the same features as the '05 GLS SV...for several thousand more dollars.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Manual tranny isn't as unpopular as you think, quite a number of people would like to buy the 6 speed manual Accord because one it's more fun to drive and two it's comparable to the Nissan Altima manual.

    You bought the 05 Sonata? No offence but it is nothing compared to the Accord. Quality, Features, Safety, Ride, Engine the Accord leads the way. But the 06 Sonata I admit is comparable to the Accord but i feel the Accord has a better engine, interior and craftmanship. Hyundai did make a huge improvement but i think there is still some room for improvement if it's going to be considered better then the Accord or Camry.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    I will tell guys like Anonymonposts i have driven all three cars and though i'm not like some godsend expert, i will firmly say Sonata is the Leader.

    You talk about safety?? 2005 Elantra got prob the best safety scores out of any compact size cars, and sonata heavily borrowed what was great in the elantra for safety into their "saviour" car. Plus just to make sure they went beyond to add side airbags, stability, traction control standard. If you don't call that safety measures than i don't know what to say.

    Reliabitly?? i don't know if u know about JD power quality who are one of the worlds most renowed quality measuring for auto car companies out there, Hyundai was ranked top three in its category for 05 , something accord and camy even by their own owners will not admit.

    You add into the size of the car, quietness, exterior design, suspension, and price advantage over accord and camry, with on par engine(maybe no tech wise, but how quiet it is, smoothness, operation) how else can accord nor the camry be leading ?

    I'm not here to put down these fine cars, but i think honestly Hyundai went over and beyond to make 06 sonata. Anynomysposts drive one , you won't believe it yourself

    LAstly the mid cycle Accord is going to be sad. Only the back design and a few design changes, but almost zero changes to suspension or other important areas of the cars will happen.

    If i was hyundai i would worry about 07 camry, which should be better, though i still would guess it would lack "sporty" appeal, though everywhere else improves.

    2006 Hyundai Sonata is leading but may have a hard time leading "honda" "toyota" reputations, anyone rational will get it

    ps. read it again, the cons are not even what you call real cons.
  • jimr21713jimr21713 Posts: 8
    I drove the 2006 Sonata 4 cylinder GLS with auto transmission while looking for a replacement for my 05 Camry LE that my daughter had wrecked after we had it for 5 months. I had seen the good reviews from the auto magazines and I liked the look of the new Sonata. I was also impressed by all the options that come standard on the Sonata GLS. I was however not as impressed with the test drive. The car did not ride as solid as the 05 camry, its something I describe as "boaty", it seemed somehow top heavy or slightly off balance. The 4 cylinder in the Sonata had as much pickup and power as the Camry but was much noiser giving the impression that it was straining. I think these attributes are what the car mag reviews mean when they say "unrefined". I'm sticking with the Camry
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    In what test did the Elantra come out on top for safety? I checked IIHS and the Civic was a Best Pick. The Elantra got a good overall rating but was rated only acceptable in two categories while the Civic was rated good in all categories. The Civic was not tested for side impact but the Corolla was better than the Elantra is front and side impact tests. Again, please show me a link where the Elantra was picked as the best small sedan for crash tests.

    The mid-cycle Accord refresh is improving what is already one of the best sedans in the class. How is adding more HP, more safety features, more options, and a new transmission choice as well as improving the styling sad? They are adding a 6-speed manual V6 sedan as well.

    I have seen you go from forum to forum with that same link trying to get a rise out of someone. It's not going to happen. People who want Accords and Camrys will buy Accords and Camrys and barely give the Sonata a sideways glance. That may change if the Sonata proves to be reliable and the crash tests are impressive. But for now the Sonata is the underdog and the Accord and Camry are the all-stars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    How is adding more HP, more safety features, more options, and a new transmission choice as well as improving the styling sad?

    It's not sad, it's very good. Interestingly, that's exactly what Hyundai did with the '06 Sonata, and then some.

    Have you driven the Accord back-to-back on the same roads vs. the '06 Sonata? It's an enlightening experience. I agree with your assessment that the Sonata is the "underdog" today, because it has to overcome a large bias in favor of Honda and Toyota. And people who have that bias will go buy an Accord or Camry and never even look at a Sonata. That's too bad for them, though. Every review I've seen of the '06 Sonata has said it's worth a look--even the relatively negative Healy review said that.

    One thing about crash tests--a lot of buyers don't pay much attention to them. Remember the poor side impact crash test on the latest Camry, when it first came out? That didn't stop the Camry from being the top-selling car in the U.S. But being the underdog, the Sonata will be expected to ace the crash tests, be tops in reliability (something an all-new design rarely is, even for Honda and Toyota), and generally walk on water. It's tough being the underdog.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    i got three words to say

    just drive one

    If the H badge on the hyundai was Honda you would be praising Hyundai. Stop being brainwashed. Next you will tell me the civic is the best compact car when clearly the Mazda 3 is head and above the best in its segment.

    just drive the Sonata then you will see
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    OK first of all ELANTRA is not the safest compact sedan. It is not even close to being the safest sedan. IIHS did not give it a Best Pick, but it gave a best pick to Mazda 3, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagon Beetle, Chevrolet Cobalt and Suzuki Aerio but not Elantra. ""
    Why do you have to lie to make the Sonata look better?

    anonymousposts- People who want Accords and Camrys will buy Accords and Camrys and barely give the Sonata a sideways glance
    Agree with you on that, i know a lot of loyal Camry and Accord buyers that dont even look at the Sonata.

    The Hyundai Sonata is far from leading, it's still considered an underdog like anonymousposts said.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    You posted Accords number one competitorSonata, in the Honda Accord Sedan forum, why are you trying to drag Accord drivers? Sonata is not Accord's number one competitor by the way its Camry.
  • jc9799jc9799 Posts: 70
    Hyundai has to do something to get people to look at them. The new Sonata needs have something that's better than Accord or Camry. It used to be just the price advantage. Now they have more standard safety features, a larger interior and still have their price and warrenty advantage. Will this make people leave their Accords and Camrys? Probaly not, but it makes Hyundai a much bigger player in the segment.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    The Sonata is a much bigger player in the segment, but it's still known as the price advantage. If Hyundai prices their Sonata as high as Toyota or Honda there is not going to be as many Sonata's on the road as there are today. They still need to lower their prices in order to compete with the Accord or Camry.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    are you a big accord or camry loyalists?? your talking to a fellow who has owned an accord for 4 years now ( 94-99 ), but unlike yourself i do have a more open mind.

    This topic should be more about car comparisons then personal attacks, but there are a few of you proud accord, camry loyalists who think that they are the best and smartest owners out there.

    Ctalk i just get a email back from one of the car and driver editors who in his opinion believes the sonata could possibly have a chance to crack top 10 car of the year, something that would be laughable given any past years or any cars hyundai has to offer.

    I guess until something like that happens, you will think the accord or camry are the greatest cars in the world.

    Like i said fine cars, but if you could get a similiar car a couple grand cheaper, its a no brainer.

    and i'm sorry about that #1 competitor crap

    Honda Accord is the sonatas #1 competitor now
  • jc9799jc9799 Posts: 70
    Even if you're not a Sonata fan, it's extensive list of standard features and price advantage forces others in the segment to at least look at themselves, and try to improve. Competition is great for all of us consumers.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    I am not an Accord or Camry fan i just feel the Accord is better then the new Sonata. I have owned a Accord in the past (1990) and tried Toyota, Chevrolet and Volkswagon from 1990 to my present car 05 EX V6. I am a very open minded, and i do like the new Sonata. What i meant by #1 competitor is #1 competiton. The Camry is a better seller then the Accord. But your right the Sonata is the Accords #1 Competition (when it comes to ratings like car and driver 10 best). I do think it has a chance to get Car and Driver 10 best next year, it is a very rounded vehicle and is in my eyes much better then the current Camry but i still think it will have a very hard time beating the Accord.

    I do not think the Accord and Camry are the greatest cars in the world they are no where from perfect they have their problems for Camry it is its bland personality, for the Accord it is its styling...

    I did test drive the Sonata infact my friend works at the dealer and would have gave me a great discount on the Sonata but i felt the Accord was a better fit for me because it has a sportier interior, better steering, firmer suspension and strong reputation. But the Sonata is great, it's very powerful, nice steering (better then Camry's numb feel), and nice supsension. It's a huge improvement over the previous model.

    But i still think the Accord is leading (and the Camry is in sales). Hyundai has a great chance at leading its just like i said before if the Sonata is priced the same way as Honda people will most likely buy Honda. Hyundai still needs a couple years to take its image of 'Price advantage' off or it will never be as strong as Honda and Toyota are today.

    I'm sorry if i came a little to hard on you, I am very open minded compared to my friends some of them dont even consider Honda because its not as reliable as Toyota :P. The Sonata is a well rounded vehicle, but the Accord was more to my taste and needs.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Choe13 Which editor did you talk to, i'd like to ask a few questions myself.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    If the H badge on the Sonata were a Honda badge I would have a few questions for Honda. First off, there would be no manual transmission option with a sunroof. That's something Honda has offered since the mid-80's. I would also want to know where they went wrong with interior design. This is one of the weak points of the Sonata in my opinion. Don't even bother responding "I love the interior of the Sonata". I'm sure that's true but I prefer the interior of the Accord.

    The Mazda3 overall is a better car than the current Civic. However, my husband can't drive the Mazda so we would still have to buy the Civic.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    good research by codata99 on the Sonata thread

    "Actually the Sonata is the current benchmark in midsize class.

    Honda and Toyota have a lot of catching up to do to barely match the overall performance and refinement.
    The Sonata has 6,200 body welds, about TWO THOUSAND more than the Camry's(4,300).
    How about paint? Matching the quality of the 18-pass rotary-dip electro-coat is simply out of the question. They don't have the Rho-dip facility. Only one other plant in N. America has one.

    There are other stuff left out in the consumer brochures like the PWM-controlled enigne cooling fan because it's too technical.
    It's a stepless speed control.
    You're not gonna hear the fan kicking in like the Camcords even if you stick your ear close to the grille of the Sonata. The fan itself is quieter and has higher CFM spec than the Camry's.

    Simply put, the current Accord and Camry is a generation behind the Sonata in NVH performance and body integrity.

    Also the factory is a benchmark, it's the future of auto plants. No fork-lift trucks are there. Material and parts handling is completely automated.
    The plant requires only 2,000 workers for 300,000 annual production.
    Honda's Alabama plant needs 4000 for their 300,000 max. output. Two thousand more people...think about that.

    "One benefit to the Montgomery operation is the fact that the Sonata has been in production in Korea since September, 2004. Not only has this afforded the Hyundai America people an opportunity to become familiar with the process (the processes and equipment used in the two plants are common), but Krafcek observes that generally, the six months before a vehicle is launched is the time during which there is a flurry of issues that arise and need to be addressed and that the number of these issues then diminishes in the months after launch. Consequently, he maintains, the six months of production in Korea will help the people in Montgomery achieve a stable operation."

    If you're considering Sonata, don't worry about the quality.
    They are aiming for an IQS score of 80 PP100 for 2006 Sonata. Good enough to put it in top 3 in premium midsze category, I think. "
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348

    They are the same company road and track and car and driver that is, but have two different way of explaining this car. There are also a couple of statements that say in the terms of " something the accord and camry could not achieve" . Warm up to hear alot of those statements

    Positive review
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    I too commend codata99 for his excellent research. I trust that it is completely accurate and have no dispute over his findings. However, like he said "it's too technical". I highly doubt many consumers will be persuaded to purchase a sonata simply because it has more body welds, uses a higher quality paint from an "18-pass rotary-dip electro-coat" and has a "PWM-controlled enigne cooling fan". While these impressive features may cause a select group automotive engineers and car fanatics to salivate, the average consumer is more concerned with the fundamentals. I highly doubt that this "PWM-controlled enigne cooling fan" will translate into noticeable and tangible improvements in engine noise, nor will more body welds which do admittedly give the car more body rigidity be noticed by the average consumer. As for the "18-pass rotary-dip electro-coat" giving the sonata a sheen that is noticeably superior, are you kidding me? However, if one can show that all the above innovations are noticed by the average consumer then I will be the first to concede my point. As for the factory being a benchmark, while I have no doubt that it is true, will hardly be a compelling selling point for consumers. Should I really care that my accord took more workers to build? Where I feel the sonata has failed, despite having some new technical innovations, isn't clearly differentiating itself from its competitors. For a supposedly next-generation car the sonata offers precious little more (if at all) in the way of vehicle performance, safety, features and amenities. Having read many of the reviews and test driven the new sonata there's nothing to convince me that the sonata is a next-generation vehicle that is head and shoulders above industry standards like the camry and accord. It has reasonably strong performance, is well equipped at all levels and is quite spacious and comfortable. However, the same can be said of both the accord and camry (well the camry falls slightly short in performance). In such a competitive market the sonata failed to establish itself as the new class leader. It is merely a worthy competitor. The one key selling point of the sonata, which I suspect hyundai supporters will bring up is its excellent price. While this may entice a few buyers away who would otherwise have chosen the accord or camry, hyundai has just reinforced its image as a lower-cost alternative to the accord or camry. What the sonata needed to do was to market itself as not only a lower cost vehicle but as the new class leader which as added bonus also happened to have a lower price. I find it disappointing that hyundai is merely content to position itself as being on par with the camry and accord albeit at a lower price. Brand loyalty is a definite factor for many consumers in purchasing a new car and Hyundai has failed to do enough with its sonata to convince many accord and camry loyalists to make the switch. Toyota and Honda are still PERCEIVED to make better cars even though this may no longer be true. The 06 sonata needed to be a killer breakout vehicle that would leave no doubt in any consumer's mind of its superiority. The 06 sonata is not this car. Many people find the sonata's exterior and interior design to be rather average (of course this is subjective but the sonata just seems rather blah to me). As well, its mileage is not very impressive. These points have been done to death and I apologize for rehashing them but the fact that these points are brought up at all indicates that the sonata is not the revolutionary vehicle it so needed to be. The 06 sonata should have been able to silence any and all critics (ok well at least most). Some might think that I have unreasonable expectations of the sonata. But since Hyundai is still perceived to make inferior vehicles to toyota and honda (which I disagree with, they do make fine vehicles), the sonata needed to be the car equivalent of the second coming of christ (just kidding, well sort of :P ). What I fear may happen is when the 07 camry and 08 accord redesigns come out, the sonata may get left behind in the shuffle. Unfortunately the sonata, while a fine vehicle came out a little too late. Worthy competitor. Certainly. Lower priced but equally well equipped vehicle. Most assuredly. New class leader and industry benchmark. Hardly.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    I've ridden in but not driven an '05 Acord. Compared to my '05 GLS Special Value trim, the Acord did not have an advantage in quality, features or ride. I don't know about the safety issue and don't know if the Honda has side air bags. The '05 handles fine, looks great, rides super AND everything fits like it is supposed to.

    Resale value compared to MSRP will be lower on the Sonata than the Acord. However, resale compared to actual purchase price will be close (Sonata may even come out ahead). I plan to keep the car at least 6 years.

    Does the Acord have heated seats, homelink mirror, auto climate control, CD & cassette, heated out side mirrors and many other features? I don't know, am not being smarta**. But feature for feature, the '05 GLS SV stacks up great against any non-premium midsize (probably does well against many of the premiums also). Leather seats & sunroofs don't excite me, but I could have had both for about $1400 additional.

    $4 to $5,00 less for the Hyundai vs Honda. I didn't have to think too hard. (Don't judge the '05 Sonata by the GL or even the GLS.) 0 to 60 doesn't turn me on, as long as the car has adequate power. I mean what's the difference between 8.7 and 7.9 seconds in regular driving? I don't know Honda's rating but would guess it's no faster than 7.9.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Here's a few questions that I would ask Honda about the Accord:

    * Why did you make the control layout on the center stack so darn complex?

    * Why can't you equip the driver's seat of a car that list for over $23,000 with something better than a simple up/down adjustment for the seat bottom?

    * When are you going to ditch the mouse-fur cloth interior of the Accord EX with something a little classier, and more befitting its price?

    * Why, after seven generations of Accord, haven't you figured out how to make a good-handling car that doesn't make you feel every little imperfection on the roadway?

    * Why can't you back up your reputation for quality with a warranty that lasts more than 3 years, like almost all of your competitors do?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Car and Driver measured 7.0 seconds 0-60 for the Sonata LX. Hyundai itself claims 7.7 seconds 0-62 mph, which is probably more realistic for most drivers (those C/D testers use a few tricks to get the fastest 0-60 times that few everyday drivers would employ).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    You've illustrated exceptionally well my earlier point that the Sonata needs to walk on water to impress some people. The fact that it is the undisputed class benchmark for interior room, safety features, warranty (tied with the Optima and Galant, but it's a far superior car to those), and features-for-the-dollar isn't enough. There's a few other things too, such as, how many other cars in this class have a 5-speed autostick? How many offer the Sonata LX's blend of power, handling, and ride quality? How many cars in this class have as classy an exterior as the Sonata? (Hint: not the Accord, Camry, or Malibu. Maybe the Altima, except for its weak nose.)

    As for the future, don't forget that Hyundai still has some tricks up its sleeve waiting in the wings with the Sonata, e.g. the adaptive rear suspension and the 3.8L V6 from the Azera. And shortly after the new Accord comes out for '08, the Sonata will be due for its mid-life refresh. Recall what Hyundai did with the '02 Sonata: almost a complete restyle, engine upgrades, updated interior.
  • choe13choe13 Posts: 348
    Pardon me but what in heavens are you talking about?? You are talking about fundementals yet you are nitpicking everything that could be wrong with hyundai.

    It has to walk on water?? second coming of jesus?? unlike the Honda Accord it is trying. Offering more safety features, longer warranty, benchmarking cars like audi and lexus for superior craftmanship and NVH.

    What has Accord done for you or any of its loyal fans lately?? i don't think adding an i to VTECH is called fan pleasing in my books. It has a halfdone exterior design makeup also.

    Honda needs the TSX to be the accord , and then i will gladly admit it is a better car. But until then, a solid yet untrying car like the accord, cannot fool a customer like me.
  • nornenorne Posts: 136
    "The Mazda3 overall is a better car than the current Civic. However, my husband can't drive the Mazda so we would still have to buy the Civic."

    and just why your husband can't drive the mazda3???
This discussion has been closed.