COMPARING THE 2018 HONDA ACCORD VS THE 2018 HYUNDAI SONATA
GL, 2.4 Sport, GLS, GLS Tech, Limited, 2.0T Sport
Part way through its current seventh-generation life cycle, the Sonata receives a modest update for the 2018 model year that sees its formerly restrained look made notably more aggressive and, in the words of its designers, "sensuous." A revised front end sets off the subtle redesign, with a new grille, front fascia, and optional LED headlights punctuating the look. Under the hood, a new 8-speed automatic transmission mates to the available turbocharged engine. Inside, a new steering wheel greets drivers, revised controls lend a more premium appearance, the BlueLink® telematics system offers enhanced connected-car capability, and standard Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™ compatibility and wireless device charging deliver seamless smartphone integration. Out back, Hyundai's designers tweaked the taillights, relocated the license plate holder, and integrated the trunk-release button into the Hyundai badge. Rounding out the updates are some new active safety systems, including high-beam assist with adaptive cornering, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, plus a driver attention alert feature.
2018 HONDA ACCORD TOURING VS 2018 HYUNDAI SONATA LIMITED
2018 HONDA ACCORD TOURING
1.5-litre direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC®
192 lb.-ft. @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
Standard 6" full-colour display
2018 HYUNDAI SONATA LIMITED
2.4-litre DOHC direct-injected
178 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
"Without driving the outgoing and new model back to back, it is hard to say the 2018 Sonata is this or that much better than the one it replaces. This, after all, is mostly a facelift."
- Driving.ca, July 16, 2017
COMPARING THE 2018 HONDA ACCORD
2018 HONDA ACCORD TOURING VS. 2018 HYUNDAI SONATA LIMITED
- Sonata offers a Drive Mode Select feature that provides four driver-tailored modes.
- Sonata is available with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode.
- Sonata features cutting-edge connectivity, including standard Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™ compatibility, wireless device charging, and BlueLink® telematics with features like remote start.
- Sonata has the most comprehensive advanced safety systems in the intermediate sedan segment.
- Sonata is available with a Smart Trunk feature that opens the trunk, hands-free, when it senses the proximity key.
- Sonata can be optioned with a heated steering wheel, plus heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats.
- Yes, but Accord's Sport mode button offers similar driver-oriented control. What's more, there's no getting around the fact that Sonata is down in the power department compared to Accord - 185 hp and 178 lb.-ft. versus 192 and 192 lb.-ft. - and produces those numbers higher in the rev range. So, even when Sonata's sport mode is engaged, it will still lag behind Accord, particularly considering Accord also weighs less.
- Actually, Sonata buyers may be disappointed to learn that the new 8-speed automatic transmission is only available on the top-of-the-line 2.0T Sport model; all other trims still use Hyundai's familiar 6-speed. Accord buyers, on the other hand, enjoy the seamless shifts and virtually infinite gear ratios that its CVT offers. It not only features G-Design Shift Logic for more immediate acceleration response, but also helps Accord achieve better fuel economy than Sonata.
- That's impressive, but look closely at the specifics and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that Accord offers all the same great features as Sonata. HondaLink™ gives customers on-the-go, handheld control over many of their Accord's critical features.
- That's a noteworthy distinction, but one that will be short-lived, as Accord offers the same level of driver aids, plus some you won't find on Sonata, such as Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). In fact, while the 2018 Sonata adds features like Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist, these features have been available on Accord since the 2016 model year.
Features like these represent a neat party trick, but their functionality is limited by their real-world practicality, as evidenced by the fact that it takes 3 seconds for the Smart Trunk system to detect the key's presence.
- True, but Sonata's heated steering wheel isn't available in combination with features like paddle shifters unless you step up to the top-of-the-line 2.0T Sport. Accord, meanwhile, features a heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, heated/ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats with seat-bottom and seat-back heating elements for maximum cold-weather comfort.
HYUNDAI SONATA: IN SUMMARY
The Hyundai Sonata tells a cautionary tale. Its seeming overnight sales success with introduction of the standout 6th-generation model was heralded as proof positive that effective design can move metal. But Sonata sales peaked in 2011, and the reception to the current 7th-generation iteration has been lukewarm. Even considering the industry-wide slowdown in sedan sales, Sonata's sales in recent years have fallen off their previously breakneck pace, meaning the vehicle's revamp comes at an opportune time for Hyundai. But the refresh doesn't introduce anything groundbreaking for the segment. There are many improvements to commend, sure, but overall the refreshed Sonata fails to offer up anything that really beckons you to drive it any more than its predecessor did. It is, in other words, more evolutionary than revolutionary, a newish take on an old idea. Time will tell if it's enough for the brand to make up for lost ground.