The Honda Accord was all new for 2018.
The Hyundai Sonata was last all-new for 2015 and received an update for 2018.
Both vehicles offer turbocharged engines.
The 2019 Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata are two compelling midsize sedan offerings. Both offer good cabin technology, great safety features and optional turbocharged engines. Since both are worth considering if you’re in the market for a midsize sedan, we’ll take a look at the two below to help identify their relative strengths and weaknesses.
The current generation Hyundai Sonata went on sale for 2015 and received a face-lift for the 2018 model year. Most Sonatas employ a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Depending on trim level, the Sonata earns either 28 or 29 miles per gallon in combined driving from this powertrain. Step up to the top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T model and the Sonata makes use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and paired with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. 2.0T Sonatas earn 26 mpg combined, which is more than a fair trade-off considering this engine’s added performance. A base Sonata starts at $22,300, while a fully-loaded example will approach $34,000. See the 2019 Hyundai Sonata models for sale near you
The Honda Accord was all new for 2018, adopting a sleek, coupe like profile, a design trend made popular, ironically, with the help of the last-generation Hyundai Sonata. Like the Sonata, Accord buyers also have their choice of two different engines, although in the case of the Accord, both of those engines are turbocharged. The Accord’s base engine is a 1.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder that makes 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque and mated to either a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic (CVT). CVT equipped Accords earn 33 mpg combined. Buyers wanting additional performance can step up to the 2.0T model, which packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0T is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic. Accords equipped with the 2.0T and 10-speed auto earn 27 mpg combined. Accord prices start at $23,720 and reaches close to $37,000 in fully-loaded Touring guise. See the 2019 Honda Accord models for sale near you
Hybrid variants of the Sonata and Accord are offered as well, offering considerable fuel economy savings — the Sonata hybrid earns 42 mpg combined, while the Accord hybrid earns 49 mpg combined — but also requiring buyers pay a price premium while giving up some performance. For the purposes of this comparison, we’ll focus on the non-hybrid models.
On the outside, the Sonata measures 191.1 inches long, 73.4 inches wide and 58.1 inches tall, while the Accord comes in at 192.1 inches long, 73.2 inches wide and 57.1 inches tall.
Inside, the Sonata offers front seat passengers 40.4 inches of headroom and 45.5 inches of legroom, while the Accord offers 39.5 inches of headroom and 42.3 inches of legroom. Moving to the second row, the Sonata has 38.0 inches of headroom and 35.6 inches of legroom, while the Accord offers 37.3 inches of headroom and a rather generous 40.4 inches of legroom.
Moving on to the trunk area, and the Sonata offers 16.3 cu ft. of cargo room while the Accord offers 16.7 cu ft.
Altogether, the dimensions of these two vehicles are very similar, but the Accord’s larger back seat is worth noting.
The overall design of the Sonata is fairly conservative, with a trapezoidal shaped grille, steeply angled headlights and uniquely-shaped air vents at the base of the bumper. A chrome strip runs from the headlights, along the front fender, and into the window trim — a unique styling element carried over from the previous generation Sonata. The rear of the Sonata is attractive as well, with a slab like trunk lid and visually heavy-looking tail lights.
The Accord’s new design is a departure from previous iterations. Like the Sonata, the Accord’s profile is now that of a "4-door coupe," that is, the greenhouse is low and a gradually sloping rear window makes for a short, abbreviated rear trunk lid. Altogether, it makes for a sporty and aggressive looking design. Up front, the Accord’s grille and headlights are presided over by a chrome strip running the width of the hood. Around back, the Accord employs a more conservative design, with "C" shaped taillights and tail pipes integrated into the bumper. Nineteen inch wheels are offered on upper trim levels.
The Sonata is equally conservative on the inside, with a flat-looking dashboard accented by aluminum-look trim. The Sonata’s center infotainment screen is nestled within the dashboard. Interior colors are pretty standard, as beige, black and gray hues are all available.
The Accord is pretty conservative inside as well, although the overall design ethos differs from that of the Hyundai. Most notably, the Accord’s infotainment screen sits above the dash, employing the "tablet" aesthetic popular with many new vehicles today. Additionally, the Accord employs faux wood trim, which is an antiquated design element that Honda seems reluctant to abandon. Finally, the Accord’s automatic transmission uses buttons instead of a gear lever, freeing up space on the center console. Interior color options consist of gray or black.
Technology, Features & Infotainment
Most Sonatas come with a 7-in touchscreen infotainment system, while the 2.0T gets a larger 8-in unit. Hyundai’s infotainment system is said to be pretty user-friendly. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the range. Additionally, Hyundai offers an app it refers to as "Blue Link" that allows you to lock and unlock the vehicle remotely, start it remotely, adjust the climate control and other things. Three 12 volt outlets and one USB port are offered.
Accord LX and base Hybrid models come with a 7-in screen, while Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring models employ an 8-in screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available on models equipped with the 8-in screen. The Accord’s current infotainment system is said to be greatly improved over past Honda iterations. The 2019 Accord offers two 12 volt outlets and two USB ports.
The Sonata also offers an available Infinity-branded premium audio system, a panoramic sunroof, paddle shifters, a memory driver’s seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
The 2019 Accord comes standard with automatic climate control and a capless fuel filter. Also available are a head up display, heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats.
The 2019 Sonata and the Accord are both exceptionally safe. In third-party crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2019 Accord earns a Top Safety Pick designation, while the 2019 Sonata takes this one step further, earning Top Safety Pick+ status. The Accord likely barely misses out on Top Safety Pick+ status due to an imperfect score in the headlight category.
Both vehicles offer an array of active safety features as well. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the 2019 Sonata, while adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and rear parking sensors are all available, but only on upper trim levels.
The Accord offers more as standard, with adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, front automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist offered on every 2019 model. EX trim levels and up gain blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and front and rear parking sensors.
Altogether, the Accord has a leg up on the Sonata with regard to overall safety thanks to the inclusion of its most impactful active safety features as standard.
Buyers of the Accord and the Sonata should experience above average reliability. One area where Hyundai has a major leg up on Honda is with regard to its warranty. While Honda offers your industry-average 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, Hyundai offers an industry-leading 5-year/60,000-mile basic and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Both the 2019 Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata are great vehicles, offering great safety ratings, impressive technology and turbocharged engines. That said, the Sonata’s design is a few years older than that of the Accord, and its starting to show, given the Sonata’s inferior performance and rather ho-hum aesthetics. That said, the Sonata offers great value, with features like a panoramic sunroof, premium audio system and a heated steering wheel, none of which are available on the Accord. Still, the Accord offers a few premium features of its own, and coupled with its modern design, generous offering of driver-assistance features, and superior driving dynamics, it earns the nod in this comparison. Find a Honda Accord for sale or Find a Hyundai Sonata for sale