Right now is a good time to be shopping for a new midsize sedan. The current field of competitors is better than it ever has been, and buying a humble family car no longer means settling for a boring car. Two great examples of how good midsize sedans have become are the 2018 Toyota Camry and the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.
Both of these cars are stylish, tech savvy and efficient, and both offer strong-performing engines to add a little enthusiasm to your commute. They’re also both priced so just about anyone in the market for a new car can afford them. Let’s take a look at what’s similar, what’s different and which midsize sedan is right for you.
The Camry and the Sonata both have a new look for 2018, but that doesn’t mean they’re both all-new for this year. The Camry got a major overhaul and is in the first year of its current generation. The Camry has been synonymous with boring, but high-quality cars for a long time, but nobody is accusing the new model of looking boring. The Sonata has technically been the same car since 2015, but it has been revised for 2018 with a new look inside and out, keeping it fresh and competitive.
Exterior dimensions for the two cars are nearly identical, so if you’re concerned about size, you won’t see any major differences between the two. The Sonata and the Camry both have handsome exteriors that make them look more expensive than they are. See the 2018 Toyota Camry models for sale near you
The premium look and feel of both of these cars continues in their interiors. The interior design of the Sonata is more conservative and the Camry’s interior is a little more interesting. They both have clean lines and comfortable seats, but the passenger room is balanced a little differently in these cars.
The Hyundai Sonata has a little more headroom and legroom in the front than the Toyota Camry, but it’s the opposite when you get in the back seat. For back seat occupants, headroom is the same in both cars, but the Camry has more legroom in the back than the Sonata. If you’re planning on using the back seats regularly, your passengers might appreciate the Camry a little more than the Sonata. If it’s just going to be you and one passenger most of the time, then the Sonata is a little roomier.
As for cargo space, both cars have back seats that fold down. There’s a bit more trunk space in the Sonata than there is in the Camry. However, the Sonata’s lift-over height is taller than the Camry’s, making it a little harder to load up the trunk in the Hyundai. See the 2018 Hyundai Sonata models for sale near you
The Hyundai Sonata has three engines available, and the Toyota Camry has two. The base engine in the Camry is a 2.5-liter inline four that makes 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s a decently peppy engine, and it returns respectable fuel economy at up to 29 miles per gallon in city driving and 41 mpg on the highway. If you want some more muscle in your midsize sedan, you can upgrade to a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is still pretty good at 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.
The base engine in the Sonata is a 2.4-liter inline four, and despite being a similar size as the 4-cylinder in the Camry, the Hyundai’s engine only makes 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Not only is it lacking in performance compared to the Camry, it’s also not as efficient at 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy. For a more efficient engine that doesn’t sacrifice much in performance, you can get a Sonata with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that makes 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. It’s the most efficient engine you can get in a Sonata at 28 mpg city/37 mpg hwy. The Hyundai’s top-performing engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four that makes 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque returning 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.
The engines available in the Sonata aren’t bad, but the Toyota outclasses the Hyundai on paper in terms of both performance and fuel economy. Pricing comes into play, however, when you start shopping around for the different engines, which we’ll get into shortly.
Features and Technology
Both of these sedans can be optioned to be pretty luxurious, but both still come well equipped in the lower and midrange trims. Both cars come standard with an infotainment system with a nice 7-inch touchscreen, but there’s one big difference between the two. Both are upgradable to an 8-in unit with optional navigation and premium audio.
Both cars come standard with Apple CarPlay on every trim, but only the Sonata offers Android Auto. Every 2018 Hyundai Sonata has Android Auto, and you can’t get this feature on any new Camry. That’s a big deal if you’re an Android user and want to use this excellent connectivity feature that you might use every day.
As for safety technology, every Camry comes with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which is among the best safety tech suites on the market. TSS-P includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control.
The Sonata comes standard with a few nice safety features, but not nearly as many as the Camry. Every Sonata has blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist, but if you want adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams and automatic emergency braking, those features only come standard on the very top Limited 2.0T+ trim, but they’re available on some other trims.
For entertainment and connectivity technology, the Sonata has an advantage over the Camry for Android users. If safety is a big priority for you, then you might find the Camry more appealing due to its standard TSS-P safety technology.
The Hyundai Sonata is a little more affordable than the Toyota Camry across the model ranges. The Sonata has a starting MSRP of $22,050, and the Camry starts at $23,845. The Camry has a higher price ceiling than the Sonata because it’s available with a V6, and the Sonata isn’t. The top end of the Camry goes over $35,000 while the nicest Sonata you can get is only about $32,000.
When similarly equipped, the Sonata continues to be more affordable than the Camry. Something big to consider, however, is the safety tech that comes standard in every Camry, which helps justify its higher price tags.
Which sedan is right for you depends on your priorities. If you want something a little more conservatively styled inside and out that’s loaded with nice technology and a comfortable interior, the Sonata might be for you. If you want a lot of safety tech at an affordable price point, and you like some bold styling on a midsize sedan, then consider the Camry. If you’re an enthusiast who needs a practical sedan, remember the Camry is available with an excellent V6 that outperforms the Sonata. Find a Toyota Camry for sale or Find a Hyundai Sonata for sale