The midsize sedan segment has been one of the most competitive automotive classes for a long time. Two old rivals in family sedans are the Hyundai Sonata and the Toyota Camry, both of which are at the top of their game in 2019. Let’s take a look at what’s similar, what’s different, and which is better between the Camry and the Sonata.
The Camry was all new for the 2018 model year and the Sonata benefited from a face-lift in 2018, so both cars are still on the heels of those recent updates. The Camry is doing a fantastic job shaking off its reputation as a boring car with its sharp new look. As for the Sonata, it hasn’t gotten a major update since the 2015 model, but the recent face-lift is keeping it fresh.
As for sizing, these cars are nearly identical in size, so you don’t need to worry about one taking up more room in the garage than the other. They both fall right in line with the rest of the midsize sedan segment with a size that’s not too big and not too small, making them great for a family of four.
Along with its recent exterior refresh, the interior of the Sonata got a slight interior revision that went a long way. We’re impressed with the premium-looking design of the Sonata’s interiors, but the material quality is a bit hit or miss. Other pluses include roomy, comfortable seats and one of the biggest trunks in this class.See the 2019 Hyundai Sonata models for sale near you
The Camry’s recent update also brought with it a nicer interior. Interior material quality is a huge improvement over the previous-generation Camry and, overall, a bit nicer than the inside of the Sonata. The Toyota also has the advantage of more back-seat legroom than the Hyundai, which is something to keep in mind if you’re planning on having passengers back there often. See the 2019 Toyota Camry models for sale near you
The Camry is available with either an inline four or a V6 and the Sonata has a range of three different inline-four engines to choose from. Both cars are only available with front-wheel drive and automatic transmissions.
2019 Toyota Camry Engines
2.5-liter inline four; 203 horsepower, 184 lb-ft of torque; up to 29 mpg city/41 mpg hwy
3.5-liter V6; 301 hp, 267 lb-ft of torque; up to 22 mpg city/33 mpg hwy
2.5-liter hybrid inline-four; 208 hp, 163 lb-ft of torque; up to 51 mpg city/53 mpg hwy
2019 Hyundai Sonata Engines
2.4-liter inline four; 185 hp, 178 lb-ft of torque; up to 26 city/35 mpg hwy
1.6-liter turbocharged inline four; 178 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque; up to 28 mpg city/37 mpg hwy
2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 245 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque; up to 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy
2.0-liter hybrid inline four; 193 hp, 151 lb-ft of torque; up to 40 mpg city/46 mpg hwy
Whether you prioritize performance or fuel economy, the engines in the Camry beat the engines in the Sonata. The Hyundai’s engines aren’t bad, but on paper, the Toyota’s engines are more efficient on the low end and more powerful on the high end while achieving similar fuel economy. The Camry Hybrid is also more efficient than the Sonata Hybrid by a significant margin while delivering stronger performance.
If you want to save money at the fuel pump, you’ll want either a 4-cylinder Camry or a Sonata equipped with the 1.6-liter turbo-four. For the enthusiast who needs a practical car, a V6 Camry or a 2.0-liter turbo Sonata are good choices. The V6 in the Camry is especially good for delivering potent power while still being reasonably efficient.
Both of these sedans have user-friendly infotainment systems, but there’s one key difference between the two. The Camry offers standard Apple CarPlay on every trim, which is a great connectivity feature for iPhone users, but it isn’t available with Android Auto on any trim. The 2019 Sonata, on the other hand, offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard on all models. This is a big deal if you’re an Android user and want the ability to integrate your phone with your car to turn down distractions and turn up convenience.
Toyota is extremely generous with standard safety and driver-assist features on the Camry. Every 2019 Camry comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and lane-departure warning. All of these features are available on the Sonata, but not on every trim. What every Sonata does come standard with is blind spot monitoring and lane-change assist.
You may be noticing a lot of advantages that the Camry has over the Sonata, but here’s one category where the Hyundai has the upper hand. The Sonata is the more affordable sedan with a starting MSRP of $22,300 and the Camry starts at $23,945. On the high end, the Sonata Limited 2.0T starts at $31,900 and the Camry XSE V6 starts at $34,700.
The Sonata Hybrid is also the more affordable of the two hybrids but by a bigger margin. The Sonata Hybrid starts at $25,750 and the Camry Hybrid starts at $28,250.
The Sonata has a few perks over the Camry like a bigger trunk, Android Auto and more affordable pricing, but we think the Camry is the better family sedan. The Toyota Camry impresses us with its bold styling, fantastic engines, extremely efficient hybrid and very generous standard safety tech. The Sonata is a good midsize sedan, but the Camry is a great one. Find a Hyundai Sonata for sale or Find a Toyota Camry for sale