Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Hyundai SONATA VS 2015 Chevrolet Malibu Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Hyundai SONATA

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VS

2015 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

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Both the Sonata and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Sonata

Malibu

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

29%

Neck Stress

164 lbs.

206 lbs.

Neck Compression

49 lbs.

54 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

197

315

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

42%

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

31/73 lbs.

114/137 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:

Sonata

Malibu

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

132

155

Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

785 lbs.

852 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

HIC

213

408

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

44 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

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The Sonata comes with a full 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Malibu’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 5 years longer than Chevrolet covers the Malibu. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Malibu ends after only 5 years or 100,000 miles.

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Malibu’s (7/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Motor Trend the Sonata Eco is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 4 cyl.:

Sonata

Malibu

Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.4 MPH

85.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Eco gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu 4 cyl. (28 city/38 hwy vs. 25 city/36 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata gets better fuel mileage than the Malibu:

Sonata

Malibu

4 cyl./Auto

25 city/37 hwy

25 city/36 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/32 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Malibu with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sonata has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Malibu LS’ standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Sonata’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:

Sonata

Sonata Sport 2.0T

Malibu

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

The Sonata stops shorter than the Malibu:

Sonata

Malibu

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Sonata has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Malibu (110.4 inches vs. 107.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Malibu.

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Malibu’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Hyundai Sonata amounts to more than styling. The Sonata has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Malibu (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sonata get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Sonata is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Malibu is rated a Mid-size.

The Sonata has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Malibu (106.1 vs. 100.3).

The Sonata has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 3.4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear hip room than the Malibu.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Sonata offers cargo security. The Malibu’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Sonata. The Malibu doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata’s available trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Malibu doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Sonata’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Malibu’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Sonata’s optional front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Malibu LTZ’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The Sonata has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the Sonata’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Malibu’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Sonata Limited/Sport 2.0T detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Malibu doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Sonata’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Malibu LT/LTZ.

When the Sonata is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Malibu’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Sonata and the Malibu offer available heated front seats. The Sonata also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Malibu.

The Sonata Limited/Sport 2.0T’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Malibu doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Sonata Limited’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Malibu doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Sonata and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sonata has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sonata Limited/Sport 2.0T offers an optional Smart Cruise Control with Full Stop, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Chevrolet Malibu by 11% during the 2014 model year.

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