Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Hyundai SONATA VS 2016 Nissan Altima Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Hyundai SONATA

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VS

2016 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

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The Sonata offers an optional Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Sonata and the Altima Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Nissan Altima Sedan:

Sonata

Altima Sedan

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

245

262

Neck Stress

164 lbs.

216 lbs.

Neck Compression

49 lbs.

59 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

35%

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

31/73 lbs.

537/329 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 Nissan Altima Sedan:

Sonata

Altima Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

184 G’s

Hip Force

408 lbs.

493 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

42 G’s

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

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 64 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Altima Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2015.

The Hyundai Sonata has a better fatality history. The Sonata was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 10% lower per vehicle registered than the Altima Sedan, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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 Altima Sedan’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 and 40,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Altima Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Altima Sedan ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Altima Sedan’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sonata has a standard 608-amp battery. The Altima Sedan’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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The Sonata 2.0T’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 251) than the Altima Sedan 3.5’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.:

Sonata

Altima Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

7.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.4 MPH

88.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Sonata 2.0T Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. gets better city fuel mileage than the Altima Sedan 3.5 V6 (23 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Sonata

Sonata Sport 2.0T

Altima Sedan

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

The Sonata stops much shorter than the Altima Sedan:

Sonata

Altima Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

130 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 Altima Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sonata’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Altima Sedan (110.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Altima Sedan.

The Sonata Sport 2.0T handles at .81 G’s, while the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sonata Sport 2.0T executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV (27.5 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Altima Sedan 2.5/2.5 S’ (35.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The Sonata’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Altima Sedan SV/SR/SL/3.5’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

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 Altima Sedan is rated a Mid-size.

The Sonata has 4.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Altima Sedan (106.1 vs. 101.9).

The Sonata has .4 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear hip room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Altima Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Sonata has a larger trunk than the Altima Sedan (16.3 vs. 15.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Altima Sedan 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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When two different drivers share the Sonata Limited, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Sonata Limited/Sport 2.0T’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Sonata and the Altima Sedan have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Sonata is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Altima Sedan prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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

The Sonata has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Altima Sedan Base 2.5.

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

The Sonata’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Altima Sedan and aren’t offered on the Altima Sedan Base/S.

Both the Sonata and the Altima Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Sonata Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Altima Sedan.

Optional air conditioned seats in the Sonata Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Altima Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Sonata owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sonata will cost $810 less than the Altima Sedan over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

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Both the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima Sedan won four awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

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