2017 Honda Accord vs 2017 Hyundai Sonata
- Horsepower 50% 50%
- Torque 100% 100%
Over the past few years, Hyundai has gotten serious about breaking away from its budget-based production, instead gearing up to battle the premiere entry-level car makers of the last half-century. This means doing battle with the big three from Asia that have dominated the mid-size sedan rankings for decades. While the 2017 Hyundai Sonata has surpassed the Nissan Altima, and is currently getting the upper hand against the Toyota Camry, it still has one last opponent to vanquish.
If there is one vehicle that has reliability, comfort, and satisfaction associated with it year after year, that vehicle is the Honda Accord. Consistently offering the perfect mix for single drivers, families, businesses, and more, it has been the premier entry-level mid-size sedan for decades. Can the upstart 2017 Hyundau Sonata dethrone the trusted steed, the 2017 Honda Accord, from its place at the top?
Safety – The Highest Priority
You’re not looking at an entry-level mid-size because you want high-performance, although we’ll get to that. At the forefront of the search is safety, and while both vehicles receive nearly identical safety ratings, when you scratch the surface, you see that there are some differences.
Both have received five stars for overall crash safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the key tester. However, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata gets hit with a four-star rating for Rollover Risk, thanks to having a risk of 10.5% The Accord fares slightly better, with a 9.9% chance earning it a five-star rating. Not a major difference, but all else considered, do you want to chance that .6%?
The chasm grows when you look at preventative safety features and how they are offered. On the 2017 Honda Accord, Honda LaneWatch – the branded version of blind-spot detection – standard on all trim levels above the base model. For the 2017 Hyundai Sonata, blind spot detection is only offered on the two highest trim levels. Both offer a version of Lane Keeping Assist, and in both cases, it is only standard on the highest trim level. However, with the Accord, it is available on all trim levels as an option, while it is only an option on the second-highest Sonata trim level. In many cases, the same equipment is available, but with the Hyundai, it is much more limited than with the Honda.
About That Power…
Hyundai and Honda have differing mindsets when it comes to powering the 2017 models. While both offer a 2.4-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that offers 185 horsepower, the 2017 Honda Accord ekes out an extra 3 lb-ft of torque. For economically-minded drivers, the Sonata offers a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, but if you’re worried about the power in eco models, you’ve got your priorities a bit confused. Also, it’s not all that economical, as we’ll get to shortly.
It’s the step up that trips up the Sonata. The 2017 Honda Accord offers two different upgrades. The first, a sport-tuned version of the 2.4-liter engine, bumps the output to 189 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque – the Sonata doesn’t have a similar up-tuned offering. The big push comes from the Accord’s 3.5-liter V6 engine, which offers 278 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. Confident and throaty, it’s a straight-up enjoyable engine to have. Hyundai went for turbocharging, instead of the larger engine, to keep fuel efficiency in mind. While torque is slightly better, at 260 lb-ft, there is a larger horsepower differential, as the 2.0-liter engine only produces 245 horsepower. That means that whenever you want to overtake on the open road, the Accord is going to give you better response and a better chance. But at least you’re saving fuel, right?
|COMFORT & CONVENIENCE|
|Standard||Dual Zone Climate Control||Not Available|
|Standard||Automatic Climate Control||Not Available|
|Optional||Electronic Parking Assist||Not Available|
- Dual Zone Climate Control 100% 100%
- Automatic Climate Control 100% 100%
- Electronic Parking Assist 100% 100%
- Legroom (backseat) 100% 100%
While a manual transmission is fun to drive, it is now less efficient than the automatic transmissions being produced. If you want a manual in the 2017 Honda Accord, it will reduce your gas mileage, but at least it’s an option. Because the Sonata doesn’t offer it, we’ll stick to comparing apples to apples and evaluate the cars with their automatic transmissions in place.
For the 2017 Hyundai Sonata, that means getting 25 miles per gallon around town with the 2.4-liter engine, or 36 miles per gallon on the open road. If you spend a lot of time in the city, the 2017 Accord will be the better choice – while it gets the same 36 MPG on the highway, it gets 27 miles per gallon around town. Depending on how much you drive, that can start to add up after a bit. It’s not like going the Eco route matters either – the Sonata Eco with its low-output engine only gets 1 more MPG around town on the Accord, with the same highway mileage.
About that turbocharged engine versus the V6. In the Sport 2.0T trim, it gets 22 MPG city and 31 MPG highway, while the Limited trim cuts that to 21 MPG city and 30 MPG highway. The 2017 Accord with the V6 gets 21 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. Maybe turbo wasn’t the right way to go for Hyundai…
The Experts Weigh In
“Suspension tuning has long been a weakness at Hyundai…” – Car and Driver
“There’s a reason the Honda Accord is typically a top-three best-selling sedan in the U.S. It’s economical, practical, comfortable, and a little sporting if you get the right model.” – Automobile
- 6/6 Winner Over all 100% 100%
2017 Honda Accord is the winner!
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata has clearly come a long way, and will certainly be a tough challenger for years to come. It has a pleasing, advanced look to it, smart ergonomics inside, and plenty of features and options. It is a quality, mid-size, five-passenger sedan.
The biggest difference between the 2017 Honda Accord and the 2017 Hyundai Sonata highlights a difference in mindset that Honda has versus its competitors. The Accord does everything just a bit better. The fit and furnishings in the interior feel just a bit more upscale. The same features are offered on the Accord as the Sonata, but Honda makes them more accessible, either as standards on more trims or offered as options on more trims. And all the time, Honda is doing it at the same price point. Going those extra few inches it what sets the 2017 Honda Accord as the reigning benchmark of the segment, and the better choice of these two vehicles.
Fuel economy estimates and driving range based on EPA test data. Your actual driving distance will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle. Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors. Complete comparison details can be found at https://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare/models.aspx. Awards and accolade information can be found at https://automobiles.honda.com/awards/
The Accord has just been named one of Car and Driver’s 10Best for the 30th time, giving it more appearances on the list than any other car in the magazine’s history. As our signature vehicle, the 2016 Accord upholds a legacy we started in 1976. With further design refinements and even more efficient performance, it’s our best Accord ever. Again. The 2016 Accord has been named to the list of 16 Best Family Cars of 2016 by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. Each vehicle was praised for impressive comfort, driving dynamics and family practicality.  For more information, visit www.kbb.com. Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. The 2016 Accord Sedan with Honda Sensing™ has been awarded the coveted 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in recognition of its superior crash safety performance. Safety matters most, and the 2016 Accord earned top marks with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)1.  Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).