September 16

The Hyundai Sonata vs. The Nissan Altima

Although car buyers have a wider range of options than ever before, the sedan is still preferred by many, mostly because of how it manages to blend the convenience of a large vehicle with the agility of a smaller one. The Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima are two vehicles that perfectly fit that description. Here’s how the two compare.

Trim levels

The Hyundai Sonata is available in five different trims: SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and N Line. The SE trim is very well-equipped for a base version, with features like alloy wheels, a large 8-inch touch-screen interface, a six-speaker sound system, as well as multiple smartphone integration options and driver aids. Higher trims add more useful features, like larger wheels, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, and Hyundai’s Parking Assist system, which allows the driver to operate the car via their mobile phone instead of a physical key. There are even more powerful features of the Hyundai Sonata.

The Nissan Altima also comes in five trim levels: S, SV, SR, SL, and Platinum. The base version is slightly less impressive than the Sonata, with steel wheels instead of alloy ones, a smaller 7-inch touch screen, and fewer smartphone connectivity options. Higher trims make up some of the difference by adding multiple functional and stylish elements. Overall, both cars can be equipped with many exciting features, but the Sonata has more features as standard features instead of extra options. 

Power and Performance

Hyundai Symbol on Red Hyundai Car

Image via Pixabay by KoalaParkLaundromat

Both vehicles have three engine options to choose from. The Nissan Altima’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that can produce up to 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, with the power transmitted down to the front wheels with the help of a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Platinum trim has an all-wheel-drive powertrain and features the same engine, but with output reduced to 182 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. Those who are looking for more power can choose the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with up to 236 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque.

The Hyundai Sonata’s base engine is also a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it manages to produce slightly more power, delivering up to 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Those who are looking for more power at low revs can choose the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, with 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the Sonata’s top engine is significantly more powerful than the Altima’s, the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

The Hyundai Sonata also has the edge when it comes to relevant performance indicators, like acceleration. When equipped with its 2.5-liter engine, the Altima can reach 60 miles per hour from a complete standstill in a respectable 8.4 seconds. The Sonata’s turbocharged engine manages to reach the same speed in 7.6 seconds, a considerable difference. When equipped with their top engines, the Altima does it in 5.8 seconds, whereas the Sonata only needs 5.1 seconds.

Interior Comfort and Style

Many people choose sedans because of their elegance and interior comfort, with the Sonata and Altima scoring high marks in these two categories. The Hyundai Sonata’s interior is good-looking and comfortable, allowing up to five people to travel in comfort, even for long distances. The firm seats and wide-opening doors provide support and ease of access for all passengers, irrespective of their size. Once inside, the excellent cabin insulation enhances comfort by eliminating most wind, road, and engine noises. The climate control system, which includes ventilated front seats, does a great job of keeping a steady temperature. 

The Altima’s interior is also comfortable but lacks some of the Altima’s charm and elegance. There’s plenty of space for every passenger and all main functions are both intuitive and easy to use. The cabin also manages to insulate passengers from outside noises, but its suspension system is a little too stiff and can make rough road surfaces uncomfortable to drive on. 

Infotainment Technology

The Nissan Altima has all the infotainment functions you would expect from a modern vehicle, but not all of them are standard. The base S trim comes with a 7-inch touch-screen interface and the option to stream conversations and music from your smartphone via Bluetooth and the single USB port. The SV trim builds on that by adding Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, enhancing the touch screen to an 8-inch one, as well as adding an extra USB-C port in front and two more in the rear. 

The Hyundai Sonata’s standard trim has many of the Altima’s optional infotainment features, like the 8-inch touch-screen interface and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity options. Drivers can also choose to upgrade their touch-screen interface to an impressive 10.25 inches. Another infotainment feature of the Hyundai Sonata is a blue light filter in the car.

Safety Features

Both the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima are exceptionally safe vehicles, as confirmed by the 5-star rating they both received from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Besides both of them being safe in case of an unfortunate collision, they are also equipped with modern active safety systems that help the driver notice and avoid such events. Some of their common standard driver aids include a forward collision detection system that also automatically applies the brakes, reducing the collision’s impact as much as possible. They also have lane-departure warning, with the Sonata also automatically steering you back into your lane.

The Altima has a Driver Assist package available, that includes features like a blind-spot monitor, which alerts you if the vehicle in the lane next to you is in your blind spot, a rear cross-traffic alert system that warns you if another vehicle is about to cross your path while you reverse, and rear parking sensors. The Sonata also has these systems available on higher trims, plus Hyundai’s Smart Parking Assist system that allows you to exit the car and park it via its smartphone app. 

Both the Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata are great representatives of the classic sedan, with the latter having a slight edge over the former when it comes to standard features, engine power, and interior amenities. If you want to check out the Sonata for yourself, pay us a visit at Huffines Hyundai Mckinney!


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