8 Top Hyundai Sonata Competitors

The Hyundai Sonata may not lead in every category, but it stands out against its competition as one of the most well-rounded mid-size sedans.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Since the eighth generation redesign in 2019, the Hyundai Sonata has been highly competitive for the top spot in the mid-size sedan segment. But who else is fighting for the crown? Let’s find out.
The Toyota Camry makes a strong case for the most fuel-efficient option, and the Kia K5 is one of the more spacious choices. So while the Hyundai Sonata may not be a leader in these vital categories, it is one of the most-well rounded bangs for your buck.
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1. Chevrolet Malibu

Starting price: $23,400 to $33,500
Selling points: Affordable and modest option
Weak spot: Pricey performance upgrades
Imagine a plate of pasta with no sauce: it’s cheap but provides you with your necessary carbohydrates. That’s about what you get with the Chevy Malibu
It’s one of the cheapest entry points in the mid-size sedan segment and offers an acceptable 32 combined mpg. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for the sauce, as most of its exciting features come with an upcharge.
For example, the Premier trim level has an upgraded 250-horsepower turbo engine (from 150 horsepower) and 9-speed automatic transmission (from a CVT). So if you want to add flavor to your driving experience, you’ll need to fork over about $10,000 more. 
Taking a look at the big picture, however, the Hyundai Sonata seems to offer more value at every price level.

2. Ford Mustang

Starting price: $27,470 to $32,495
Selling points: Not as expensive as you would think
Weak spot: Less practical than a mid-size sedan
If you go car shopping for a mid-size sedan and come home with a Ford Mustang, your significant other may not be too pleased. But don’t panic—take a deep breath and follow our lead.
The entry-level 2022 Mustang EcoBoost Fastback starts at $27,470—only $2,500 more than the average mid-size sedan on this list. It may be a coupe, but it still offers four seats and only sacrifices around 15 cubic feet of passenger space. The EcoBoost engine can also achieve a surprising fuel economy of 25 combined mpg.
If all else fails, get your partner behind the wheel and show them the capabilities of the Mustang’s 310-horsepower 2.3-liter turbo inline-4 engine. And if that doesn’t get you out of the doghouse, you may have to return it and head to the Hyundai dealership to get the more practical Sonata.

3. Honda Accord

Starting price: $26,520 to $38,450
Selling points: Sonata’s top competitor
Weak spot: Conservative styling
The Honda Accord has set the standard for the mid-size sedan class for over 50 years—every competitor is using its excellence as a baseline. The Accord may have ten extra years of experience on the Sonata, but this is an annual lightweight title fight.
Each model tries new ways to outmatch the other with each yearly release. In 2022, the Accord seems to have a leg up in both rear passenger space and overall driving experience. But if we’re talking style, we give our hat-tip to the sleek figure of the Sonata.

4. Kia K5

Starting price: $23,790 to $31,190
Selling points: Body design and roomy cabin
Weak spot: Short list of standard features
Now, if one car on this list goes toe-to-toe stylistically with the Hyundai Sonata, it’s the Kia K5. Its sporty stance is accompanied by a fierce front grille giving the impression of a scheming tiger. 
But what good is style if it isn’t functional? Well, the K5 is both! It offers 105.3 cubic feet of total passenger space, which is towards the top of its class.
However, its entry-level 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 engine is a little underwhelming and struggles to accelerate efficiently. So be prepared to fork over extra cash for the GT trim that boasts a 2.5-liter turbo inline-4 engine with 290 horsepower.

5. Nissan Altima

Starting price: $24,900 to $34,600
Selling points: Does the basics really well
Weak spot: It’s nothing special
Need a dependable car for your everyday commute? Then the Nissan Altima is your go-to! It has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The Altima’s 32 combined mpg (which matches the Sonata) allows you to get from point A to point B efficiently, while the all-wheel-drive option ensures you get there safely, no matter how the weather turns out.
But there isn’t much to discuss here regarding superlatives (again, nothing you don’t need). The overall styling is fundamental and the engine performance is nothing short of average.
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6. Subaru Legacy

Starting price: $23,495 to $36,695
Selling points: Niche configuration for the mid-size sedan segment
Weak spot: Potentially questionable reliability—a sedan from Subaru? 
Sedans probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you see the Subaru nameplate, but here we are! Unlike the previously mentioned Nissan Altima, the Legacy partners standard all-wheel-drive with a more prominent engine option, a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four with 260 horsepower. 
All-wheel drive is a rare option for sedans, let alone coming standard. So when you combine this advantageous configuration with the power of Subaru’s branding, you get a competitive player in the mid-size sedan category. Especially against models, like the Sonata, that are only forward-wheel drive.
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7. Toyota Camry

Starting price: $25,845 to $36,270
Selling points: Unarguably efficient
Weak spot: Low-quality materials
We thought the hybrid engine option on the Sonata was impressive, toting a combined fuel efficiency of 47 mpg. But somehow the Toyota Camry can outmatch it, offering upwards of 52 mpg with its 2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid engine.
But once again, we’ll take the Sonata’s exterior styling over the Camry. It’s also noted that some of the interior materials on the Camry feel cheap. So it’s clear they put all their chips into efficiency and took shortcuts elsewhere.

8. Volkswagen Passat

Starting price: $27,575 to $30,575
Selling points: Affordable trim upgrades
Weak spot: Expensive entry point
The Volkswagen Passat has a bit of irony compared to other models on this list. It has the highest starting price but also has the most affordable trim upgrades
This is likely because the features tied to upgraded trim levels are more about convenience and aesthetics than performance (the Passat only has one engine option).
Nevertheless, for only $2,000 to $3,000 more (unlike $10,000 on some mentioned models), you can access a rear spoiler, chrome tailpipes, a navigation system, a Fender nine-speaker premium audio system, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, and much more!

Hyundai Sonata vs. the competition

With solid passenger volume, high-powered engine options, sleek design, and access to incredible hybrid efficiency, the 2022 Hyundai Sonata truly offers it all! 
Sure, it isn’t the leader in all important sedan specifications, but the overall value across the board is undeniable. But don’t just take our word for it—check out the head-to-head comparison in the chart below:
Price range
Engine options
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined)
Hybrid economy (city/highway/combined)
Total passenger volume
$24,500 to $34,750
2.5L Inline-4, 2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid, or 1.6L Turbo Inline-4
180 to 290 hp
28/38/32 mpg
45/51/47 mpg
104.4 cu ft
$23,400 to $33,500
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 or 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
160 to 250 hp
29/36/32 mpg
102.9 cu ft
$27,470 to $32,495
2.3L Turbo Inline-4
310 hp
21/32/25 mpg
84.5 cu ft
$26,520 to $38,450
1.5L Turbo Inline-4, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4, or 2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid
192 to 252 hp
30/38/33 mpg
48/47/47 mpg
105.6 cu ft
$23,790 to $31,190
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 or 2.5L Turbo Inline-4
180 to 290 hp
29/38/32 mpg
105.3 cu ft
$24,900 to $34,600
2.5L Inline-4 or 2.0L Turbo Inline-4
182 to 236 hp
28/39/32 mpg
98.8 cu ft
$23,495 to $36,695
2.5L Flat 4 or 2.4L Turbo Flat 4
182 to 260 hp
27/35/30 mpg
105.5 cu ft
$25,845 to $36,270
2.5L Inline-4, 3.5L V6, or 2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
202 to 301 hp
28/39/32 mpg
51/53/52 mpg
100.4 cu ft
$27,575 to $30,575
2.0L Turbo Inline-4
174 hp
24/36/28 mpg
101 cu ft
8 Top Hyundai Sonata Competitors

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