Toyota Camry vs. Hyundai Sonata

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 24, 2018

The mid-size sedan segment used to be one of the more cutthroat classes in the industry. Mid-size sedans were the bread-and-butter for automakers, providing consumers with a winning combination of size and features at an affordable price. The Toyota Camry has long been one of the top runners in the segment and has gotten even better over time with more safety features, more tech, and a more athletic chassis. Other automakers, though, are gunning for a spot at the top. The Hyundai Sonata follows the South Korean's motto for offering value-packed vehicles with a lengthy list of features. It's a well-rounded sedan that looks to take the Camry on at its own game. Did Hyundai make a true competitor to the Camry with the Sonata?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Camry & Sonata »

What the Camry Gets Right

The new Camry no longer blends in at a parking lot. Toyota bestowed the long-running mid-size sedan with a new look that's more aggressive than ever. To go with the new look, the Camry can be fitted with an impressive 3.5-liter V6 that produces 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. That's 56 hp and seven lb-ft more than the Sonata's most powerful offering – a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.

Not every driver's after all-out performance, though, which is where the Camry's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor also excels. It's rated by the EPA to get 29 miles per gallon city, 41 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined. The entry-level Sonata comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that the EPA rates at 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and 29 combined.

While the Camry has never been a standout for being a sporty, athletic vehicle, the new model has received better brakes, more accurate steering, and a livelier platform over the previous generation. All of these changes were made without compromising areas that the vehicle already excelled in, including reliability and comfort.

What the Sonata Gets Right

Hyundai has injected some much needed life and character into the Sonata for the 2018 model year. The changes make the vehicle even more attractive to those looking to break out of the mold. The Sonata's exterior design isn't as polarizing as the Camry's, and the new blueprint also results in a more spacious vehicle.

The Sonata offers passengers with a total of 106.1 cubic feet of interior space. That figure is 5.7 cubic feet more than what the Camry has. It's hard to picture what six cubic feet of space looks like, but it results in the Sonata having more front head room, rear hip room, rear shoulder room, and front leg room than the Camry. There's also more room in the Sonata's trunk, as the Hyundai can hold 16.3 cubic feet, while the Camry is rated to carry 14.1 cubic feet.

One key area where the Sonata really shines over the Camry is pricing. The 2018 Sonata starts at $22,935 (prices include destination). The 2018 Camry carries a starting price tag of $24,390, making the Sonata $1,455 cheaper and the obvious pick for anyone on a budget.

Can You Really Beat the Best?

Hyundai has bridged the gap between the Sonata and the Camry recently. Before, the Camry was the clear victor, but times have changed, and these two sedans are pretty evenly matched. Toyota, knowing that the competition was catching up, made some drastic changes to the Camry and found a way to make its pack-leading horse even better. The new Camry isn't just better than the old one, it's better in every single way.

Our Verdict: Toyota Camry

It's a close comparison, but the Toyota Camry takes the edge over the Hyundai Sonata. With its more youthful appearance (at least over the older model), sportier driving characteristics, and iconic reliability, the Camry is a tough vehicle to beat. That's not to take away from the Sonata, though, which is a great option. The Camry is just a valedictorian that's impossible to beat.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Camry »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Sonata »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website