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Edmunds Compares Honda Accord vs Hyundai Sonata

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2020 Honda Accord vs 2020 Hyundai Sonata
Photo: Hyundai/Honda

When it launched as an all-new 2018 model, the Honda Accord was praised across the industry. It was even named the Edmunds Top Rated Sedan twice in a row. But the Accord has been largely unchanged since then, and Hyundai is now the one with an all-new model in the Sonata. Can the older Accord stay on top? Edmunds took a look at the Honda Accord vs Hyundai Sonata to find out, and we found the results interesting enough to write about.

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Interior design and comfort

2020 Hyundai Sonata vs 2020 Honda Accord interior

Edmunds had a lot to say about the interior design and comfort of the Accord and Sonata. The Sonata was the winner in terms of utility, with slightly more front passenger room — though both cars are more than roomy enough — and with extra small storage areas for miscellaneous items. Edmunds also liked the Sonata’s overall interior layout and its infotainment system, but felt the car was let down by the quality of the materials, and this is where the Accord began to pull ahead.

With superior fit-and-finish, better assembly, and much fewer hard plastics, the Honda Accord’s interior is more refined, and overall a nicer place to spend a lot of time. The seats, too, are much better in the Honda, offering more adjustments, comfort, and accessibility for booster seats. “Honda is just really good about thinking about moms and dads,” said Edmunds’ Elana Scherr, who couldn’t reach the footrest in the Sonata and later added that “without question, the Accord is more comfortable across the board.”

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Drivability and performance

2020 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T
Photo: Honda

With a 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.9 seconds, the Accord 2.0T is significantly faster than the Sonata, which only manages the sprint in 7.6 seconds. The Accord’s 1.5-liter turbo engine is more comparable in terms of speed, but the 2.0T is available at a comparable price to the Sonata, which, notably, doesn’t come with a better engine option at all.

While Edmunds said it wasn’t too interested in outright speed for this comparison, it did point out that the Honda’s significantly superior power simply makes it more enjoyable to drive than the Hyundai. And when it comes to ride quality, it is even more of a blowout.

“It’s not even a question: the Accord is so much more comfortable in every way,” Scherr said about the ride. The Accord is quieter, smoother, and more refined. According to Carlos Lago, formerly of Motor Trend, this is in part because the Sonata’s suspension is much more firm, causing you to feel and possibly hear bumps that you wouldn’t even notice in its competitor.

The only advantage Scherr and Lago could find in favor of the Sonata’s driving performance was that it had a tighter turning radius.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, Edmunds came away with the impression that the Sonata was “more sprinkling than cake.” It has a slick infotainment system and a stylish design, but both Scherr and Lago found that many of those tech features were not actually useful in the real world, even though they sounded nice on paper. Honda, meanwhile, had focused on the most important things.

“The Accord wins this comparison,” Lago says, “and that’s because it has priority on the things that matter when you’re driving.”