2021 Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia K5 Comparison Test: Accord Alternatives?

2021 Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia K5 Comparison Test: Accord Alternatives?

Hyundai Sonata Full Overview

Ask a MotorTrend staffer which midsize sedan is finest, and the reply “Honda Accord” will come as shortly and reflexively as a leg kick follows a faucet to the patellar tendon. The Honda leads our midsize sedan rankings, and for good motive. However for a lot of patrons, an Accord or a Toyota Camry is simply too apparent a alternative, or too ubiquitous. For many years the corporately linked Korean automakers have provided extra options and tech for a similar or much less cash, and now they’re even providing bolder designs. Hyundai and Kia additionally nonetheless supply longer warranties than the Japanese nameplates, regardless of mounting proof that you could be by no means want it: Kia lately tied for the highest spot in J.D. Energy’s 2020 Preliminary High quality Research (Hyundai ranked ninth, Honda 19th, Toyota 20th), and Shopper Reviews simply ranked Hyundai sixth for reliability, simply behind Honda (Toyota second, Kia 15th). However which of those high-style Korean midsize sedans is the worthiest Accord various? That will help you resolve, we deliver you the Hyundai Sonata versus the Kia K5, which you in all probability know higher by its former identify, the Kia Optima.

How the Sonata and K5 Evaluate with an Accord

Dimension-wise the Koreans measure inside tenths of an inch of an Accord in most exterior dimensions. Inside, the Koreans supply 9 % extra entrance and 13-14 % much less rear legroom, and only a bit much less trunk house (16.Zero versus 16.7 cubic toes). We’re evaluating two mainstream midlevel trims: the Sonata’s SEL plus versus the K5 EX mannequin, which align most carefully with the Accord EX-L grade. Honda’s smaller 1.5-liter turbo produces 12 extra horses however Three fewer lb-ft than the Hyundai-Kia 1.6-liter turbo. The Accord will get a CVT; Hyundai and Kia share a extra typical eight-speed computerized. Efficiency is even nearer than the outside dimensions.

Hyundai and Kia’s base costs begin about $3,000 decrease, however our take a look at automobiles are optioned as much as close to value parity. (Honda provides only a few manufacturing unit choices.) Notable variations: The Accord EX-L will get actual leather-based upholstery whereas the Koreans make do with “leatherette,” however Hyundai and Kia each get a 10.3-inch infotainment display screen with navigation (solely high Accord Touring provides nav, on a smaller 8.0-inch display screen), aspect airbags within the rear seat, and a panoramic sunroof (Honda provides neither). Our Kia moreover boasts a heated steering wheel (not provided by Honda), vented seats (Touring solely), and a wi-fi cellphone charger (a $350 dealer-installed choice on Accord). However Honda’s best price benefit is its stellar retained worth. Our IntelliChoice companions peg five-year depreciation at 46 % for an Accord EX-L versus 55 % for our Sonata and 58 % for the K5’s Optima EX Premium predecessor. As such, predicted five-year complete price of possession is $2,500-$4,850 decrease for the Honda.

Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia K5: Inside Ambiance, Area, and Consolation

These two automobiles appear solid towards sort. We anticipated the Hyundai to be the extra refined, mature, staid providing and the Stinger-sibling Kia to be the extra enthusiast-oriented of the 2. However these interiors flip that expectation on its head. The Sonata’s all-black cabin options seats with suede inserts and purple accent piping and stitching, its steering wheel options outstanding thumb rests and shift paddles, and the console-mounted shifter is push-button operated. The reconfigurable all-digital instrument cluster provides a Sport mode with purple gauges that includes a slanted font to recommend velocity. In contrast, the K5 options gentle grey leatherette seats and armrests set towards a black sprint and door panels, all accented by stylish open-pore matte-finish fake wooden that sweeps from the sprint onto the entrance and rear door panels. The A/C vents—even the one in again—are framed by structural-looking brushed-nickel materials with fluting alongside the underside edges. It is a way more conventional, luxurious look with a standard, old-school shifter and analogue gauges flanking a small driver data display screen.

A scant 0.4-inch benefit in wheelbase affords the Kia K5 an commensurate benefit in rear legroom over the Sonata, and it someway packages 2-plus inches extra hip room entrance and rear. However sitting in each automobiles, they really feel equally spacious and particularly roomy in again. Their seats supply related ranges of help and cushioning, however the Kia appears far more luxurious—particularly within the rear. There’s that pretty wooden, each rear seat backs characteristic leatherette map pockets, and two USB ports are offered for charging passenger gadgets. The somber monotone black Sonata ambiance (no different colour is on the market on SEL Plus) is just damaged by scant purple seat accents and a vibrant steel strip on the doorways. There’s solely a single mesh map pocket on the passenger aspect entrance seat again, and passengers should battle over a single USB jack.

All 4 of the Kia’s door armrests includes a small raised lip towards the entrance. “It’s simple to seize, and it is the form of considerate element that units a automobile aside,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle mentioned. Each automobiles boast 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint audio methods, every offering a novel “sounds of nature” characteristic that may play ambient background noises, together with energetic forest, open air café, heat fire, snowy village, calm sea waves, and wet day (beware, these final two might set off your bladder). Oh, and with regards to sounds, the Sonata performs you a beautiful orchestral stanza if you swap it on or off.

The place the Sonata pulls barely forward once more is in characteristic content material. The twin-zone local weather controls characteristic futuristic digital temperature readouts contained in the adjuster knobs. That absolutely configurable instrument cluster supplies rather more info and visible pizazz; the infotainment display screen is programmed to ship extra info, together with issues like graphs of acceleration and deceleration, velocity distribution histograms, and detailed journey data. The K5 display screen principally simply reveals navigation, audio data, and/or cellphone display screen mirroring. Hyundai additionally provides a digital key operate that may enable your cellphone (or one other licensed cellphone) to operate as the important thing.

Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia K5: Instrumented Efficiency

It should not shock anybody that with a mere 53-pound weight distinction separating two automobiles powered by an identical 180-hp, 195-lb-ft 1.6-liter turbocharged I-Four engines mated to eight-speed computerized transmissions with an identical gearing, a single tenth of a second or mph is all that separates these two. It is fascinating to notice that averaging the acceleration efficiency of each mainstream variant instance of the eight sedans we rank in our Purchaser’s Information yields a regular deviation of inside 0.2 second to 60 mph and thru the quarter mile, with our Koreans very almost nailing these precise common numbers. The Kia’s 124-foot cease from 60 additionally nails the category common.

Each our take a look at automobiles wore Pirelli P Zero All Season tires, however broader contact patches on the Hyundai (245/40R19 versus 235/45R18) gave it a notable leg up in dealing with, reinforcing our earlier impressions of the Sonata being the sportier of those two automobiles. Max lateral grip of 0.85 g beats the Kia’s 0.83 and the category common 0.82, however its figure-eight time of 27.Zero seconds at 0.64 total common g is 0.Four second faster than the Kia and 0.6 faster than common.

How Do the Sonata and K5 Really feel on the Highway?

Numbers solely inform half the story, and admittedly it is a story that mainstream midsize sedan patrons aren’t a lot keen on. So how do the automobiles really feel on the highway? Detroit editor Priddle and I drove the automobiles again to again with out sampling their swifter 2.5-liter turbo Sonata N Line and K5 GT variants, as our California colleagues had. With out that context, we each discovered the efficiency to be completely enough, with the transmissions swiftly kicking down and permitting us to simply go slow-moving vehicles on our two-lane driving loop. Options editor Christian Seabaugh, nonetheless, felt that though the “engine is lots peppy for the 0-30 mph metropolis cycle, it runs out of steam in 55-75 passing.” We want the Sport mode gear shifting algorithm would maintain onto greater gears longer in turns (which made us recognize the Hyundai’s shift paddles), however we hold reminding ourselves that these aren’t sport sedans.

Each editor who skilled this 1.6-liter turbo faulted its noise and vibration, with many utilizing adjectives like hoarse, course, and grainy. Seabaugh once more: “Did I point out the engine shakes the seats and wheel at idle?” Priddle discovered that “in sport, the K5’s engine is just not as loud or throttle response as rapid if you stomp on it, neither is the thrust as aggressive as within the Sonata.” The consensus was that the Hyundai had the extra pleasing engine word when set to Sport mode.

Dealing with impressions separated our two take a look at automobiles greater than acceleration may. The Sonata’s tires generated notably extra grip and fewer tire squeal than the K5’s. “The K5 suspension feels a bit bouncier,” Priddle mentioned. “I simply felt like I may very well be extra assured and deal with the turns at velocity higher within the Sonata.”

The flip aspect of that sharper dealing with is a few price to journey high quality. “The freeway journey limits its skills as a highway journey automotive, however I might fortunately sacrifice an ideal journey for the additional curb enchantment,” purchaser’s information director Zach Gale mentioned of the Sonata’s 19s.

Each automobiles allow some highway texture to learn by means of to the steering wheel, which we largely discovered endearing. The Hyundai’s Consolation steering mode appeared to raised replicate the V-notch hydraulic steering help used to offer round straight forward, with effort ramping up linearly for the primary few levels of delivering both course. That notch shrinks in Sport mode.

Hyundai Sonata vs. Kia K5: The Backside Line

These automobiles are so carefully matched in all goal household sedan measures {that a} private desire may simply sway a call in both course for causes of exterior styling, inside glamour, or perceived sportiness. Equally, if you happen to’re keen on a hybrid mannequin, Hyundai (and Honda and Toyota) covers that area of interest, and people who want all-wheel drive can store Kia (and Nissan, Subaru, or Toyota). However between the 2 automobiles we’re testing, we really feel that the added expertise and have content material, the extra assured dealing with and sport-oriented chassis and inside, and the three-year/36,000-mile complimentary upkeep plan that solely Hyundai provides on this class (Toyota covers two years/25,000 miles) tip the scales in favor of the Hyundai Sonata.

Looks good! More details?

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS 2021 Hyundai Sonata (1.6T SEL Plus) 2021 Kia K5 EX
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Entrance-engine, FWD Entrance-engine, FWD
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, Four valves/cyl DOHC, Four valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 97.5 cu in/1,598 cc 97.5 cu in/1,598 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.5.0:1 10.5:1
POWER (SAE NET) 180 hp @ 5,500 rpm 180 hp @ 5,500 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm 195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
REDLINE 6,500 rpm 6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 18.5 lb/hp 18.1 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 8-speed computerized 8-speed computerized
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.24:half of.06:1 3.38:half of.14:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 13.3:1 13.3:1
BRAKES, F; R 12.8-in vented disc; 11.8-in disc, ABS 12.0-in vented disc; 11.2-in disc, ABS
WHEELS 8.Zero x 19-in solid aluminum 7.5 x 18-in solid aluminum
TIRES 245/40R19 94W Pirelli P Zero All Season (M+S) 235/45R18 94V Pirelli P Zero All Season (M+S)
WHEELBASE 111.Eight in 112.2 in
TRACK, F/R 63.4/63.7 in 63.7/64.Zero in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 192.9 x 73.2 x 56.9 in 193.1 x 73.2 x 56.9 in
TURNING CIRCLE 35.9 ft 36.Zero ft
CURB WEIGHT 3,322 lb 3,259 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 60/40% 61/39%
HEADROOM, F/R 38.4/38.Four in 38.4/37.Four in
LEGROOM, F/R 46.1/34.Eight in 46.1/35.2 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.9/56.1 in 58.0/56.1 in
CARGO VOLUME 16.Zero cu ft 16.Zero cu ft
0-30 2.Eight sec 2.Eight sec
0-40 4.1 4.0
0-50 5.8 5.8
0-60 7.8 7.8
0-70 10.1 10.1
0-80 13.2 13.3
0-90 16.9 17.0
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 4.0 4.1
QUARTER MILE 16.Zero sec @ 87.5 mph 16.Zero sec @ 87.Four mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 126 ft 124 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.85 g (avg) 0.83 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.Zero sec @ 0.64 g (avg) 27.Four sec @ 0.62 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,700 rpm 1,600 rpm
BASE PRICE $28,645 $28,955
PRICE AS TESTED $31,500 $32,355
AIRBAGS 9: Twin entrance, f/r aspect, f/r curtain, driver knee 9: Twin entrance, f/r aspect, f/r curtain, driver knee
BASIC WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 10 yrs/100,000 miles 10 yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/Limitless miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 15.9 gal 15.Eight gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 27/37/30 mpg 27/37/31 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125/91 kW-hrs/100 miles 125/91 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.63 lb/mile 0.63 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded common Unleaded common

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