Hyundai recently launched the new Sonata but does it have what it takes to win over buyers of the tried and tested Honda Accord? We find out!
Honda Accord needs no introduction, for it has been in the Indian luxury car segment for more than a decade. Honda, in fact had the early adapter advantage when it launched the Accord in 2001. Over the past 11 years, the Accord has witnessed many rivals, right from the Germans (BMW) to the Japanese (Toyota & Nissan) but has never failed to find its way in to new homes.
The Sonata has been in the Indian market for quite some time too but its dull styling and poor brand image resulted in failure to rope in many buyers. However, the new Sonata can be a game changer. Let’s see if the Sonata can steal buyers from choosing the Accord.
Performance and Handling
The Accord is powered by a 2.4-litre i-VTEC that puts out 177 bhp of power while the new Sonata, powered by 2.4-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) petrol motor puts out 198 bhp of power. The Sonata will likely perform better than the Accord in terms of acceleration and top-end performance. However, Honda offers the 3.5-litre V6 engine for the Accord, which belongs to a different league in terms of performance. Also read: Hyundai Sonata launched at Rs.18.52 lakh!
Both the cars get paddle shifters in the automatic transmission, which makes the driving experience, lot more fun. The Sonata has a slight edge as it comes with 6-speed automatic gearbox as against the 5-speed automatic gearbox in the Accord. Hence, the Sonata with an additional cog could result is better performance and fuel efficiency.
With regard to handling, Honda has compromised a bit of handling in order to offer better ride quality in the Accord. The Sonata has not been driven by and hence, we are yet to know if it handles better than the Accord.
Space and comfort
Luxury sedans are all about space and comfort and both the sedans offer plenty of space. The Honda Accord has won accolades for it offers acres of space. The rear seat offers sofa-like comfort with sufficient headroom, legroom and shoulder room. The Sonata too, has impressive interior space. It takes comfort to the next level by offering ventilated front and rear seats which are not offered in the Accord.
With regard to dimensions, the Accord is 130 mm longer and 10 mm wider than the Sonata, while the Sonata is 15 mm taller than the Accord. The Accord offers more boot space (420 litres) than the Sonata (463 litres). Overall both the cars are equally spacious and comfortable. See our Hyundai Sonata Photo Gallery here.
The Accord has a chic look with neatly chiseled out cuts and crease lines, the conventional design has managed to impress its target audience. On the contrary, the Sonata has a dynamic road stance with its fluidic and sleek design.
The interiors of the Accord as well as the Sonata have top notch build quality, with commendable fit & finish with soft to touch plastics. However, the Sonata looks fresher and more modern than the Accord. We feel that mature buyers will like the Accord’s sedate looks while youngsters will like the Sonata’s fluidic design.
Hyundai always equips its cars with loads of features and the Sonata is no exception. The Sonata gets 10-way power adjustable driver seat, 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, engine start/stop button front & rear seat ventilation, foot type parking brake and rear view camera (parking aid). These features are not available in the Accord. However, the Accord gets an electric sunroof that is not offered in the Sonata.
Both the cars get six airbags, ABS with EBD, power windows, remote locking, central locking, audio system with 6-CD changer and six speakers with USB & aux-in ports and Bluetooth connectivity. With more creature comforts, the Sonata has an edge over the Accord.
Price, mileage and VFM
The Accord price starts at Rs. 20.28 lakh for the MT (manual variant) and Rs. 21.07 lakh for the AT (automatic variant) while the 3.5-litre V6 engine variant is priced at Rs. 27.37 lakh. On the other hand, the Sonata is priced at Rs. 18.52 lakh for the MT and Rs. 20.6 lakh for the AT. The Sonata MT is Rs. 1.76 lakh cheaper than the Accord MT while the Sonata AT is Rs. 47,000 cheaper than the Accord AT.
The ARAI-certified mileage of both the sedans is pretty close (12.55 kmpl for Sonata and 12.7 kmpl for Accord). Hence, in real driving conditions, both the cars will likely have similar mileage of about 10 kmpl. The Sonata is cheaper than the Accord but still comes with more features such as seat ventilation, dual zone climate control and rear view camera, making it a better ‘value for money’ proposition.
Pros and Cons
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The new Sonata is an attractive package for it comes with alluring looks and many comfort features at a lesser price than the Accord.