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Toyota Camry Vs. Hyundai Sonata: Compare Cars

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Toyota Camry Vs. Hyundai Sonata

Toyota Camry Vs. Hyundai Sonata

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The mid-size mainstream sedan segment isn't one to get hearts racing, but these pragmatic vehicles are what most of us need to get our daily business done. And for that, it's hard to beat either the Toyota Camry or the Hyundai Sonata.

The Toyota Camry got a full redesign for 2012, though it stays close to its proven principles—and that means it's one of the most plain, conservatively styled four-doors in the class. On the other hand the Sonata is more daring, and there isn't a bit about the exterior that feels straight-laced. The Sonata was all-new in 2011, but it carries its futuristic look well into 2014, when it's been refreshed somewhat, with only a softer grille and some minor enhancements like available LED running lamps and HID headlamps, as well as new wheels. With its crests and curves blending in balance and harmony, it's still one of the better-looking mid-size sedans—even after the introduction of the dashing, daring new Ford Fusion and Mazda6.

Inside, the Camry's design is simple and functional, but a significant upgrade in looks and finish from the last version; a multi-layered dash, stitched-look instrument panel, and chunky multi-function controls are the most noticeable elements. The Sonata's cabin is as adventurous as its exterior, with a dramatically sculpted dash, a large LCD screen, and wood-grain trim. Some might find the Sonata's look a bit "out there," however.

Behind the wheel, both cars are responsive and refined, with very good ride comfort, though the Sonata errs a bit on the firm end of the spectrum. The Camry offers both four-cylinder and V-6 engines, either choice being relatively efficient and quick enough for typical street use. A hybrid option boosts the Camry's gas mileage to 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway in LE trim, making it a very efficient option. Sonata's powertrains range from fuel-sipper to sporty, with a 274-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged version available. A Sonata Hybrid is also offered, rating 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway—falling short of the Camry Hybrid's marks, but still quite good on gas.

Safety scores for both of these models fall short of best-in-class, and they have both received less-than-ideal scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in its new small overlap frontal impact test. For the Camry, it earned a particularly worrisome 'poor' result (enough for Consumer Reports to recently remove the Camry from its 'recommended' list), while the Sonata earned a 'marginal' rating. While the Camry still qualifies as a Top Safety Pick, the Sonata now earns the new Top Safety Pick+ award—placing it a notch above the Toyota.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) scores the Sonata at five stars overall, though just four stars in frontal crash tests. The Camry earns the same ratings--five overall, four in frontal crash tests--but also just four of five stars in rollover resistance, where the Sonata scores five.

Features and specifications can vary widely, from base-spec models with just the minimum of modern conveniences to fully-loaded models packing navigation, infotainment, advanced safety systems and more. Both Camry and Sonata offer a range of upgrade packages and standalone options that will likely satisfy most buyers.


2014 Toyota Camry 2013 Hyundai Sonata
2014 Toyota Camry 2013 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited Angular Front Exterior View
TCC Rating
7.8 The 2014 Toyota Camry may not be as attractive as some of its competitors, but it's now more than ever the most sensible choice for shoppers focused on value, frugality and comfort above all else. 8.6 With a standout design; perky performance; great gas mileage; and exceptional value for the money, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is one of the best buys among mid-size sedans.
6The Camry doesn't belong in any museum, but it's perfectly reasonable. Read more8The 2013 Hyundai Sonata has a handsome and smooth but adventurous look, and remains a standout among staid mid-size sedans. Read more
7A light feel to the controls and safe, predictable handling are the Camry's performance hallmarks. Read more8The Sonata has strong, refined, and economical powertrains, but driving enthusiasts won't love the steering. Read more
9Spacious and quiet, the Camry doesn't offer much in the way of complaints, but we'd get the optional sport seats. Read more8With comfortable seating and plenty of storage spaces, along with impressive materials, it's hard to find fault with the cabin appointments. Read more
9Very good crash-test scores have one blemish, a "poor" result on the upcoming IIHS small-overlap test. Read more10This is about as good as it gets; the Sonata has earned excellent safety and crash-test ratings. Read more
8The base Camry is still a strong value, even compared to the standout Korean sedans in its class. Read more9Hyundai adds even more standard-feature content to the Sonata for 2013. Read more
9Hybrids and four-cylinders are excellent gas-sippers, but V-6 Camrys are nothing special. Read more9The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a fuel-efficiency standout—and that's on top of the base Sonata's 35-mpg highway rating. Read more
from $22,235 from $20,895
from $20,345 from $20,010
Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway
28 28
Front Leg Room (in)
41.6 45.5
Second Leg Room (in)
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