2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. Its Competition

2012 Hyundai Sonata image
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The Sonata's dramatic styling and three-pronged attack on the mid-size market have worked.

It's now one of the sales leaders and TCC's Best Car To Buy for 2011.

It still competes in a very tough segment with two of the best selling passenger cars, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

The Accord remains very much a Honda in driving feel, even though it's quite a large vehicle now; the Camry's revamped this year for better economy, but the proto-Ford looks and spotty interior neither advance its case or cost it points.

Ford's Fusion and the Mazda6 share some DNA, and both are fun to drive, with excellent road manners making up some for slightly smaller rear-seat space; both have excellent reliability records as well, and the Fusion's Hybrid edition is a gas-mileage leader.

Then there's the Kia Optima: on the spec sheet it's almost identical to the Sonata, but its sleeker styling and slightly beefier handling make it an interesting direct competitor for the Sonata.

2012 Hyundai Sonata image2012 Hyundai Sonata
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2012 Ford Fusion image2012 Ford Fusion
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2012 Kia Optima image2012 Kia Optima
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2012 Mazda MAZDA6 image2012 Mazda MAZDA6
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2012 Toyota Camry image2012 Toyota Camry
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Quick Specs
After more than a decade on the market, the latest Hyundai Sonata's an overnight success--thanks to great gas mileage, grabby styling, and exceptional value for the dollar.
The 2012 Ford Fusion stays at the top of its game, especially as a Hybrid, with perky handling and its cut-above looks.
The basics don't have to be boring: the 2012 Kia Optima evades design and driving boredom with suave looks, good performance and great gas mileage and features.
The 2012 Mazda6 is just as comfortable, practical, and refined as most other mid-size sedans, but it's a little more enjoyable to drive.
The redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry remains the most conservative-looking pick among mid-size sedans, but if you want comfort, value, and frugality above all else, it's probably just your style.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
Large CarsMid-Size SedanMidsize CarsMidsizeMidsize Car
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
ManualManualManualManual w/ODAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Ford Fusion2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Kia Optima2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA62012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Toyota Camry