Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Altima VS 2018 Hyundai Sonata Near Macon, GA

Responsive image

2018 Nissan Altima

Responsive image

2018 Hyundai Sonata

Safety Comparison

The Altima has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Sonata doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Altima 3.5 SL has standard Front and Rear Sonar Sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Sonata doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Compared to metal, the Altima’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Hyundai Sonata has a metal gas tank.

Both the Altima and the Sonata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

198/433 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Hyundai Sonata:





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

74 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

785 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

711 lbs.

773 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 29 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Altima’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima third among midsize cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Sonata isn’t in the top three.

Engine Comparison

The Altima has more powerful engines than the Sonata:



Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

179 HP

Altima 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

Sonata Eco 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

178 HP

Sonata 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

Sonata 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

245 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Altima is faster than the Hyundai Sonata:


Altima 2.5

Altima 3.5

Sonata Eco

Sonata 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

5.9 sec

7.8 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

14.2 sec

16.1 sec

16.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata:







2.5 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/38 hwy

25 city/36 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto


2.5 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/37 hwy

25 city/35 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima stops shorter than the Sonata:





60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Altima has larger standard tires than the Sonata (215/60R16 vs. 205/65R16).

The Altima 2.5 S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata SE/Eco’s standard 65 series tires.

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sonata doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima 2.5 SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Sonata Eco pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Altima 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Sonata Eco (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Altima 2.5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sonata doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Altima easier. The Altima’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Sonata’s liftover is 28.6 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sonata doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

If the front windows are left open on the Altima the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sonata can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Sonata’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Sonata is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Sonata because typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Sonata, including $99 less for a water pump, $236 less for an alternator, $1 less for front brake pads and $53 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Hyundai Sonata, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sonata isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Altima outsold the Hyundai Sonata by almost two to one during 2017.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.