Comparison: 2018 Nissan Altima vs 2018 Hyundai Sonata

Richmond area drivers shopping for a midsize sedan have many options today, so it's wise to compare models before purchasing or leasing.

In our one-to-one comparison below, we'll show you how the 2018 Nissan Altima compares to the 2018 Hyundai Sonata. It's a close call, but one sedan proves to be a better value, despite having a slightly higher base MSRP.

Read on, then visit us in Staunton to test drive the new Altima.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Nissan Altima

The 2018 Altima comes with two engine options. The base is a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. This option gets up to 27 MPG city and 38 MPG highway.

If you want a little more power to get through the mountains of Virginia, you can opt for the 3.5-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. Both powerful and efficient, this engine gets 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Hyundai Sonata

The 2018 Sonata has three engine options, but no V6 to match the power of the Altima. The base is a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets up to 25 MPG city and 35 MPG highway.

There are also two turbocharged inline-4 options, a 2.0-liter making 245 horsepower and a 1.6-liter that makes 178 horsepower. The former gets up to 23 MPG city and 32 MPG highway and the latter gets 28 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. The 1.6-liter turbo engine has a 7-speed automatic transmission, while other options have an 8-speed automatic. Compared to a refined CVT, drivers may find the transmission options make for a jerky ride.

Safety and Tech

Nissan Altima

Both the 2018 Altima and the Sonata earned 5-Star Overall Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and were named 2018 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But you'll find some potentially deal-breaking differences in the safety tech offerings.

All models of the new Altima come standard with Intelligent Forward Collision Braking, Automatic Emergency Braking, Intelligent Automatic Headlights, and a RearView Monitor. Plus, it's equipped standard with features to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, including a hands-free text assistant and Bluetooth phone system. Upper trims feature Intelligent Cruise Control, Nissan Intelligent Key, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation with voice recognition, a Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata features a standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, daytime running lights, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth hands-free phone system. If you want to add an autonomous braking system or other safety technology, you'll need to choose an upper trim. The Sonata does not come available with a hands-free text assistant.


Nissan Altima

Starting at $23,260 MSRP

Hyundai Sonata

Starting at $22,050 MSRP