Honda Accord vs. Hyundai Sonata

2023 Accord EX 1.5L turbo vs. 2023 Sonata SEL 1.6L turbo : We compare driving dynamics, features, and more to help you find the perfect match

Salman Chaudhary, Founder Pinkywheels.com

Honda Accord vs. Hyundai Sonata

2023 Honda Accord EX vs. 2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL

Midsize Sedans Compared

In the highly competitive world of midsize sedans, two standout contenders have emerged for the 2023 model year: the Honda Accord EX and the Hyundai Sonata SEL. Both vehicles boast impressive features, performance, and value, making them popular choices for drivers seeking a stylish and practical 4-door sedan. With such similar offerings, a comprehensive comparison test is essential to help potential buyers make an informed decision. By delving into their respective strengths and weaknesses, we aim to uncover which sedan excels in key areas, such as performance, interior comfort, technology, and fuel efficiency. Through this head-to-head examination, we hope to provide valuable insights that will guide consumers towards the perfect choice for their individual preferences and needs.

2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata
2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata

2023 Honda Accord EX

Pros:

  • Exceptional ride and handling: The 2023 Honda Accord EX delivers a well-balanced driving experience with a smooth and composed ride, ensuring comfort for both drivers and passengers.

  • Seamless drivetrain: Equipped with a turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine, the Accord EX offers refined and smooth acceleration, enhancing the driving pleasure in various conditions.

Cons:

  • Average-grade interior materials: Despite its strengths, the 2023 Accord EX falls short in interior quality with some rental-car-grade components like hard plastics and the absence of a leather-wrapped steering wheel, potentially disappointing those seeking a more premium feel.

  • Limited features: The EX trim lacks some advanced amenities found in higher-end models or competitors, making it less appealing for tech-savvy and luxury-oriented buyers.

The 2023 Honda Accord EX maintains its position at the top, though not without trade-offs. The focus on promoting hybrid models led to cost-cutting in nonhybrid versions, particularly the gas-only LX and EX trims. This generation prioritizes hybrid trims, aiming to sell more pricier hybrids. The drawbacks are evident in comparison to its predecessors, seen in hard plastics and the lack of premium features. The smaller 17-inch wheels hint at an entry-level positioning, compromising its appeal.

However, the Accord EX still impresses with balanced handling and a smooth drivetrain, feeling like a higher-class vehicle. It adapts gracefully to various driving situations, providing a sublime highway ride and responsive steering.

Despite the cons, the Accord EX excels in highway fuel economy and offers a spacious trunk for practicality. Its lower price partially justifies the feature gaps. Overall, the 2023 Accord EX shines with refined dynamics, impressive fuel efficiency, and practicality, providing great value for money. It remains a compelling choice for those seeking a dependable and enjoyable midsize sedan.

Red Honda Accord
Red Honda Accord

2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus

Pros:

1. Stunning Design: The 2023 Sonata SEL stands out with its eye-catching design. Hyundai's "Sensuous Sportiness" design language gives the car a dynamic and sophisticated appearance, turning heads wherever it goes.

2. Premium Interior: Step inside the Sonata SEL, and you'll be greeted by a well-crafted and upscale interior. High-quality materials, thoughtful design, and attention to detail create a comfortable and luxurious cabin environment.

3. Impressive Performance: The Sonata SEL delivers strong performance, thanks to its capable powertrain options. The engine provides ample power and responsive acceleration, making driving enjoyable and engaging.

Cons:

1. Engine Lacks Refinement: While the Sonata SEL offers robust performance, some drivers might notice a lack of refinement in the engine. Under certain conditions, it may produce more noise or vibrations than desired.

2. Chassis Lacks Composure: Although the Sonata SEL provides a comfortable ride for the most part, some reviewers note that the chassis can feel less composed during aggressive maneuvers or over uneven surfaces.

3. Brake Pedal Lacks Feel: Some drivers find that the brake pedal lacks the expected responsiveness or feedback. This could impact the confidence in braking, especially during more spirited driving scenarios.

The 2023 Sonata SEL exudes a crisp and attention-grabbing design that outshines its price range, resembling a luxury car. Inside, the thoughtful details make it an Uber Black-worthy ride. Rear-seat passengers enjoy air vents and a USB port, setting it apart from the Accord and Camry. Despite some blank buttons and hard-plastic trim, the Sonata compensates with an intuitive touchscreen, upscale HVAC controls, and a well-integrated digital gauge cluster. Small touches, like the pop-up display for windshield wipers and proximity alerts, enhance the experience.

However, the Sonata's allure doesn't translate fully to the driving experience. The 180-hp turbo four performs well on paper but lacks refinement, producing a harsh growl under hard acceleration. Its vibrations seep into the cabin, falling short compared to the Accord's engine. Additionally, the Sonata trails the Toyota and Honda in fuel economy.

On the test track, the Sonata showcases excellent skidpad and braking performance but falls short in handling. Its structure feels less rigid, lacking the composure of the Accord and Camry on uneven roads. The brake pedal feels wooden, and the steering lacks feedback, leaving the Sonata capable but not engaging.

While these drawbacks aren't deal-breakers for a mainstream sedan, they do hinder the Sonata from achieving complete coherence. As attractive as it is, it may not be the sedan of choice for discerning drivers.

Grey 2023 Sonata SEL Plus
Grey 2023 Sonata SEL Plus

Specifications

2023 Honda Accord EX

In 2023, Honda offers the Accord EX, a stylish and practical 4-door sedan designed for a comfortable ride. This front-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicle accommodates up to 5 passengers. The Accord EX comes with a turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine, featuring a displacement of 1.5L (1498 cm3). It generates 192 horsepower at 6000 rpm and a torque of 192 lb-ft at 1700 rpm, ensuring smooth and efficient performance.

The transmission is a continuously variable one, contributing to a seamless driving experience. The chassis is well-balanced with struts, coil springs, and anti-roll bars in the front, and a multilink setup with coil springs and anti-roll bars in the rear. Braking is handled by 11.5-inch vented discs in the front and 11.1-inch discs in the rear. The tires are Michelin Energy Saver A/S, sized at 225/50R-17 94V M+S, offering excellent traction and stability.

The 2023 Accord EX boasts impressive dimensions with a wheelbase of 111.4 inches, a length of 195.7 inches, a width of 73.3 inches, and a height of 57.1 inches. The interior provides ample passenger volume with 53 ft3 in the front and 50 ft3 in the rear. The trunk offers a generous 17 ft3 of cargo space. Despite its spaciousness, the Accord EX maintains a curb weight of 3239 lb.

In performance tests, the Accord EX showcases its capabilities, reaching 0–30 mph in 3.0 seconds, 0–60 mph in 7.3 seconds, and 0–100 mph in 18.2 seconds. The quarter-mile sprint is achieved in 15.7 seconds, with a top speed of 118 mph (limited). Braking from 70 to 0 mph takes approximately 184 feet.

Fuel efficiency is one of the Accord EX's strong points, with an observed mileage of 36 mpg. During 75-mph highway driving, it achieves an impressive 40 mpg, resulting in a highway range of 590 miles. According to EPA estimates, the combined fuel economy is 32 mpg, with 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Grey Accord parked
Grey Accord parked

2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL

The 2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive 4-door sedan designed to accommodate up to 5 passengers. With a starting price of $33,390, it offers impressive features and performance for its class. Under the hood, a turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine with a displacement of 1.6L powers the Sonata, generating 180 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque at 1500 rpm. This engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth and efficient power delivery.

The Sonata SEL Plus boasts a well-engineered chassis, equipped with struts and coil springs in the front and a multilink setup with coil springs in the rear, complemented by anti-roll bars to enhance stability. The braking system consists of 12.0-inch vented discs in the front and 11.2-inch vented discs in the rear. It rides on Pirelli P Zero All Season tires sized at 245/40R-19 94W M+S, providing excellent traction and handling.

In terms of dimensions, the Sonata SEL Plus has a wheelbase of 111.8 inches, a length of 192.9 inches, a width of 73.2 inches, and a height of 56.9 inches. Inside the cabin, passengers enjoy a comfortable and spacious environment with 62 ft3 of passenger volume in the front and 42 ft3 in the rear. The trunk offers a generous 16 ft3 of cargo space. The curb weight of the Sonata SEL Plus is measured at 3350 lb.

Performance-wise, the Sonata SEL Plus impresses with its acceleration, achieving 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds and completing the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds at 92 mph. The car has an estimated top speed of 140 mph and demonstrates efficient braking, stopping from 70 to 0 mph in 175 feet.

Fuel economy is another strong point for the Sonata SEL Plus, with an observed mileage of 30 mpg. During 75-mph highway driving, it maintains an impressive 36 mpg, offering a highway range of 570 miles. According to EPA estimates, the Sonata SEL Plus achieves a combined fuel economy of 31 mpg, with 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Overall, the 2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus presents an attractive blend of performance, comfort, and fuel efficiency, making it a competitive choice in the midsize sedan segment.

Grey 2023 Sonata SEL in the parking lot
Grey 2023 Sonata SEL in the parking lot
Grey 2023 Sonata SEL in the parking lot
Grey 2023 Sonata SEL in the parking lot

Summary

These bullet points summarize the key specifications and performance metrics of the 2023 Honda Accord EX and the 2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus, providing a clear and concise comparison between the two vehicles.

2023 Honda Accord EX

  • Stylish and practical 4-door sedan

  • Front-engine, front-wheel-drive

  • Accommodates up to 5 passengers

  • Turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine

  • Displacement: 1.5 L Turbo

  • Power: 192 hp @ 6000 rpm

  • Torque: 192 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

  • Continuously variable transmission

  • Well-balanced chassis with struts, coil springs, and anti-roll bars (front)

  • Multilink setup with coil springs and anti-roll bars (rear)

  • Brakes: 11.5-inch vented discs (front), 11.1-inch discs (rear)

  • Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S, 225/50R-17 94V M+S

  • Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 111.4 in

  • Length: 195.7 in

  • Width: 73.3 in

  • Height: 57.1 in

  • Passenger Volume: Front: 53 ft3, Rear: 50 ft3

  • Trunk Volume: 17 ft3

  • Curb Weight: 3239 lb

  • Test Results:

  • 0–30 mph: 3.0 sec

  • 0–60 mph: 7.3 sec

  • 0–100 mph: 18.2 sec

  • Quarter-Mile: 15.7 sec @ 93 mph

  • Top Speed: 118 mph (limited)

  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 184 ft

  • Fuel Economy:

  • Observed MPG: 36 mpg

  • Hwy MPG: 40 mpg

  • Hwy Range: 590 mi

  • EPA MPG: 32/29/37 mpg (Combined/City/Highway)

2023 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus

  • Vehicle Type: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

  • Price: Base/As Tested: $33,390/$33,600

  • Engine: Turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4

  • Displacement: 1.6 L

  • Power: 180 hp @ 5500 rpm

  • Torque: 195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic

  • Chassis:

  • Suspension, F/R: Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar/multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar

  • Brakes, F/R: 12.0-in vented disc/11.2-in vented disc

  • Tires: Pirelli P Zero All Season 245/40R-19 94W M+S

  • Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 111.8 in

  • Length: 192.9 in

  • Width: 73.2 in

  • Height: 56.9 in

  • Passenger Volume, F/R: 62/42 ft3

  • Trunk Volume: 16 ft3

  • Curb Weight: 3350 lb

  • Test Results:

  • 0–30 mph: 2.6 sec

  • 0–60 mph: 7.1 sec

  • 0–100 mph: 18.4 sec

  • 1/4-Mile: 15.5 sec @ 92 mph

  • Top Speed (C/D est): 140 mph

  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 175 ft

  • Fuel Economy:

  • Observed: 30 mpg

  • 75-mph Highway Driving: 36 mpg

  • 75-mph Highway Range: 570 mi

  • EPA Fuel Economy: Combined/City/Highway: 31/27/37 mpg

2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata
2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata
2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata
2023 Accord vs 2023 Sonata