Comparison: 2018 Hyundai Sonata vs 2018 Nissan Altima

Comparison: 2018 Hyundai Sonata vs 2018 Nissan Altima

When comparing midsize sedans, most people look at ratings, performance, and, of course, price to decide. But it's important also to consider the added cost of features that may not be included on the base model.

For instance, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata and the 2018 Nissan Altima have positive third-party safety ratings, great fuel economy, and comparable performance specs, but there are significant differences in standard and available features between the two models.

Read on to see how these midsize sedans stack up, then visit our convenient Richmond area location to test drive the Altima.

Safety Ratings and Tech

Hyundai Sonata

The 2018 Sonata is the first car in its class to include standard driver assistance technology like Blind Spot Detection, a Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, and a rearview camera with dynamic gridlines on each model. Additionally, it’s available with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, High Beam Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and rear parking sensors.

The 2018 Sonata was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and earned the best-possible ratings for its front crash prevention system. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a 5-Star Overall Rating, receiving five stars in all tests except rollover, where it earned four.

Nissan Altima

The 2018 Altima comes standard with a rearview monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, and Automatic Emergency Braking, but the Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are available on upper trims only. The Nissan sedan is not available with automatic high beams, lane departure warning, or lane change/keep assist systems.

The new Altima almost matched the Sonata in IIHS ratings, getting the Top Safety Pick title but scoring slightly lower in front crash prevention tests. Also, while the NHTSA gave it a 5-Star Overall Rating, the Altima lost one star each in tests for front-passenger side impact and rollover, and two stars each in front-seat side barrier and driver side barrier evaluations.

Entertainment and Convenience

Hyundai Sonata

The 2018 Sonata comes in seven trims: SE, Eco, SEL, Limited, Sport, Sport 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. Standard tech and entertainment include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, USB and auxiliary input, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and a 6-speaker audio system. The Sonata SEL adds heated exterior mirrors, Proximity Key with push-button start, heated front seats, a smart hands-free trunk, BlueLink Connected Car System, HD Radio, Sirius XM Radio, and a leather steering wheel and shift knob.

Additionally, the Sonata is available with a tilting/sliding sunroof, leather seating, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, sport seats, a heated steering wheel, and Integrated Memory System. Premium infotainment includes an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Infinity premium audio, wireless charging pad, and HERE HD real-time traffic.

Nissan Altima

The 2018 Altima has six trims: 2.5 S, 2.5 SR, SR Special Edition, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, and 3.5 SL. The base model comes standard with Siri Eyes Free, hands-free text assistant, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a 5-inch color monitor, USB port, and 6-speaker audio. If you want Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or a more visible touchscreen, you’ll need to upgrade to an upper trim.

Other available features include dual-zone climate control, leather-appointed seating, heated seats and steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Altima is not available with ventilated front seats – a drawback during Virginia summers – a smart trunk, or memory system. Premium infotainment includes a Bose Premium Audio System and Nissan Voice Recognition.


Hyundai Sonata

Starting at $22,050 MSRP

Nissan Altima

Starting at $23,140 MSRP

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