2020 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat: Compare Cars

2020 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

The death of the family sedan is a farce. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata and 2020 Volkswagen Passat prove that mid-size sedans are still a great option to consider before buying a crossover SUV.

The redesigned 2020 Sonata combines style and value, while the Passat prioritizes spaciousness. This helps explain why the 2020 Hyundai Sonata’s TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10 wallops the 2020 Volkswagen Passat’s 5.6 score. On paper it’s an instant win for the Sonata, and that’s the case behind the wheel as well.

More: Read full reviews of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and 2020 Volkswagen Passat

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - First Drve - Portland OR, April 2020

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – First Drve – Portland OR, April 2020

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - First Drve - Portland OR, April 2020

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – First Drve – Portland OR, April 2020

2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

2020 Volkswagen Passat

2020 Volkswagen Passat

One look at the 2020 Sonata and you might wonder how it wears a Hyundai badge and what it costs. It looks expensive. With its LED daytime running lights running up into the fenders, the wide front end with an Aston Martin-like mouth, and full-width LED taillight, the exterior of the Sonata makes the 2020 Passat look downright boring. The Passat isn’t ugly, and it has sporty looking wheels in R-Design trim, but it’s crisp, clean lines and understated design are all business. If you want to fly under the radar—and look like an Uber or Lyft driver—the Passat fits the bill.

Inside it’s a similar story. The Sonata punches above its price tag with a premium design and materials found in luxury cars, such as quilted leather. The Sonata’s sophisticated dashboard has a horizontal design with an integrated touchscreen. Hop inside the Passat from a Sonata and the experience feels like a rental-car downgrade; cheap materials fill the Passat’s plain cabin.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

2020 Hyundai Sonata

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL

2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL

2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL

2020 Volkswagen Passat SEL

There’s a reason the Passat makes a better choice for Uber and Lyft drivers: The rear seat has about five inches more legroom than the Sonata. Translation? Adults have stretch-out room in the back and little kids can’t kick the front seat backs (ask me how I know). The Sonata’s rear seat can sit a six-footer behind a six-footer. The Sonata’s roofline might seem to cramp headroom, but a scalloped headliner and low, thin back seat provide plenty of vertical space while still remaining comfortable.

The 2020 Passat doesn’t have a full set of safety scores from the IIHS and NHTSA, yet, but what is in is “Good,” according to the IIHS. The Sonata achieved a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. Every Passat and Sonata has automatic emergency braking. Things diverge from there. Passats add blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts to the standard safety roster while Sonatas include adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a driver-attention monitor. Oddly, the rear cross-traffic alert setup that is standard on the Passat is only available on top-spec Sonatas. The Sonata has better safety options, however, such as a surround-view camera system.

2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

Every Passat powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 174 horsepower sent to the front wheels via a lazy 6-speed automatic transmission. Sonata buyers have more options. Base models get a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 191 hp, while SEL Plus and Limited trims get a 1.6-liter turbo-4 with 180 hp. The Sonata’s 8-speed automatic in the gas-only models is more responsive than the 6-speed in the Passat while still being more efficient.

The Sonata gets up to 28 mpg city, 38 highway, 32 combined, compared to 23/24/27 mpg combined in the Passat. Then there’s the Sonata Hybrid. Its 192-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 with a motor and 6-speed automatic transmission in the Blue trim gets an EPA-rated 50/54/52 mpg, which is the highest highway rating for any hybrid sedan.

2020 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

2020 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

Both of these family sedans start from under $25,000, but the Passat only feels like a value in base form the Sonata feels like a value no matter which way you spec it. Both cars feature touchscreen infotainment systems—though Passats only have a 6.3-inch touchscreen while base Sonatas feature an 8.0-inch touchscreen—along with automatic emergency braking, Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, and cloth upholstery. The base Passat is the best value from VW, but the Sonata is worthy of higher trims. We’d step up to the Sonata in SEL Plus trim to get the more powerful 1.6-liter turbo-4 along with blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and more option packages for just $4,000 more than the base car. The hybrid can be compelling if you log a lot of miles.

In the end, it’s easy to recommend the Sonata. With all the standard technology, an interior and exterior a cut above the competition, and a price tag that feels fair no matter the trim, the Sonata is the mid-size sedan of choice. Leave the Passat for the rental lots.

Source Article