The Bigger the Hyundai Sedan, the Better Scores on Consumer Reports

When it comes to Hyundai sedans, car size matters. At least according to Consumer Reports, which praises each but gives higher scores to the bigger models. Consumer Reports’ recommended list has three to choose from as Hyundai provides prospective buyers searching for a daily driver with some great options.

The subcompact option, the 2022 Hyundai Accent 

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The 2022 Hyundai Accent is the automaker’s small Hyundai sedan option. The Accent scored 61 out of 100, which may seem low, but it was high enough for Consumer Reports to recommend it out of all of the other options in this segment. The road test score was a 64 out of 100, with Customert Reports reviewers praising its handling, easy-to-use controls, and quantity of standard features. However, it lost points for an average powertrain 120-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder with a CVT, jerky movement, and cabin noise.

Reviewers also noted the lack of lumbar support makes the Accent grueling during long rides. Though it’s pretty standard for the segment, the rear seat is cramped. And neither automatic emergency braking nor forward collision warning is available with the base or next-level trim. These factors likely drove Consumer Reports predicted owner satisfaction score down to a 2 out of 5.

The predicted reliability score was also not great. Earning a 3 out of 5, the Accent could need costly repairs down the road. This score was derived from prior model Accents and the subcompact category. However, with a base MSRP of $16,645, your repairs are unlikely to break the bank.

The larger Elantra, Hyundai’s compact offering

According to Consumer Reports, Hyundai did even better with the Elantra. This compact car scored a 74 out of 100, primarily driven by a 76 score on its road test. Reviewers liked the Elantra’s powertrain, handling, fuel economy, and interior space. This Hyundai’s 147 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine outperforms others in the segment. And it, coupled with an impressive CVT, gives the Elantra what it needs to maneuver nimbly in everyday and emergency driving situations.

Reviewers did note that the cabin does get quite loud from both the engine and road noise. And the seat support is also not great unless you upgrade to a trim with adjustable lumbar support. The Elantra shares the Accent’s easy-to-use controls and, unlike the Accent, comes with all the advanced safety features you’d expect to come standard.

The Elantra earned a 4 out of 5 in predicted owner satisfaction with these positives. Unfortunately, it still earned a mediocre 3 out of 5 predicted reliability score. But with a starting MSRP of $20,200, the Elantra has a lot going for it.

The midsize Sonata Hyundai sedan may be your best bet

Earning even better scores than the Accent and the Elantra is the Hyundai Sonata. With a starting MSRP of $24,150, the Sonata impressed Consumer Reports enough to notch an 83 out of 100 overall. Its 81 road test score was driven by a solid powertrain, good fuel economy, roomy interior, extensive tech, and helpful advanced safety features. The Sonata’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates 191 hp and a combined 31 mpg, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Sonata’s handling is nothing to write home about, but it is capable at higher speeds. Unlike the Accent and Elantra, the Sonata has a relatively quiet cabin, though some noise punches through when accelerating sharply. Further, it has solid rear-seat space, even for taller passengers. The infotainment system and driving instrumentation controls are all relatively easy to use, though cluttered on the touch screen.

However, reviewers also liked the optional advanced safety features like self-parking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-centering assistance. Together with the Sonata’s many other amenities, these features helped it earn a 3 out of 5 in predicted driver satisfaction.

Reviewers dinged it a bit for comfort, handling, and value. But it also earned a 4 out of 5 in predicted reliability, the only one of the three to do so. And based on its road test report, owners are likely to appreciate the Sonata quite a bit more than Consumer Reports predicts.

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