Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Nissan Altima vs Hyundai Sonata

Nissan Altima or Hyundai Sonata. Which of these cars will last me the longest, provide the best reliability, and not cost a lot to keep on the road?


  • edited February 2011
    If you're buying new I'd vote for the Nissan. The Sonata is getting better all the time, but the Altima has an established track record of good reliability.

    If you're shopping for a used car all bets are off. The only thing that matters with a used car is how it was maintained by its previous owner(s).

    You might want to consult Consumer Reports Magazine for more informaion about the reliability of different makes and models.
  • edited February 2011
    Both are just about identical on reliability (Sonata's been slightly better last 4 years), and the Sonata has a higher 'ower's satisfaction score', whatever that is, along with a longer warranty period. You can go with either with confidence, get the one you like.
  • edited February 2011
    It's a close call. Both are good cars. Major difference is the Altima has a CVT transmission and if you keep the car along time that will be a $3500 REPLACEMENT, since no one repairs or rebuilds these units.

    My personal choice would be the Sonata which is a mid size car with a full size interior and ride.
  • edited February 2011
    Well, I've owned my '07 Nissan Altima 2.5S since it was new, and have over 53k miles on it.
    Only parts replaced have been front brake pads and rotors, plus tires.
    Mine has the 6-speed manual transmission, and Nissan no longer offers the Altima in a manual in the US anymore, only Canada gets the manual in North America.

    The Sonata is offered in a manual, but only on the most basic version of the car.
    You can't even get the nicer looking alloy wheels if you want to have a manual, which is a shame.

    I test drove the Sonata back in December, and was really impressed by the car.
    I was even impressed by it's automatic transmission, and that wasn't expected.
    The DFI engine provided good power, but is a very new technology, and has some potential long term issues, so that's my only concern with what appears to be a very nice car.

    If I had to chose between the Altima and the Sonata today to replace my car, I would choose the Sonata since I can get it in a manual transmission, and it has the DFI engine, which produces more power than Altima's comparable 4 cylinder engine.

    If you are considering the V-6 Altima vs the Turbo Sonata, I would actually tell you to see if you can get Infiniti to sell you a G25 sedan for a comparable price. I bet you would get it.

  • edited February 2011
    Any reason you are restricting yourself to just these two makes ?
  • edited February 2011
    Most cars will last a very long time if properly driven and maintained.
  • edited February 2011
    I am forced to get another car because I was in an accident, not my fault, and my car was deemed totaled. The insurance paid me out a decent amount. I am not in a position to get into debt right now so I have a tight budget. These two cars are within my budget.
  • edited February 2011
    This car has been continuously rebuilt; and that is not cost-effective car ownership. The owner has an entirely different agenda; he just drives all over and someone must pay for the Volvo's upkeep, or at least gives him free parts. He would be running a lot cheaper with a Civic, Yaris, Mazda3, Corolla or Hyundai Elantra.

    I'm sure you have heard of the hammer that lasted forever; all it needed was a new handle or head very few years!!!

    This Volvo was a simple type without the nightmare electronics of today's models. It is well documented that, although a well maintained Volvo lasts longer, any Volvo over 100,000 miles costs a lot more than typical Japanese, Korean or US cars for that matter to keep running. Only Volkswagens, Audis, BMWs, and other upscael European cars cost as mich or more to keep running.
  • edited February 2011
    Both are good choices. You might also find a Ford Fusion in your price range (on sale), they're excellent cars, great repair history, like by their owners.
  • edited February 2011
    Not true - almost no one repairs or rebuilds CVTs, but at least one person does:

This discussion has been closed.