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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done an in-depth comparison of the Sonata Limited and Ford Fusion SE/SEL v4 or v6? We drove a 4 cylinder Altima and the Sonata today and preferred the Sonata to the Altima. We also didn't like that the Altima will get a complete redesign in 2 years, so that one is out. We looked in the window of a Fusion, but didn't make it in time to drive one, but we will this week. I'm thinking the 3.0L V6 would be a closer comparison to the Sonata power wise.

We can get a Sonata Limited for $23,862 and with 500 off for current Hyundai owners, it comes to $23,362. That is with a business partner discount through my work. Great price I think. I got a price quote on a 2010 Fusion SEL which has leather/moonroof and their internet price was $23,198 which includes their $2000 rebate. So it's roughly the same price. I don't think the Ford has the dual zone climate/rear climate with that package and MPG would be around 22-24 most likely while I estimate the Hyundai to conservatively be 26 just for comparison sake.

My main concern right now is with the Sonata being in the first year for the new model, I've noticed posts regarding problems with the transmission, ESC, starting, horn and pulling threads/leather chipping. I understand they need time to work through the issues, but not sure that I want to be the guinea pig. I own a 2004 Santa Fe that we'd be trading in and have had a few issues with that, A/C compressor, thermostat and timing belt, but nothing overly problematic, especially during the warranty period. And I also owned a 1988 Hyundai Excel, so believe me I know how bad it was then and they've come a long way, but the number of concerns on this new model and what else we could run into concern me.

At the same time I am NOT a Ford guy, have never owned one and thought I never would, but the Fusions are good looking in my opinion. And this would be a car for my wife and she likes them as well. Consumer reports rates the Fusion as top of class as far as reliability, so I guess they've come a long way as well. To be fair, I haven't yet scoured any Ford forums, but I will. I think the only plus there is they've been out for a few years, so hopefully many of the issues have been ironed out.

We will be purchasing something over the next week or two most likely, so I have to make a decision either way. Thanks ahead of time to anyone who has faced a similar process with these 2 vehicles!
 

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It has been said here before, go to any of the forums for the different brands and there are concerns about them. Personally, I have not had any mechanical issues with my car, the worst thing I have is a window that has a slight air leak and with the tinting I put on that is nearly gone. My mom has a 2011 as well and although she doesn't drive it much, she has had it since early March and has no issues either.

While doing research, make sure to include the depreciation factor into the equation. That is a huge part of the cost of ownership of a vehicle that most people don't consider if it is important to get the most for your money. There are several sites where that info can be gleaned from.

If you liked the Altima, two years until a re-design is a good long while and besides that why would that matter?

Why doesn't anyone ever mention the nice looking and fairly well reviewed Mazda 6 when talking about family sedans?
 

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if you were to go to the Fusion forums, you would probably get a different viewpoint than from those you will receive here. Up til about 10 years ago, I was a Ford guy. The cars felt good, and at the time, they looked pretty good...but whenever I needed service, when became frequent, I got treated like poo - and no matter the warrantee I bought or it came with, it never seemed to cover the problem I had.

Recently, I was considering giving Ford another try and did compare the Fusion to the Hyundai, as well as the Honda, and Mazda comparables. The Fusion felt good...but honestly, it was the resale that put me off...and the visions of a lot of service in the future. I just can't find it in my heart to go back to Ford, GM, or Chrysler again. I've been burned several times...GM especially. Go to edmunds and do comparisons between the 2 models. Also, research and read the owners comments for both models. They say a lot about a vehicle.

Your choice dude - it'll probably be tough. Just remember, its not always just about the car, its the service, warrantee, and treatment you get after you buy it.

Rich
 

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The Fusion and the Sonata were my final two choices before I bought the Sonata. I had concerns with regard to first year reliability but eventually went with the Sonata. A few of my thoughts follow.

Forums like this are always going to give a distorted view regarding problems. People that have problems tend to find these places because they want to know if their problem is either common or something they can fix on their own. People that buy their car and have no problems tend to just drive them. Some people myself are just forum junkies, but by and large you'll get a very distorted view from forums like this.

With that said, the Ford forums have plenty of traffic and most of it too is about people having problems. And it's for the exact reasons stated above.

Regardless of perceived problems, it still comes down to the car itself. There were two major features (to me) that the Fusion lacked that I really wanted. Push button start and Homelink. I've had push button start in my last car and once you have it, it's tough to live without. The lack of Homelink really put me off. I haven't owned a car without it in so long that I can't even remember the last car I had without it.

Of course the Fusion had two features I really wanted that the Sonata didn't have. One was, of course, Sync. But after reading up on it I think the idea is cooler than the actual implementation. For music, you can tell it to play a particular artist, but not a particular track. Pretty useless really. The last 3 cars I've owned have all had factory nav, but Sync promises turn by turn directions without having to buy the nav unit. Again, sounds promising, but actual implementation, not so good. It uses your cell phone. You tell it what you want and it makes a modem connection to their servers to get the info and relay it back to you. But if you miss a turn or have to detour, it has to make another call. And by the time that happens you're probably so off-course that it will need to make another call. Rinse, lather repeat.

The other feature that I really wanted was the BLIS system. But that adds another $2K+ to the price, no longer making the two cars comparably prices. Now, it's been 4 months since I shopped, but I seem to remember a few other features in the package to get the BLIS system and if I remember correctly, those were features I wanted too. So there was no way I was buying the Fusion without that package.

One feature of the Sonata that I had a hard time passing up was the extra front seat leg room. I'm a big guy and the extra 3 inches of leg room really appealed to me. It's not that Fusion is small, but the Sonata has more leg room in front than most cars. Of course it gets that room by stealing from the back. But I don't car, I drive from the front seat. And the few times I really need to put someone in the back, I can always move the seat up a little and still have more room than I'd have in the Fusion.

Power, as you said, was another concern. After driving the Fusion, I just didn't feel comfortable with the 4. I'd need the 6. When I was getting quotes, the Fusion with the 6 cyl. and the 302A package was about $2,500 more than the Sonata. One odd thing though, when I was looking, if you got the 6 cyl. it came with AWD. Now the Ford website seems to show a FWD version available. That would make a big difference in the price.

But AWD was another of the features that appealed to me on the Fusion. But between the price difference and the much lower fuel economy I really wanted to like the 4 cyl. But it was truly a gutless wonder.

The final piece of the decision puzzle was the interior itself. While I felt the exterior of the Sonata was a better looking car than the Fusion, I didn't really care that much. When I drive the car I'm inside. The outside is to impress other people, the inside is what I live with every day. And I just didn't like the Fusion interior as much. I didn't like the dash, I didn't like the center console, I just didn't like the interior as much as the Sonata.

Obviously, it wasn't an easy choice for me. But 4 months after the fact, I still think I made the right decision.
 

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QUOTE (midas69 @ Jul 25 2010, 08:34 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=344702
Forums like this are always going to give a distorted view regarding problems. People that have problems tend to find these places because they want to know if their problem is either common or something they can fix on their own. People that buy their car and have no problems tend to just drive them. Some people myself are just forum junkies, but by and large you'll get a very distorted view from forums like this.
Yep.

True dat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Bingo Steve @ Jul 25 2010, 08:10 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=344691
It has been said here before, go to any of the forums for the different brands and there are concerns about them. Personally, I have not had any mechanical issues with my car, the worst thing I have is a window that has a slight air leak and with the tinting I put on that is nearly gone. My mom has a 2011 as well and although she doesn't drive it much, she has had it since early March and has no issues either.

While doing research, make sure to include the depreciation factor into the equation. That is a huge part of the cost of ownership of a vehicle that most people don't consider if it is important to get the most for your money. There are several sites where that info can be gleaned from.

If you liked the Altima, two years until a re-design is a good long while and besides that why would that matter?

Why doesn't anyone ever mention the nice looking and fairly well reviewed Mazda 6 when talking about family sedans?
Thanks for the suggestion on the resale, that was something I forgot but had planned to do. Just did a total cost of ownership on Edmunds, which shows resale value as well over 5 years and if I modify their numbers for cash cost to match my price quotes, the Sonata, Altima and Fusion look like they'd come out pretty close to the same. We normally keep vehicles for around 6 years as long as no major issues arrise.

When I talked about the re-design I was just speaking from personal experience. When the new Sonata came out my interest in checking out any of the pre-2011 models went from decent interest to very little. I have to remember this is a car for my wife, so it should be less of an issue since this will be her first new vehicle, so any of the 3 will probably be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone!! GREAT info...it's really helping out. I can dig what you're saying about forum folks also, but that had slipped my mind. My vehicle is an 09 Pontiac G8 and I love the car and check out the forums pretty regularly and it's full of people complaining about every little thing. I personally have only had 1 issue I brought it in for under warranty and it was resolved right away and the service folks are great to deal with, which does mean a lot. So I should have realized that here as well.

With the Santa Fe, it has been in for various things and any time they found out they didn't have the parts that day, I would get a ride back to the dealer and they give me a rental for the next day whenever I ask. And they are helpful and good to deal with, so that is good. Not everything has been resolved right the first time, but they're good about getting it back in and resolved quickly when necessary.

Surprisingly, I read an article below that showed Fords had a huge jump in residual value between the 09 and 10 models, 1300 on average.
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fo...n-79604217.html

I have checked out a few Ford/Fusion forums and as expected, lots and lots of similar issues.

Soooo...turning some of the research over to the wife and talking things over, she's kinda anti-Ford as well. We didn't like the dash/interior as much at quick glance and the lifetime of being anti-Ford is difficult to overcome. Having had an Excel and a Santa Fe I could deal with buyers remorse much easier with a Hyundai than a Ford.

Now we're back to Altima 4 cylinder vs Sonata, if I could change the title of this thread to Sonata vs Altima I would, but doesn't seem like I can. I'll post a new one if not.

She's torn, she liked the Altima, I didn't care for the dash in comparison to the Sonata. As long as she can get leather, heated seats, the moonroof and XM she says she'd be happy with the Altima for the same or lower price. I like the idea of potentially better reliability since it's been out much longer and do like the styling of it currently. Hmm....
 

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I was in a fusion hybrid and liked it. then when I was deciding on a car to buy, on paper i had narrowed it down to the fusion, sonata, and altima (based on many factors and reviews). i test drove all 3--comparably equiped and priced (comparable to SE w/nav, which meant the fusion hybrid was out). after the test drives, the interior of the fusion was a big letdown (esp in direct comparison with the sonata), and took it out of the running immediately. i almost got the altima, but liked the sonata more, even though at the time there were some big incentives on the altima which would have made it significantly cheaper.
 

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I cant really add much to what midas69 already posted (great post BTW), but considering I highly considered a Fusion also, my thoughts on this topic are:

1. The Fusions 4 cylinder would get trounced by the Hyundai's 4 cylinder. The Fusions V6 would trounce Hyundai's 4 cylinder, however, Hyundai's fuel economy would trounce either of the Ford engines.
2. Sync is something I really wanted as well, but like midas69 said, as I read more about it, its not AS cool as I thought. I still think its cool, but I really think I could live without it.
3. The deal breaker for me was interior. Ive read a lot of negative reviews about the interiors of the Fusion. I sat in one at the auto show a coulple months back and it just seemed cheap to me. I didnt like the ergonomics of the center stack. NAV equipped Fusions have the screen too low. The Sonata looks like a modern car inside, whereas the Fusion looks like an older car with some modern updates.

I definitely agree Im concerned with some of the first year quirks of the Sonata, but again, when you read the forums, you get an unrealistic view of the car from people who take the time to discuss their problems.

Ive looked at the CC, the Fusion, the Mazda6, and even (very) briefly, the Malibu, and so far, the Sonata keeps coming out on top for me.
 

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QUOTE (Phil the Canuck @ Jul 26 2010, 05:46 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=345002
The 6 finished in second place when I bought my Sonata, FWIW.
I like the 6 too. This is actually the second time Ive considered a Mazda6. The first was in '03 when I bought my Accord EX.

The thing that still bothers me about the 6 is that in order to option it the way I want it, I have to get the top of the line model. I dont believe you can get the nav system in anything but the highest tier model which makes it cost prohibitive. I love how Hyundai offers the NAV on all 3 tiers (5 if you count the Turbo and Hybrid) of the Sonata.

Another thing about the Mazda6 is that the Zoom-Zoom also has Gulp-Gulp and thus lower fuel mileage than the other cars I compared it to (something thats important to me).

QUOTE (calguy @ Jul 27 2010, 02:27 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=345107
Mazdas look good, but wherever I've seen reliability ratings, mazda doesn't get very good scores. check e.g. US News: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-...s/Mazda_Mazda6/
or Consumer Reports
Isnt the Mazda6 platform the same as the Ford Fusion? I mean, I understand the Mazda has some Mazda specific parts to it, but I wouldnt think it would be significantly worse than the Fusion, which typically gets great scores in this category.
 

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QUOTE (Mike Eckman @ Jul 27 2010, 06:09 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=345134
Isnt the Mazda6 platform the same as the Ford Fusion? I mean, I understand the Mazda has some Mazda specific parts to it, but I wouldnt think it would be significantly worse than the Fusion, which typically gets great scores in this category.
whether that is the case or not, it is not reflected in reliability ratings at the Consumer Reports or US News sites.
 
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