Last post on Jan 16, 2009 at 6:50 PM
You are in the Honda Civic
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Coupe, Sedan
#132 of 151 Re: Civic Vs. Sonata (Vs. Accord Vs. Camry) [thegraduate]
May 21, 2008 (10:48 am)
I really don't think the Sonata is THAT big or powerful actually. And remember her fuel economy is ONLY 3-4 mpg less than the civic! We're talking about a damn efficient midsize sedan here, not some old 1980's gas guzzling buick.
Also I've found the ride and handling are pretty damn good. Obviously not sporty, but I consider it right in the middle between sporty and cushy. Remember the size different in length is really only about 12 inches. Civics have grown a ton. They're no longer the tiny subcompacts people keep imagining.
Now if we were comparing a Fit against Sonata...the size difference would be much bigger And yes I actually did compare the Fit against Civic and Sonata in my buying. Fit's are just too pricey for what they offer to me. I preferred stepping up to something compact/mid.
#133 of 151 Re: Shopping by price [redflea]
May 21, 2008 (10:55 am)
I've basically learned to ignore all the marketing about car type/size/type. That's how my brain functions on making purchasing decisions for everything. I look at the actual specifications and functionality based on the prices and then decide. Once you get past all the bs, you realize you're comparing a 177 inch car vs a 189 inch car (Civic vs Sonata) with similar prices, not that different fuel economy, and various different features/interior/etc. The same can be applied for any car comparison if you're willing to break down the real details.
#134 of 151 Specs and Sesame Street
May 21, 2008 (1:04 pm)
I agree...it is best to ignore marketing hype, filter based on a few objective factors like price/safety equipment/MPG, etc., and go see/drive the car. Did that, and I can tell you that the Sonata just isn't comparable to the Civic or other cars we drove.
In addition to the Sonata being both 1 foot longer and 500 lbs (20%) heavier, it also has a different setup in terms of suspension firmness and dampening, tires (I didn't look, but I don't think it has low-profile 205/55 tires like the Civic), steering dampening/feel, etc. The Sonata is designed to provide more isolation from the road and more cush for the tush, if you will, and does so well. It also doesn't provide the great (to some) road feel and fun, sporty experience of the Civic. All about design trade-offs and market segments being pursued.
We drove the Elantra, Sonata, Corolla, and Civic back-to-back in that order, and the Sonata stood out as very different from the rest of the group - it didn't fit in. Remember the old Sesame Street jingle..."One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong...) It was one of those moments. Didn't dislike the Sonata, it just wasn't what we were looking for, and I expect 95% + of Civic/Elantra/Corolla/Mazda3 shoppers would feel the same, unless they were shopping for the smaller sedans because of price, and really want a larger sedan and didn't think they could afford it...the Sonata would fit that need very well.
In fact, I emailed a buddy of mine looking for a new sedan to replace his aging Camry, telling him that he should give the Sonata a test drive. I think he'll like it quite a bit...another buddy who currently drives an Acura sedan is thinking about a Sonata for his next family sedan.
#135 of 151 Re: Specs and Sesame Street [redflea]
May 21, 2008 (1:20 pm)
Redflea, I am considering the '09 Sonata. Your comments have been helpful regarding that car. Would you be so kind as to provide us more of your impression of the car based upon the test drive you recently took.
#136 of 151 Re: Civic Vs. Sonata (Vs. Accord Vs. Camry) [moocow1]
May 21, 2008 (5:00 pm)
I really don't think the Sonata is THAT big or powerful actually. And remember her fuel economy is ONLY 3-4 mpg less than the civic!
True, the Sonata is efficient, but we are talking about a 3200lb full-size car with 168lb-ft of torque versus a 2,600lb compact with 128lb-ft.
Remember the size different in length is really only about 12 inches. Civics have grown a ton.
Civics have grown a lot on the outside (176" vs. 189" for the Sonata), but on the inside it is still pretty small. On the flip side it drives small too, making my Accord feel giant in comparison (and its an 06 Accord, which is smaller and lighter than the Sonata).
#137 of 151 Sonata synopsis
May 21, 2008 (9:42 pm)
My overall impression is that it is a well designed sedan, nicely appointed, much more refined than earlier Hyundais that I had ridden in. They really appear to be heading in the right direction.
Still some roughness around the edges...engine noise intrudes a bit under acceleration, but it's not a problem like w/the booming sound with the Elantra. The Sonata engine sound at higher revs isn't exactly pretty, but it's not harsh like my long-departed Mazda 626 (which sounded like a lawn mower at high revs). Ride is smooth, more dampened than I like. There is a fair amount of lean in turns, but things feel under control. As I noted above, it is a bit muted in terms of steering feedback/road feel. The overall ride is very smooth.
If I was shopping for a sedan in that class I'd include it in my list to drive/consider. The bang for the buck is very good in terms of features and interior appointments. I haven't been in a Camry/Passat/Altima in years, so can't compare it to those cars in that range.
#138 of 151 Re: Sonata synopsis [redflea]
May 22, 2008 (6:41 am)
Thanks so much for the review! I hope that it was as helpful to others as it was to me.
#139 of 151 Re: Sonata synopsis [redflea]
May 22, 2008 (7:52 am)
How would you compare the overall interior noise level of the Sonata to the Civic? I've driven both and I find the Sonata much quieter. The Sonata's engine can be heard on hard acceleration, but I do that so seldom it's not an issue for me (and I don't mind a brief engine snarl on acceleration). With the Civic, the engine is smooth but there was constant road (tire) and wind noise which I would find tiresome on a long drive. With that tradeoff, I prefer the Sonata in the noise category.
May 22, 2008 (9:33 am)
I don't have measured DB levels, but the Sonata is definitely quieter than the Civic both under acceleration and when cruising. Of course, additional noise insulating materials is part of what makes up 500lb difference between the Sonata and the smaller Civic, Corolla, Elantra, etc. If the Sonata wasn't quieter it would have missed one of the key proof points for its segment.
I think the Elantra is a little quieter than the Civic when cruising, likely partly due in part to the thinner, less aggressive tires on the Elantra. (Under acceleration the Elantra is the loudest car I've driven in recent memory.)
I have taken my son's Civic on a few freeway cruises over the past few days ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, and have been pleasantly surprised that the noise level hasn't felt like it would be a big problem on a longer drive. We didn't buy it for long drives, of course, so that wasn't a factor in our purchase decision. If we drive to Vegas or to go skiing, we take my 5-series or the Sienna mini-van.
I think the worst noise w/the Civic, actually, is on rougher asphalt surface streets, rather than on the freeway. There is a shopping area near our home where the road noise along-side the parking lot is pretty loud at lower speeds. Luckily the total time involved on that road is about a minute, so the overall impact isn't a problem. However, if I had to drive a long distance on roads like that it could be unpleasant. I should note the noise is also there, albeit muted, in our other cars. It's just not a nice road.
I have not noticed significant wind noise w/the Civic. Most of the noise I hear comes from the tires. I haven't looked them up yet online to see how they fare in the noise ratings against other tires in the same size.
Overall I'm very happy with the Civic's balance of factors like size/comfort/noise/MPG/handling...I've been driving it while my car has been in the shop. My son got his license yesterday and will be taking over driving the Civic more and more as we get comfortable with him driving on his own. I'm going to miss driving the Civic.
#141 of 151 Re: Noise... [redflea]
May 22, 2008 (9:56 am)
Noise perception is interesting. Turns out that by the sound meter, the Elantra is quieter than the Civic at full throttle (76 dBA vs. 79, per C/D's tests published in December 2006). Also quieter at idle (by 5 dBA) and at 70 mph cruise (by 3 dBA). Sometimes people are sensitive to certain kinds of sounds. That may be true in this case. In fact, the Civic was the noisiest car C/D tested back then (also Mazda3, Sentra, Rabbit, and the previous-gen Corolla) in every case except it was 1 dBA quieter than the old Corolla at 70 mph cruise. The Civic has many virtues; noise isolation isn't one one them.