While compact and mid-size SUVs are making a major push to become the most popular vehicles on the market, the four-door sedan is still driving the market forward. From fuel-efficient compacts to luxurious full-size models, the sedan classes are highly competitive, and are the flagship classes for many car makers.
While Hyundai only offers two sedans, they are standouts in their classes. The compact 2019 Hyundai Elantra is one of the most efficient non-hybrid vehicles on the road, offering incredible economy whether you’re just running around Bethlehem or hitting the highway down to Reading. The mid-size 2019 Hyundai Sonata is mature, technologically advanced, and offers classic styling that can turn heads. Both of them offer great value, combining plenty of features into smartly-priced packages. So which of these two sedans is the right fit for drivers across the Allentown and Hamburg region?
Often, compact sedans squeeze their footprint so much that the rear seats aren’t really suited for the average adults. Not so in the 2019 Hyundai Elantra. With 37.3 inches of head room and 35.7 inches of leg room, it’s not as spacious as a full-size sedan, but you also won’t hear any complaints when you have friends and family sitting back there for trips around Hazleton.
In fact, those measurements are nearly identical to the 2019 Hyundai Sonata, which offers 38.0 inches of head room and 35.6 inches of leg room in the back seats. However, the Sonata does provide more lateral space, with 56.5 inches of shoulder room versus 55.3 inches in the rear of the Elantra. The rear seats are also wider and more supportive, with 56.1 inches of hip room in the rear of the Sonata versus 51.9 inches of hip room in the rear seat of the Elantra. If you only ever need to drive four people around Hamburg, the difference is negligible, but when you really need to fit five, the Sonata is the better option.
In an impressive feat, the engineers at Hyundai managed to get 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space into the trunk of the Elantra, making it one of the most capable cargo haulers in its class. Still, the larger footprint of the Sonata allows it to fit more cargo, up to 16.3 cubic feet – that’s an extra suitcase or a few extra bags of groceries.
The streets of Bethlehem and the parking garages of Reading can be tight at time, especially if you get stuck trying to squeeze in between two SUVs when you’re parking for a Reading Royals game or heading to the casino.
That’s where the 2019 Hyundai Elantra really shines. Measuring in at 181.9 inches in length and 70.9 inches in width, it is truly compact, and is a breeze to maneuver and park in just about any situation. With a wheelbase of 106.3 inches and a track of only 61.9 inches maximum, it’s easy to handle, and even novice drivers will have no issue parallel parking in tight Allentown on-street spots.
We’re not saying the 2019 Hyundai Sonata is massive. It’s only 9.2 inches longer, and 2.5 inches wider than the Elantra. Still, that can make a big difference when you’re looking for parking in ever-shrinking spots.
No one likes to be behind the slow driver in Allentown traffic. What’s even worse is being that slow driver that’s holding everyone up.
Neither the 2019 Hyundai Sonata or the 2019 Hyundai Elantra is slow off the line or in traffic. The base 2.0-liter engine in the Elantra puts down 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, plenty to get the lightweight sedan moving. It’s offered with a six-speed manual transmission on the base model, while all others get a six-speed automatic transmission. If that’s not enough power, the Sport trim features a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that ups the output to 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, allowing you to leap off the line and get up to speed in a blink of the eye. There’s also a third option, the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine in the Eco trim. While it sacrifices some power to be economic, the 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque is still plenty enough to keep pace with normal traffic flow.
Bigger and heavier, the Sonata naturally gets a bigger, more powerful engine. The base 2.4-liter powerplant creates 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque, giving it nearly the same power-to-weight ratio as the Elantra, and the same great acceleration, thanks to the six-speed automatic transmission. Gearheads will want the high-torque 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which offers 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque for a pulse-pounding driving experience through the hills and back roads of Hamburg, Hazleton, and the Lehigh Valley.
One of the main reasons many drivers consider compact sedans is the fuel savings they provide – and boy, does the 2019 Hyundai Elantra have a lot to offer.
Even at the base level, it’s highly economic. In the SE trim, it gets 29 MPG around town and 38 MPG on the open road with the automatic transmission, while the slightly-heavier SEL, Value, and Limited trims drop to 28 MPG city and 37 MPG highway. While the Eco trim mentioned earlier may drop a bit in power, it makes up for it in fuel savings, offering 32 MPG city and 40 MPG highway, making it perfect for the Reading driver who needs to cut their monthly gas bill. The thirsty turbocharged engine in the Sport trim still provides reasonable economy, offering 22 MPG city and 30 MPG highway with the manual transmission, or 26 MPG city and 33 MPG highway with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Considering the power that comes with it, that’s still pretty good.
That’s not to say the 2019 Hyundai Sonata is unreasonable. In fact, with the 2.0-liter engine rated at up to 26 MPG city and 35 MPG highway, it is one of the most efficient mid-size sedans on the road. It’s just not as efficient as its little sibling. Again, the available turbocharged powerplant is reasonable given the massive power uptick, as fuel economy only drops to 23 MPG city and 32 MPG highway. You really can’t go wrong with any version of either vehicle if fuel savings is your goal.
Befitting the budget-minded price tag, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t quite have all the bells and whistles you can get in the 2019 Hyundai Sonata. For instance, you can’t get ventilated front seats in the Elantra at all, but they are standard on the Limited and Limited 2.0T trims of the Sonata. An Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat and side mirrors is also standard on the top trims of the Sonata, while only being offered as a cost-added option on the top trim of the Elantra. Numerous trim accents, including woodgrain, metalgrain, and 3D tech appearance accents are offered in the Sonata, while the Elantra only offers a single interior appearance trim.
Tech is also upgraded in the Sonata, with a 10-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external amplifier topping out the audio range. In the Elantra, the best available system is the Infinity Premium Audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer. The Sonata features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support across the range – it’s provided on almost every trim level of the Elantra, although the SE trim is excluded.
One thing that is no different between the 2019 Hyundai Sonata and the 2019 Hyundai Elantra is the support and service that drivers around Hazleton and Bethlehem have come to expect from Hyundai. That means the same guarantees of 24-hour roadside assistance for 5 years, new-vehicle warranties of 5 years or 60,000 miles and powertrain warranties of 10 years or 100,000 miles for both models.
Both the 2019 Hyundai Elantra and the 2019 Hyundai Sonata are smart, value-minded, reliable sedans that are leaders in their respective classes. Even better than comparing them on paper, come in to Freedom Hyundai in Hamburg and check out both of these vehicles in person! We have the best selection of Elantra and Sonata models in the Lehigh Valley and Berks County region, and we’re easy to get to whether you’re coming from the Allentown and Bethlehem area, or up from Reading. Swing in today and take them out for a test drive.