Pecheles Automotive Compares 2012 Hyundai SONATA VS 2012 Buick LaCrosse Near New Bern, NC

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2012 Hyundai SONATA

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2012 Hyundai SONATA

VS
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2012 Buick LaCrosse

Safety Comparison

The Sonata has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Sonata and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

Sonata

LaCrosse

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

30%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Sonata is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

Sonata

LaCrosse

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

199

340

Hip Force

627 lbs.

959 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

236

354

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

55 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Sonata comes with a full 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The LaCrosse’s 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 5 years longer than Buick covers the LaCrosse. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the LaCrosse ends after only 5 years or 100,000 miles.

The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the LaCrosse’s (7 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Sonata’s reliability will be 38% better than the Buick LaCrosse 2WD V6 and 65% better than the Buick LaCrosse AWD V6.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 11th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

The Sonata SE/Limited’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 264) than the LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Sonata GLS/Limited 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Buick LaCrosse 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Sonata

LaCrosse

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

10.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

81.7 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Sonata’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the LaCrosse:

Torque

Sonata GLS/Limited 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

4250 RPM

Sonata SE 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

4250 RPM

Sonata Hybrid 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

4250 RPM

Sonata SE/Limited 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

1750 RPM

LaCrosse 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

4900 RPM

LaCrosse 3.6 DOHC V6

5200 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD (35 city/40 hwy vs. 25 city/36 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Sonata SE/Limited turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD V6 (22 city/34 hwy vs. 17 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Sonata Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Sonata Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Sonata has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse eAssist Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Sonata stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

Sonata

LaCrosse

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Sonata SE handles at .84 G’s, while the LaCrosse pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sonata SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the LaCrosse (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sonata’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the LaCrosse’s (35.8 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Hyundai Sonata may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 650 pounds less than the Buick LaCrosse.

The Sonata is 7.2 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the Sonata easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Sonata is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the LaCrosse is rated a Mid-size.

The Sonata has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the LaCrosse (103.8 vs. 99).

The Sonata has 2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sonata has a much larger trunk than the LaCrosse (16.4 vs. 13.3 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Sonata. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Sonata has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Sonata’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The LaCrosse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Sonata and the LaCrosse offer available heated front seats. The Sonata Limited also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the LaCrosse.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Sonata owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sonata with a number “3” insurance rate while the LaCrosse is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sonata is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sonata than the LaCrosse, including $693 less for an alternator, $36 less for front brake pads, $89 less for a starter, $130 less for a fuel pump, $137 less for front struts, $73 less for a timing belt/chain and $4 less for a power steering pump.

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