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Car Battles: The 2012 Toyota Camry vs. the 2012 Hyundai Sonata

Last updated 6 years ago

Car Battles: The 2012 Toyota Camry vs. the 2012 Hyundai Sonata 

For this edition of Car Battles we decided to match up the 2012 Toyota Camry against the 2012 Hyundai Sonata. Let’s see how they fared!2012 Hyundai Sonata               2012 Toyota Camry

The first impression one gets from a car is based on looks. In this case The 2012 Hyundai Sonata brought in the New Year with the same outside styling it’s had since it was redesigned for the 2009 model. Meanwhile Toyota’s 2012 Camry has been re-sculpted Camry for the new model year.
Both models are the same length, height and width, but the 2012 Camry is lighter than before. This new lightness give the Camry a nice boost in fuel efficiency, handling and quickness. Despite both vehicles being the same size the Camry is more spacious than the latest Sonata and has size advantages in front shoulder space, rear head space and legroom. The Toyota also has more cupholders and its storage space is more versatile than the Sonata.
The Camry and the Sonata both have available features such as 18-inch wheels, fog lamps and solar glass, which lowers the amount of solar heart that comes into the vehicle. The Camry’s redesign won us over as it gave us something new and made the vehicle way more efficient. 

Both the Camry and the Sonata come with standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, adjustable front shoulder belts, front wheel drive height, four wheel antilock brakes and traction control. Both also have electronic stability systems that are designed to prevent the vehicle from skidding. (Source:
One feature that really impressed us is the Camry XLE’s optional blind spot warning system which works by using computer monitored digital cameras to alert the driver of moving objects in the vehicle’s side mirror blind spots. The Sonata doesn’t offer this feature.

Toyota goes above and beyond for the consumer with its Toyota Care package. Toyota Care pays for scheduled maintenance on any Toyota for 2 years and 25000 miles. This means that Toyota will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t offer to cover scheduled maintenance for the Sonata. This is brings a giant number of brownie points for the 2012 Camry, as these free scheduled maintenances will help save Camry owners a lot of money.

Statistics from J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranked Toyota at 7th in initial quality, which is above the industry average. Hyundai is ranked 11th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles ranked Toyota 5th in reliability, above the industry average. Meanwhile Hyunday is ranked at 10th.  

Environmental Friendliness
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the Toyota Camry higher (6 to 9.5 out of 10 depending on the model) than the Hyundai Sonata (5 to 6 out of 10 depending on the model). This means the Camry makes about 19.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Hyundai Sonata for every 15,000 miles they drive.

Fuel Economy and Range
In today’s day and age fuel economy and range are high up on any car buyers check list. Onthe EPA test cycle the Camry Hybrid was shown to have better fuel mileage than the Sonata Hybrid (43 city/39 hwy vs. 35 city/40 hwy).
Also, on the EPA test cycle the Camry 4 cylinder version gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata GLS/Limited 4 cyl. (clocking in at 25 city/35 hwy vs. 24 city/35 hwy).

The Toyota Camry comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Sonata (more details in pricing).
The Camry offers an available continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Sonata doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping
Motor Trends tests of both vehicles found that the Camry stops shorter than the Sonata:

Motor Trends skid pad test showed that the 2012 Toyota Camry SE handles at .81 G’s, while the Sonata GLS pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force.

Servicing Ease
The 2012 Camry comes equipped standard with a maintenance reminder system is which calculates maintenance intervals based on the vehicles odometer mileage. This saves the owner time and money and helps keep your vehicle in the best condition to make it last longer. The Sonata doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder.

 Up front, both vehicles offer some pretty cool features such as advanced audio systems, Bluetooth communication and auxiliary inputs. The Camry adds new features like a premium HDD touch screen navigation system, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, iTunes tagging and iPod and USB connectivity. The Camry’s Entune system (which comes with Bing) allows for web connectivity including access to and Pandora streaming radio. The Camry also has an available DVD player, which the Sonata doesn’t.  

Another really cool feature available on the Camry is the following: Imagine those really hot days when getting in your car feels like jumping into a volcano…terrible right? Well the Camry’s driver can lower all the windows in the car by using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Sonata will have to jump into the volcano as to operate the windows he or she will have to be inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

A manual rear sunshade is also standard in the Camry XLE. This is used to help block heat and the glare for the rear passengers. A rear sunshade is not offered for the Sonata.

While the 2012 Toyota Camry with standard automatic transmission starts at an MSRP of $21,955 and the 2012 Sonata starts at $19,695, to get an automatic transmission, you will have to spend $23,095. Not to mention that the Camry will come with the previously mentioned Toyota Care package saving you a lot of money on maintenance for two years.

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is a great vehicle; however it was not able to defeat the 2012 Toyota Camry in this edition of car battles. The Camry’s better safety, entertainment and internal features pull it ahead of the 2012 Sonata. Toyota’s care package and its maintenance reminder system will help save the driver a pretty penny too. For the year 2012 we chose the Camry as the winner of this edition of car battles.

Come by Jerry’s Toyota at 8001 Belair Rd Baltimore, MD 21236 and check out our selection of 2012 Toyota Camry’s. Or check us out on our website at and follow us on twitter at @jerrystoyota and on facebook at


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