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The midsize sedan segment is a popular one. Today we are looking at two of the vehicles in this segment to help you determine which is the best option for you. Facing off in this comparison are the 2018 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2018 Chevy Malibu.

The Malibu is a very well-known and popular vehicle in this segment, but don’t count out the 2018 Sonata because it has been recently revamped and redesigned to give you some amazing capability and features.

Which vehicle is the best for you?

Let’s take a look at the performance and capability, the interior quality and features and the safety of both of these vehicles to determine a winner.

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The first category to check out is the performance and capability, which means looking at what is under the hood. Let’s check out the engines in the Sonata and the Malibu and their capabilities.

The standard engine on the 2018 Hyundai Sonata is a 2.4-liter I-4 engine that gives you 185-horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Another available option is the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that gives you 245-horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu comes with the turbocharged 1.5-liter ECOTEC engine that gives you 163-horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. You can also upgrade to the available 2.0-liter turbocharged ECOTEC engine that gives you 250-horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

As you can see, these engines are fairly similar, the standard engine in the Sonata gives you a little more horsepower than the standard engine in the Malibu. Both vehicles also have an available 2.0-liter turbocharged engine option that performs about the same.

However, power is only part of the picture, we also want to take a look at fuel efficiency to see how far you can get on your dollar. For the standard engine in the 2018 Sonata, you can get an EPA estimated 36 highway miles per gallon. The same is true on the standard engine in the Malibu, you can get also get up to 36 miles per gallon. On the 2.0-liter turbocharged option, the Sonata gives you an estimated 32 highway miles per gallon and the Malibu gives you an estimated 33 miles per gallon. It turns out, for fuel efficiency these vehicles are neck and neck.

Interior Quality and Features

For your comfort, both the Sonata and the Malibu have premium cloth seating surfaces. In the Sonata, heated front seats also come standard on all but 2 trim levels. For the Malibu, heated seats are only an option for you in the Premier trim level. Both of these vehicles are made with quality materials and they give you ample space and comfort, but if you are looking for heated seats, the Sonata may be the way to go.

For technology, these vehicles are pretty similar. Both vehicles have a 7-inch color touchscreen display available on all but the most basic trim. These vehicles also both have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Both vehicles have USB ports and Bluetooth capability. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata and the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu are both vehicles where you can stay up-to-date with your technology.

Safety

Safety features have made significant progress in the past several years. More vehicles offer high-tech safety features to help prevent and protect you from accidents. Let’s check out how the Sonata and Malibu stack up in terms of safety.

On the 2018 Hyundai Sonata, the safety features from the previous year will be back. In 2017 the Sonata was an IIHS 2017 Top Safety Pick, so it should do well again in 2018. Some of the specific safety features on the 2018 Sonata include: blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, a rearview camera and rearview parking sensors.  This vehicle will also have more available safety features like Automatic Emergency Braking, adaptive cruise control with Start/Stop, and Dynamic Bending Light.

The Chevrolet Malibu is also a 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick, but only when this vehicle is equipped with the available driver confidence package. This package includes Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, IntelliBeam high beam assist, Front and Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This Driver Confidence Package includes a lot of features, but it is only available on the Malibu LT, the Hybrid or the Premier.

Both of these vehicles have a great variety of safety technologies, but with the Chevrolet Malibu, you have to spend more to get safety. Many of the safety features for the Malibu are only available on the higher end trims. On the Sonata, features like Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert are standard on every single Sonata.

Which is Right for You?

This was a tough fought battle of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata vs 2018 Chevy Malibu. Both vehicles have the performance, though the Sonata might have slightly more. Also, for efficiency, the vehicles were right on top of each other. The interior of these vehicles was also very similar. They both provide ample comfort and technology for their passengers.

Safety is an area in which the Sonata pulled ahead. On the Sonata, you have safety features that come standard, but on the Malibu, you have trims that can’t even get the features that would make the Malibu a top safety pick.

The starting price of the Sonata is $22,050 MSRP, while the starting price of the Malibu is $21,680 MSRP. Here the Malibu comes in as slightly cheaper, but again, to get those safety features that are standard in the Sonata, the price will go up.

 

All in all, it seems like the Sonata gives you what you need at the better price. Only you can decide which vehicle is best for you, but in this comparison, the Sonata takes the win.

 
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