2021 Toyota Camry vs 2021 Hyundai Sonata

2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Hyundai Sonata
2021 Hyundai Sonata
$23,950MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Hyundai Sonata
$23,950MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Camry was 7.8 out of 10, while the 2021 Hyundai Sonata scored 8.5 out of 10. Based on these ratings, we recommend the 2021 Hyundai Sonata. It offers a more engaging design, superior tech features, and a thrilling driving experience, making it the better choice among midsize sedans from 2021.

Overview

MSRP

$25,045

MSRP

$23,950

Average price

$23,778

Average price

$20,632

Listings

2258

Listings

1916
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.5 out of 10
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • TRD trim adds extra performance and style
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • All-wheel drive not available
  • Underwhelming base engine

2021 Toyota Camry Reviews Summary

The Toyota Camry has long been many new-car buyers’ default choice—but not because it’s interesting. Reliability and practicality have traditionally been the Camry’s strengths, not sportiness or style.

Toyota tried to change that for the 2018 model year, when the Camry was last redesigned. The current-generation Camry adopted more extroverted styling, and engineers tried to make the driving experience more exciting, too. While Toyota’s approach has changed, the Camry still competes against the same array of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Volkswagen Passat.

Changes for the 2021 model year include subtle styling tweaks, new infotainment displays, an upgrade to the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) package of driver aids, some changes to the dashboard trim, and the discontinuation of the Camry L trim level. That leaves the Camry LE as the new base trim level.

The Camry offers buyers more choices than many rivals, encompassing three powertrains (inline-four, V6, and hybrid), six trim levels (LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XSE, and TRD), and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Our test car was an AWD SE Nightshade Edition, positioned close to the middle of the lineup.

2021 Hyundai Sonata Reviews Summary

In a shrinking car market, the traditional sport sedan is increasingly rare. Designed and developed for people who prefer on-pavement performance but need passenger and cargo practicality, only a handful of dedicated non-premium sport sedans still exist, and most of those barely qualify for membership in the club. Enter the new 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line, which addresses both performance and practicality in a compelling midsize package and at a bargain price.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.5L 203 hp I4

Engine

2.5L 191 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

Horsepower

191 hp @ 6100 rpm

MPG City

28

MPG City

27

MPG Highway

39

MPG Highway

37
2021 Toyota Camry
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Hyundai Sonata
2021 Hyundai Sonata
$23,950MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Camry
$25,045MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Hyundai Sonata
$23,950MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Camry was 7.8 out of 10, while the 2021 Hyundai Sonata scored 8.5 out of 10. Based on these ratings, we recommend the 2021 Hyundai Sonata. It offers a more engaging design, superior tech features, and a thrilling driving experience, making it the better choice among midsize sedans from 2021.

Overview
MSRP
$25,045
$23,950
Average price
$23,778
$20,632
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
4.9
Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10

Read full review

8.5 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • TRD trim adds extra performance and style
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • All-wheel drive not available
  • Underwhelming base engine
Summary

The Toyota Camry has long been many new-car buyers’ default choice—but not because it’s interesting. Reliability and practicality have traditionally been the Camry’s strengths, not sportiness or style.

Toyota tried to change that for the 2018 model year, when the Camry was last redesigned. The current-generation Camry adopted more extroverted styling, and engineers tried to make the driving experience more exciting, too. While Toyota’s approach has changed, the Camry still competes against the same array of midsize sedans, including the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Volkswagen Passat.

Changes for the 2021 model year include subtle styling tweaks, new infotainment displays, an upgrade to the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) package of driver aids, some changes to the dashboard trim, and the discontinuation of the Camry L trim level. That leaves the Camry LE as the new base trim level.

The Camry offers buyers more choices than many rivals, encompassing three powertrains (inline-four, V6, and hybrid), six trim levels (LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition, XSE, and TRD), and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Our test car was an AWD SE Nightshade Edition, positioned close to the middle of the lineup.

In a shrinking car market, the traditional sport sedan is increasingly rare. Designed and developed for people who prefer on-pavement performance but need passenger and cargo practicality, only a handful of dedicated non-premium sport sedans still exist, and most of those barely qualify for membership in the club. Enter the new 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line, which addresses both performance and practicality in a compelling midsize package and at a bargain price.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.5L 203 hp I4
2.5L 191 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
191 hp @ 6100 rpm
MPG City
28
27
MPG Highway
39
37
Look and feel
2021 Toyota Camry
6/10
2021 Hyundai Sonata
8/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry worked hard to shed its previous image of a generic sedan. Its designers incorporated numerous styling elements to inject excitement into its design. While elements like the flared wheel arches and slender headlights and taillights succeeded in giving the car a broader visual appeal, other features like the fake vents on SE, XSE, and TRD trims added unnecessary visual clutter. The LE and XLE trims offered a somewhat cleaner, though still large, grille design. The car rode on the TNGA-K platform, shared with models like the Avalon and RAV4, ensuring robust underpinnings. 2021 introduced minor tweaks to the Camry’s front fascia across most trim levels without drastic changes. The TRD performance model got unique styling touches like a larger rear spoiler, while the Nightshade Edition adapted blacked-out trim and wheels on the SE trim. Wheel options varied from 17-inch alloys on the base LE trim, up to 19-inch on higher trims. Inside, the chaotic styling of the exterior continued, especially in our tested SE Nightshade Edition. The dashboard appeared to be a patchwork of different car interiors, featuring a mix of materials such as contrast stitching, piano black plastic, and faux carbon fiber. Despite the playful design choices, the materials often felt cheap and didn’t exude the premium feel one might expect. In contrast, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata, fully redesigned in 2020, presented a distinct and daring demeanor. It featured bold elements from its broad grille to its sleek, tapered tail, making it immediately recognizable as a Sonata. The N Line trim enhanced this appearance with larger, functional air intakes and gloss black elements like side mirrors and window surrounds. It flaunted bold 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and sported a subtle gloss black lip spoiler and quad exhaust outlets at the rear. The Sonata N Line’s intimidating aesthetics suggested the performance enhancements it packed. Unlike the Camry, it avoided overly dramatic design elements, aiming for a balanced, sporty look. Inside, the Sonata N Line boasted premium features like sport front seats with Nappa leather bolsters and Dinamica suede inserts, red stitching, and dark chrome accents. A standard panoramic sunroof augmented its roomy and upscale feel. The interior struck a balance between sportiness and luxury, differentiating it from the somewhat chaotic design of the Camry.
Performance
2021 Toyota Camry
9/10
2021 Hyundai Sonata
9/10
For the 2021 Toyota Camry, the base powertrain was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, fondly named Dynamic Force. It had an above-average output for a naturally aspirated engine, offering 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque with FWD, and slightly reduced figures with AWD. The XSE trim granted a slight power bump with a dual-exhaust system. Both FWD and AWD options came paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Toyota also offered a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 option, producing an impressive 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, again coupled with the same eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Camry Hybrid variant paired a 2.5-liter engine with electric assist, delivering a combined system output of 208 hp. Driving the SE Nightshade Edition with the base four-cylinder and AWD proved surprisingly enjoyable. The Dynamic Force engine showcased a lively, eager-to-rev nature, and even emitted a sporty sound. The chassis delivered a balanced experience between handling prowess and ride comfort, making it fun yet commuter-friendly. Though not as sharp as rivals like the Honda Accord or Mazda 6, the Camry was a decidedly entertaining drive, particularly notable since the reviewed model wasn’t even the TRD version, which came equipped with multiple performance upgrades. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line's performance stood out with its turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It churned out a robust 290 hp at 5,800 rpm and 311 lb-ft of torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm, paired with a new eight-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission featuring paddle shifters and rev-matching. This setup aimed at providing a thoroughly engaging driving experience. Drivers could toggle between Normal, Sport, Sport+, and Custom driving modes. The car’s Active Sound Design (ASD) system, combined with a sport-tuned exhaust, mimicked the distinctive sound of a Subaru WRX. Additional performance upgrades included stiffer engine and transmission mounts, quicker steering, larger brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension on 19-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires. Evaluated on winding roads, the Sonata N Line excelled, benefiting from its sharper steering, firmer suspension, and high-grip tires. It managed understeer well and exhibited minimal body roll, providing a sense of stability and balance in spirited drives. Despite its performance credentials, it offered a comfortable ride in urban and highway scenarios, maintaining a sense of refinement and quality. Fuel efficiency was another consideration. The EPA rated the Sonata N Line at 27 mpg combined, while our real-world testing yielded 23.7 mpg over a varied route. The Camry, particularly in its hybrid form, could offer better fuel economy, but the Sonata N Line wasn’t far behind for a performance-oriented model.
Form and function
2021 Toyota Camry
8/10
2021 Hyundai Sonata
8/10
In terms of interior space, the 2021 Toyota Camry provided above-average rear headroom and legroom, though it compromised on front-seat space. The front seats compensated with ample adjustability and comfort, complemented by excellent outward visibility. Cargo space measured 15.1 cubic feet, which was average for the class but trailed the Honda Accord’s 16.7 cubic feet. In-cabin storage was minimal, with small cupholders and door bottle holders. Meanwhile, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line offered heated front sport seats with a good balance of comfort and lateral support. The Dinamica suede inserts aided in keeping occupants in place during spirited driving while ensuring comfort during regular commutes. The front passenger benefited from a manual seat height adjuster. Rear-seat accommodations in the Sonata N Line, though not significantly better than the smaller Hyundai Elantra N Line, were more comfortable, especially with features like rear air conditioning vents and a USB port. The panoramic sunroof added to the feeling of spaciousness, though hard plastic seatback panels were a drawback for taller passengers. The Sonata N Line provided generous interior storage, although the design of its transmission control pod was a bit clunky. Trunk volume was more competitive at 16 cubic feet, complemented by a 60/40-split folding rear seat for added utility. It also featured Hyundai’s Smart Trunk hands-free release system, which automatically opened the trunk lid if standing near the back of the car for a few seconds.
Technology
2021 Toyota Camry
7/10
2021 Hyundai Sonata
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry came standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Higher trims featured a larger 9-inch touchscreen, WiFi for up to five devices, navigation, and a nine-speaker JBL audio system. A 10-inch head-up display was available on the XSE and XLE trims. Its infotainment system was user-friendly but lacked standout innovations. The graphics were plain, but the functions were straightforward, providing a reliable multimedia experience. Standard USB media and charge ports were available, though the higher trims didn’t offer additional ports. In comparison, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line came with a more comprehensive tech suite. It featured a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation panel partnered with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, including navigation, wireless smartphone charging, and an acceptable Bose premium sound system. The system supported HD Radio, SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a three-year subscription to Blue Link connected services. A notable omission, however, was a WiFi hotspot. While the touch-sensitive controls and additional screen curvature on the Sonata N Line presented some user challenges, it integrated calming features like Sounds of Nature to enhance the driving experience. Hyundai Digital Key was also standard, enabling keyless car access and starting via a smartphone—albeit only for Android users.
Safety
2021 Toyota Camry
9/10
2021 Hyundai Sonata
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Camry excelled in safety, earning a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the IIHS and a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA. Toyota equipped the Camry with the TSS 2.5+ suite of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning (with cyclist and pedestrian detection), lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and traffic-sign recognition. The Camry’s adaptive cruise control featured a lane-change assist function, while the forward-collision warning system offered enhanced detection capabilities. New for 2021 was Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder, aiming to prevent unattended children or pets in the back seats. Additionally, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert were available, standard on higher trims or optional on lower ones. Conversely, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line’s safety package, SmartSense, was highly comprehensive. It included adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, forward-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping and lane-centering assistance, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights. Additional features like Rear Occupant Alert, Safe Exit Warning, and Highway Drive Assist — a Level 2 ADAS — enhanced its safety credentials. Though ratings from IIHS and NHTSA for the Sonata N Line were pending at the time of review, the standard Sonata’s high safety scores projected a strong performances for the N Line. The suite of driver assistance systems worked seamlessly, reducing driving stress and increasing driver trust.
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By: CarGurus + AI

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