Sonata vs. Camry
I do not have actual experience with the current models. However,
I stay well informed from reading reviews from a number of sources
and will share what I know. (My current cars are Volvo S80 and Honda Pilot)
Better is in some respects subjective such as appearance. The
Sonata is in my opinion more attractive today. How will it appear in
3 or 5 years? Resale value will somewhat favor the Camry both in the
near and long term. Your banker
can give you expected 'residual' values at 3, 5, 7 years.
Based on my
actual experience with my daughter's Hyundai Elantra 09 I would not have
reservations with overall quality of the Hyundai. They are no longer the Korean Yugo of years past.
Depending on how long you plan to keep the car, Consumer Reports
and some other sites like Edmunds can give you the TCO (total cost of
ownership which includes depreciation). On my daughter's Elantra the
oil change interval is 3k miles. In my somewhat cynical way I have to
assume that is merely a ploy to at some point deny warranty coverage,
since today's engines should not require an oil change before 5k
miles or 7,500 k. miles. I do not know the interval for the Sonata,
but expect that the Camry is at least 5k if not more. TCO may weigh
into your decision.
Most reviews I read give the Sonata and other cars from that
manufacturer good marks. Most objections seem to be centered on
'handling' i.e., not as refined as some other models in suspension
and steering feel.
I don't think either car would be a 'mistake.'