Reader Question: Charger vs. Sonata N?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

William asks: My wife has a 2014 Sonata 2.0T with the original 274 hp engine. Just read the review on the 2020 Sonatas and was ecstatic that the new model ups the hp from the downgrade they gave it in 2015. If I’m following… I should however wait till the new “N” model Sonatas come out in the spring – is that correct? Are you anticipating that the Sonata 2.0T “N” model will be as peppy (if not more so) as my wife’s 2014 Sonata 2.0T? I also have a 2008 Charger R/T that I’ve always babied. Great car. Still beautiful. But… 2008 is 2008. Can’t last forever. Already had one body rust issue. My body guy warns me it’s only a matter of time. Thoughts? Another Charger R/T? Can’t really afford two kick-ass “family” cars at the same time… so… if I were to replace only one of my cars… any off-the-cuff advice? Thanks! Happy New Year!

My reply: This is a good dilemma to have!

Yes, if you want a Sonata with guts, give it a few months. The N-Line version will have circa 270 hp – and ought to be the quickest Sonata ever. Of course, it’s a very different kind of quickness vs. the Charger R/T.

So the question is – which type of quickness appeals to you more? The FWD and turbocharged kind? Or the old-school big-engined, rear-drive kind? There’s nothing wrong with either kind – it’s just a question of personal preference.

Each has its strengths – and weaknesses, though.

The turbo’d engine in the Hyundai is under more pressure – literally – than the big V8 in the R/T. It may not be as long-term reliable – but not necessarily.

For a certainty, the FWD Hyundai will be the better choice if it snows than the RWD Charger. But the RWD Charger is better-suited to hard launches (and burnouts!) and its rear-axle is likely to give you less trouble if the car is run hard than the FWD car’s transaxle/CV joints.

There is one other thing – and it could be the decisive thing: The Sonata is new. The Charger is old.  Both are 2020s, of course. But the Hyundai is a new-design car. It has all the latest sssssssssssssssaaaaaaaaafety features – which you may not want. The Charger has the features you’d have found back in 2008 or so. Which may be exactly what you want – just with zero miles on the odometer and a new car warranty!

. . .

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  1. Challenger with a Manual and V8.

    Just add an exhaust and intake and you’re basically set unless you’re like me and you can’t leave things alone. I’d also recommend Strut and Chassis Bracing as well as Sway Bars, those will definitely address the handling of the car if you don’t want to get a set of proper coil overs (KW)

    If you really do need 4 doors or can’t drive stick, then just substitute Challenger for Charger, but at fast as the Frogs are gonna bastardize the brand and you won’t have such a kick ass car no more.

    Besides all that though, the Sonata will be dated well soon enough, the Charger will be a beast, though I got a 3rd option… The Stinger.

    GT1 with the 3.3 and RWD, with just a few bolt on’s, you can easily run 12’s, and if you really mod it, fugeddaboutit!

  2. I’d go with the Charger or a Challenger. They are a little big, but they are solid. I would baby it as well and only squeal the tires once on a while.

    On another note, what happened to the Genesis coupe?


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