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I rented a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid this weekend that had Android Auto. I couldn't tell you what trim it was. First - these aren't really even the same category of car. The Impreza is a fun hatch compact. The Sonata is a boat of a sedan. I'll try to keep optional things (adaptive cruise, EyeSight, etc) out of the comparison.

Sonata Pros vs Impreza Sport 5-door CVT:
  • Gas Mileage. Averaged 39MPG combined!
  • Torque. The electric motor boost was quick to respond. The car, despite its size, did really well climbing hills or overtaking on the highway.
  • Android Auto Responsiveness - Basically ready as soon as I plugged the phone in because the infotainment system powers up when you unlock the car
  • Android Auto/USB stays powered on after shutting the car off. Can continue listening to your music until you open the door.
  • Infotainment responsiveness. No annoying hangs, studdering, crashing of the UI
  • Passenger space - it is huge inside.
  • Rearview Mirrors - it was a pleasure to not have blindspots! Impreza's mirrors are terrible.
  • Quiet - with the EV mode, the car is remarkably quiet at startup and low speeds around the city.

Sonata Cons:
  • Handling. The car sort of bounced all over the road. It had tracking issues on the highway. It threw its weight around. It is not a driver's car.
  • Weird noises. Hybrids are weird. Odd clicking and clunking. Random engine rev-ups.
  • Braking. The brakes were extremely unpredictable. I'd gradually be coming to a stop, and suddenly the brakes would grab hard, and throw myself and passengers forward. It was not comfortable.
  • Jingle on shutdown. Every time you turn off the car, it plays an annoying jingle, even while continuing to play your music.
  • Weird Android Auto audio-through-phone bug. Like 3 times in the week, music/nav audio suddenly started coming out of my phone, rather than the car speakers. The display was still on the car's screen. I had to unplug and re-plug to reset.
  • Infotainment UI design. I can't believe it, but Subaru's UI design was actually easier to understand and navigate to me. It just isn't as responsive.
  • Seat comfort. I find the Impreza seats way more comfortable.
  • Keyless entry. There's an ugly rubber button on the handle compared to Impreza's sort of magic touch features. I found it annoying.

Equally Crappy:
  • Forced radio. Every **** time I turned on the Sonata, it would play the radio at me. Just like the Subaru! I didn't get to try it with a USB drive plugged in to see if it would default to that.
  • Unpredictale shifting. The CVT in the Impreza sometimes acts like a CVT, sometimes steps through simulated gears. The Sonata sometimes seemed to not shift and act like a CVT - perhaps in EV mode? Other times it had really discrete shift points. It appears it is a traditional automatic, sort of, minus the torque converter. Regardless, the experience was a bit confusing.

Equally Good:
  • Cargo space. Impreza's is more vertical (hatch) vs Sonata's more depth (bigass trunk)

Sumary: I wasn't in love with the Sonata, but it did make me wish that I test drove an Elantra. Overall, it feels like Hyundai's infotainment is more refined and matured. Subaru's driving experience is much more matured. Hopefully Subaru can release some software updates that address responsiveness, the force-you-to-listen-to-radio issue to catch up. It does seem like Kia/Hyundai are very good at supporting & updating their existing firmware with new features.
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