2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Hyundai Kona

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Hyundai Kona doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Terrain are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Kona doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Kona only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Terrain and the Kona have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Terrain the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kona has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Terrain for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kona.

There are over 2 times as many GMC dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The Kona’s 640-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 23 more horsepower (170 vs. 147) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 132) than the Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Terrain’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 195) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 77 more horsepower (252 vs. 175) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 195) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 108 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 132) than the Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 195) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Hyundai Kona 4 cyl.:

 

Terrain

Kona

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

11.1 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Kona:

 

 

Terrain

Kona

 

FWD

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

27 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

 

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Terrain’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Kona doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (14.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (15.6 vs. 13.2 gallons).

The Terrain has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Kona doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Kona.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Terrain’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kona:

 

Terrain 1.5T/Diesel

Terrain 2.0T

Kona SE

Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

The Terrain stops shorter than the Kona:

 

Terrain

Kona

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

129 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain has larger standard tires than the Kona (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Terrain has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kona SE Limited/Ultimate. The Terrain’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Kona Limited/Ultimate.

The Terrain has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Kona doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the GMC Terrain has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kona 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Terrain’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Kona (107.3 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For greater off-road capability the Terrain SLE has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kona (6.9 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Terrain to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Terrain SLT/Denali’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the Kona (7.9 vs. 6.7 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the Terrain uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Kona doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Kona doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kona.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Terrain’s rear seats recline. The Kona’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Kona with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Kona with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Kona doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Terrain (except SL) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kona doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Terrain has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Kona has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Terrain (except SL/SLE), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Kona doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Terrain (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Kona doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Kona does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Terrain’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Kona’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Kona can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Consumer Reports rated the Terrain’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Kona’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Terrain’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate.

When the Terrain with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Kona’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

Both the Terrain and the Kona offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Kona.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Terrain Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Kona doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Terrain’s optional (except SL/SLE) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kona doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Terrain (except SL)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kona doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Terrain and the Kona offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Terrain has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kona doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Terrain SLT/Denali offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kona doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Terrain (except SL) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Kona doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Kona doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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