2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Kona Electric has a standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Kona Electric’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Kona Electric and the Clarity Fuel Cell have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

The Kona Electric comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona Electric 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Clarity Fuel Cell. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Clarity Fuel Cell ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona Electric’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Kona Electric’s electric motor produces 27 more horsepower (201 vs. 174) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 221) than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s electric motor.

As tested in Car and Driver the Hyundai Kona Electric is faster than the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell:

Kona

Clarity

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.4 sec

3.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.5 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kona Electric gets better fuel mileage than the Clarity Fuel Cell (132 city/108 hwy vs. 68 city/67 hwy MPGe).

Brakes and Stopping

The Kona Electric stops much shorter than the Clarity Fuel Cell:

Kona

Clarity

70 to 0 MPH

185 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The Kona Electric has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Clarity Fuel Cell; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona Electric has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Kona Electric’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54% to 46%) than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (57.3% to 42.7%). This gives the Kona Electric more stable handling and braking.

The Kona Electric Ultimate handles at .83 G’s, while the Clarity Fuel Cell pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kona Electric’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Kona Electric may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

The Kona Electric is 2 feet, 4.1 inches shorter than the Clarity Fuel Cell, making the Kona Electric easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona Electric has .5 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more rear headroom than the Clarity Fuel Cell.

Cargo Capacity

The Kona Electric has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Clarity Fuel Cell (19.2 vs. 11.8 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Kona Electric’s cargo door uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Fuel Cell’s useful trunk space.

The Kona Electric’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Kona Electric and the Clarity Fuel Cell have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Kona Electric is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Clarity Fuel Cell prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kona Electric has a standard rear wiper. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Kona Electric Limited/Ultimate detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Recommendations

The Kona Electric was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Clarity Fuel Cell has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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