2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2019 Tesla Model X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Model X 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 Model X doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Kona Electric has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model X doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Kona Electric and the Model X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.


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 Model X’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona Electric 2 years longer than Tesla covers the Model X. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Model X ends after only 8 years.

The Kona Electric’s corrosion warranty is 3 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (7/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 13 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona Electric’s warranty.


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 17 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kona Electric gets better fuel mileage than the Model X 75D (132 city/108 hwy vs. 91 city/95 hwy MPGe). The Kona Electric gets better fuel mileage than the Model X P100D (132 city/108 hwy vs. 83 city/89 hwy MPGe).

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Kona Electric has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model X doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

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 Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona Electric has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Model X’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Kona Electric’s turning circle is 5.9 feet tighter than the Model X’s (34.8 feet vs. 40.7 feet).


The Hyundai Kona Electric may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1500 to 1600 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.

The Kona Electric is 2 feet, 9.7 inches shorter than the Model X, making the Kona Electric easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Kona Electric is 10.6 inches narrower than the Model X, making the Kona Electric easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Kona Electric Ultimate is quieter than the Model X:

Kona Electric

Model X

At idle

31 dB

44 dB


68 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

The Kona Electric’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Kona Electric to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.


The Kona Electric Ultimate has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The Kona Electric’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Kona Electric has standard extendable sun visors. The Model X doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Kona Electric SEL/Limited/Ultimate has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.


The Kona Electric was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Model X 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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