2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2019 Toyota Prius Prime

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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Kona Electric and the Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’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 Toyota covers the Prius Prime. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Prius Prime ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona Electric’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Prius Prime’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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Kona Electric’s electric motor produces 80 more horsepower (201 vs. 121) and 154 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 106) than the Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Hyundai Kona Electric is faster than the Toyota Prius Prime:

Kona

Prius

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

10.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

10.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.4 sec

4.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.5 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

79 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Kona Electric’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 258 miles on a full charge. The Prius Prime can only travel about 25 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Kona

Prius

Front Rotors

12 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Electric has larger tires than the Prius Prime (215/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).

The Kona Electric’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius Prime’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Kona Electric has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the Prius Prime.

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 Prius Prime; 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 Prius Prime’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Kona Electric is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Prius Prime.

The Kona Electric’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54% to 46%) than the Prius Prime’s (55.5% to 44.5%). This gives the Kona Electric more stable handling and braking.

The Kona Electric Ultimate handles at .83 G’s, while the Prius Prime Advanced pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Kona Electric is 1 foot, 6.3 inches shorter than the Prius Prime, making the Kona Electric easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona Electric has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Prius Prime can only carry 4.

The Kona Electric has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius Prime (94.1 vs. 91.5).

The Kona Electric has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius Prime.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Kona Electric and the Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Kona Electric has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius Prime has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Advanced.

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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Recommendations

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