2019 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Kona Electric and the e-Golf have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, 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. The e-Golf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

The Kona Electric comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years unlimited miles. Hyundai will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the e-Golf.

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

There are over 28 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Kona Electric’s warranty.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 6 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The Kona Electric’s electric motor produces 67 more horsepower (201 vs. 134) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 214) than the e-Golf’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kona Electric gets better fuel mileage than the e-Golf (132 city/108 hwy vs. 126 city/111 hwy MPGe).

The Kona Electric’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 258 miles on a full charge, over twice as far as the e-Golf’s 125-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Kona Electric’s brake rotors are larger than those on the e-Golf:

Kona

e-Golf

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Electric has larger tires than the e-Golf (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Kona Electric has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the e-Golf.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Kona Electric is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the e-Golf.

For better maneuverability, the Kona Electric’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the e-Golf’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

The Kona Electric is 3.5 inches shorter than the e-Golf, making the Kona Electric easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona Electric has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the e-Golf.

Ergonomics

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 e-Golf doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 e-Golf doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Kona Electric Ultimate’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The e-Golf’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

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