2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2018 Toyota Corolla iM

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Kona offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Corolla iM doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corolla iM doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate’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 Corolla iM doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Kona Ultimate has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 Corolla iM 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 and the Corolla iM 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rear parking sensors and driver alert monitors.


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

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

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Corolla iM’s (7 vs. 5 years).


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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.


The Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (147 vs. 137) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 126) than the Corolla iM’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (175 vs. 137) and 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 126) than the Corolla iM’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kona Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Corolla iM (automatics tested):



Corolla iM

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

9.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.3 sec

15.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19 sec

27.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.2 sec

9.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.9 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

83 MPH

Top Speed

135 MPH

112 MPH


The Kona offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Corolla iM doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla iM:


Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate

Corolla iM

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11 inches

The Kona stops shorter than the Corolla iM:



Corolla iM


70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

150 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Corolla iM (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Kona Limited/Ultimate has standard 18-inch wheels. The Corolla iM’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona 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 Corolla iM doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Corolla iM.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Corolla iM pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Corolla iM’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).


The Kona is 6.5 inches shorter than the Corolla iM, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the Corolla iM:



Corolla iM

At idle

34 dB

40 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Kona has 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla iM.


The Kona offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Corolla iM doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Kona 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 Corolla iM doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The Kona’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Corolla iM’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Proximity Key standard on the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Toyota Corolla iM doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Kona Ultimate’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Corolla iM’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The Kona’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corolla iM’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Corolla iM.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Corolla iM because typical repairs cost less on the Kona than the Corolla iM, including $21 less for front brake pads, $94 less for a starter, $161 less for fuel injection, $115 less for a fuel pump, $113 less for front struts and $176 less for a timing belt/chain.


Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Kona and the Toyota Corolla iM, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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