2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Kona (except SE/Limited) offers optional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The EcoSport doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Kona (except SE/Limited)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Kona (except SE/Limited)’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the EcoSport 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kona its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The EcoSport has not been tested, yet.


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 EcoSport’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 Ford covers the EcoSport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the EcoSport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the EcoSport’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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fifth.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 8 places higher in reliability than Ford.


The Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (147 vs. 123) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (175 vs. 166) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Ford EcoSport:


Kona 4 cyl.

Kona 1.6T

EcoSport turbo 3 cyl.

EcoSport 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

7.5 sec

11.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.9 sec

18.2 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

88.1 MPH

76.7 MPH

77 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kona gets better fuel mileage than the EcoSport:








2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy



1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/32 hwy



2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy



1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/29 hwy




1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

27 city/29 hwy



2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The EcoSport with the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.


A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona Limited/Ultimate, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the EcoSport.

Brakes and Stopping

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


Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate


Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.7 inches

The Kona stops much shorter than the EcoSport:





70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the EcoSport (235/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the EcoSport’s optional 50 series tires.

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

The Hyundai Kona’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Kona flat and controlled during cornering. The EcoSport 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Kona’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the EcoSport (102.4 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the EcoSport.

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

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the EcoSport SE (27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Kona has 1.7 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

Cargo Capacity

The Kona’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.


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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 EcoSport’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

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

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Kona has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear vents.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the EcoSport because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the EcoSport, including $48 less for front brake pads, $65 less for fuel injection, $131 less for a fuel pump, $58 less for front struts, $511 less for a timing belt/chain and $345 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford EcoSport isn't recommended.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Hyundai Kona SE higher than the Ford EcoSport SE.

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