2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Jeep Renegade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist in the Kona as “Superior.” The Renegade scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 Renegade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the Renegade 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 all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, 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 Renegade was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.


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

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


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Kona has a standard 640-amp battery. The Renegade’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 64 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 12 places higher in reliability than Jeep.


The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Renegade’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Jeep Renegade 2.4 4 cyl.:


Kona 4 cyl.

Kona 1.6T


Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

7.5 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.9 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

88.1 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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








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




2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy



2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.3 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.


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

Brakes and Stopping

The Kona stops much shorter than the Renegade:





70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Renegade (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R18).

The Kona SE Limited/Ultimate’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Renegade’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Kona’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Renegade (102.4 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Renegade.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Renegade Latitude 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Kona’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).


The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 300 pounds less than the Jeep Renegade.

The design of the Hyundai Kona amounts to more than styling. The Kona has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Renegade (.35 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kona get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Kona has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the Renegade Limited 4x4 (34 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

The Kona has .3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room and .3 inches more rear hip room than the Renegade.

The front step up height for the Kona is 3.4 inches lower than the Renegade (16” vs. 19.4”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 3.5 inches lower than the Renegade’s (16.1” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

The Kona has a larger cargo volume than the Renegade with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 18.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Kona easier. The Kona’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Renegade’s liftover is 30.2 inches.


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 Renegade doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Kona 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 automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Renegade Sport.

The Kona has standard power remote mirrors. The Renegade only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Renegade because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Renegade, including $169 less for front brake pads, $345 less for a starter, $74 less for a fuel pump, $264 less for front struts and $82 less for a timing belt/chain.


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

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