2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Lexus UX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Kona and the UX Series 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

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 UX Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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 UX Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the UX Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the UX Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the UX Series’ (7 vs. 6 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona’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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Kona has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (13.2 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the UX Series (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R18).

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 UX Series’ 50 series tires.

The Kona 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 UX Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus UX Series.

The Kona is 1 foot, 1 inches shorter than the UX Series, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

Payload

The Kona has a higher maximum payload capacity than the UX Series (930 vs. 890 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Kona and the UX Series 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 UX Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The UX Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Hyundai Kona outsold the Lexus UX Series by almost 104 to one during 2018.

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

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