2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Kona’s standard 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Kona’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Kona and the CX-5 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 all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, 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 CX-5 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

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

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

There are over 44 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

Kona

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kona gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5:

MPG

Kona

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/32 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/29 hwy

CX-5

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Kona as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Mazda CX-5 is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Transmission

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 CX-5.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Kona stops shorter than the CX-5:

Kona

CX-5

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-5 (235/45R18 vs. 225/65R17).

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 CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 handles at .84 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the CX-5’s (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The Kona is 1 foot, 3.1 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the Kona is 1.6 inches lower than the CX-5 (16” vs. 17.6”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 2.1 inches lower than the CX-5’s (16.1” vs. 18.2”).

Cargo Capacity

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 CX-5’s liftover is 29.2 inches.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Kona and the CX-5 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 CX-5 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 CX-5’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the CX-5, including $30 less for front brake pads, $1 less for a starter, $202 less for fuel injection, $18 less for a fuel pump and $4 less for front struts.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Kona and the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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