2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Kona AWD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Rogue Sport doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 Rogue Sport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport has not been fully 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 Rogue Sport’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 Nissan covers the Rogue Sport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rogue Sport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Rogue Sport’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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 4 places higher in reliability than Nissan.


The Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (147 vs. 141) than the Rogue Sport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 34 more horsepower (175 vs. 141) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 147) than the Rogue Sport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Nissan Rogue Sport:


Kona 4 cyl.

Kona 1.6T

Rogue Sport

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

2.8 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

7.5 sec

9.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.9 sec

12.8 sec

16.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

4.4 sec

3.9 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.9 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

88.1 MPH

80.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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








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

Rogue Sport



2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy



2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

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


Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate

Rogue Sport

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.65 inches

The Kona stops shorter than the Rogue Sport:



Rogue Sport


60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

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 Rogue Sport (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R19).

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 Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 handles at .84 G’s, while the Rogue Sport SL 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Rogue Sport SL 4x4 (27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Rogue Sport’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.9 feet).


The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 350 pounds less than the Nissan Rogue Sport.

The Kona is 8.4 inches shorter than the Rogue Sport, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona has 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 5.3 inches more rear hip room than the Rogue Sport.

The front step up height for the Kona is 1.1 inches lower than the Rogue Sport (16” vs. 17.1”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 1.7 inches lower than the Rogue Sport’s (16.1” vs. 17.8”).


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 Rogue Sport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Kona and the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Rogue Sport’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Rogue Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SV/SL.


Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Kona and the Nissan Rogue Sport, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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