2019 Hyundai Kona vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Kona AWD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the Rav4 Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid’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 Toyota covers the Rav4 Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Brakes and Stopping

The Kona stops much shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

Kona

Rav4 Hybrid

 

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

143 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 Hybrid (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 Rav4 Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Kona Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Kona has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Kona Ultimate 4x4 handles at .84 G’s, while the Rav4 Hybrid XSE 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 1.1 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE (27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 800 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

The Kona is 1 foot, 4.9 inches shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kona has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom and 4.5 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4 Hybrid.

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 Rav4 Hybrid’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Kona SE/SEL/Limited’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 Hybrid LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Rav4 Hybrid has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XSE/Limited.

The Kona’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Rav4 Hybrid’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Model Availability

The Kona is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Hyundai Kona SE higher than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid XSE.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Rav4 Hybrid 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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