2019 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2019 Hyundai Kona

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-5 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Kona doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the CX-5 and the Kona 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 and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kona has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-5’s reliability 23 points higher than the Kona.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Engine

The CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (187 vs. 147) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 132) than the Kona’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The CX-5’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (187 vs. 175) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (250 vs. 175) and 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 195) than the Kona Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda CX-5 (base engine) is faster than the Hyundai Kona 4 cyl.:

 

CX-5

Kona

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

11.1 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.6 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CX-5 non-turbo’s fuel efficiency. The Kona doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CX-5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CX-5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kona:

 

CX-5

CX-5 Turbo

Kona SE

Kona Turbo

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-5 has larger tires than the Kona (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-5 Sport/Touring has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kona SE Limited/Ultimate. The CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Kona Limited/Ultimate.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mazda CX-5 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kona 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-5’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the Kona (106.2 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-5 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Kona.

The CX-5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Kona’s (59.4% to 40.6%). This gives the CX-5 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the CX-5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kona (7.5 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the CX-5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The CX-5 has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5 inches more rear legroom, 3.1 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kona.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CX-5’s rear seats recline. The Kona’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Kona with its rear seat up (30.9 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The CX-5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Kona with its rear seat folded (59.6 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).

The CX-5’s cargo area is larger than the Kona’s in every dimension:

 

CX-5

Kona

Max Width

57”

48”

Min Width

41.3”

40”

Height

32.4”

30”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CX-5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Kona doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CX-5 (except Sport) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Kona doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CX-5 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Kona has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Kona doesn’t offer memory seats.

Consumer Reports rated the CX-5’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Kona’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Kona doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The CX-5’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Both the CX-5 and the Kona offer available heated front seats. The CX-5 Grand Touring also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Kona.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CX-5 (except Sport/Touring) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Kona doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-5 Grand Touring’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kona doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kona doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the CX-5 and the Kona offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kona doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-5 offers an optional Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kona doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-5 with a number “1” insurance rate while the Kona is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-5 is less expensive to operate than the Kona because it costs $90 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CX-5 than the Kona, including $187 less for a water pump, $154 less for a muffler, $68 less for a timing belt/chain and $79 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The CX-5 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2018. The Kona 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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