2019 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Prius Prime Advanced has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Prius Prime and the Kona Electric 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kona Electric has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kona Electric.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Kona Electric (145 city/121 hwy vs. 132 city/108 hwy MPGe).

The Prius Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 652 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Kona Electric’s range is only 258 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 54 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 9 hours and 35 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

The Prius Prime stops much shorter than the Kona Electric:

 

Prius

Kona

 

70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Prius Prime’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Kona Electric (106.3 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Kona Electric’s (33.4 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Hyundai Kona Electric.

The design of the Toyota Prius Prime amounts to more than styling. The Prius Prime has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .25 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Kona Electric (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Prius Prime get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Prius Prime uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Prius Prime has 1.7 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front hip room than the Kona Electric.

Cargo Capacity

The Prius Prime has a larger cargo volume than the Kona Electric with its rear seat up (19.8 vs. 19.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all 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 Kona Electric’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Prius Prime Advanced’s standard 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 Electric doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

On extremely cold winter days, the Prius Prime Advanced’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Prius Prime Advanced’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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