2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

The Kona has standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Kona offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Journey doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Kona’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

The Kona’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Kona’s 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 Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Kona SEL Plus/Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Kona and the Journey 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Kona is safer than the Dodge Journey:

Kona

Journey

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Hyundai Kona is safer than the Journey:

Kona

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

2.9/1.2 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.46/.55

.8/.83

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kona the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Journey is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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

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

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Journey.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Kona has a standard 640-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Kona’s reliability 71 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 54 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 2 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

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The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 3 more horsepower (175 vs. 172) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Kona FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Journey (27 city/33 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Kona higher (5 out of 10) than the Dodge Journey (3). This means the Kona produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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For more complete vehicle control the Kona offers optional Shiftronic™, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. Shiftronic™ allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Journey doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a four-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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

The Kona SE’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 Journey SE Value’s standard 65 series tires. The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Journey Crossroad’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Kona Ultimate handles at .85 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Journey SE Value’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.5 feet). The Kona’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the Journey Crossroad’s (34.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 950 pounds less than the Dodge Journey.

The Kona is 2 feet, 4.4 inches shorter than the Journey, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Hyundai Kona amounts to more than styling. The Kona has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Journey (.366) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kona get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a much larger cargo volume than the Journey with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 10.7 cubic feet).

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 Journey’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

Ergonomics

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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 Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Journey’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens 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 Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kona has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Journey only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Kona’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Journey’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Kona Ultimate detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Journey doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Kona Ultimate has a standard Smart 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 Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Kona, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Hyundai Kona SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Journey doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kona will cost $30 to $1315 less than the Journey over a five-year period.

The Kona will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Kona will retain 44.01% to 46.2% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 41.27% to 42.51%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Journey, including $829 less for a muffler, $103 less for front brake pads, $24 less for a starter, $93 less for fuel injection, $442 less for a fuel pump, $111 less for front struts and $471 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $3200 to $6427 less than for the Dodge Journey.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Journey isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Kona third among small suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Journey isn’t in the top three in its category.

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