2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Jeep Renegade

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 2020/10/30

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 Renegade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the Renegade 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Jeep Renegade:

Kona

Renegade

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Kona is safer than the Jeep Renegade:

Kona

Renegade

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

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

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 Renegade last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.

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

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Renegade’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. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Renegade.

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 Renegade’s 500-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 54 points higher than the Renegade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 11th.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 20 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Renegade’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Jeep Renegade:

Kona 4 cyl.

Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate

Renegade turbo 4 cyl.

Renegade 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

9.3 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.1 sec

17.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

91.7 MPH

78.1 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/30

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

MPG

Kona

2WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

28 city/32 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

4WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/29 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Renegade

2WD

1.3 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

4WD

1.3 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

Trailhawk 1.3 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops much shorter than the Renegade:

Kona

Renegade

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Renegade (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Renegade’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Kona’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Renegade (102.4 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Renegade.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Renegade Latitude 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Kona’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Jeep Renegade.

The design of the Hyundai Kona amounts to more than styling. The Kona has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Renegade (.35 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kona get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Kona has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the Renegade Limited 4x4 (34 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Kona has .3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room and .3 inches more rear hip room than the Renegade.

The front step up height for the Kona is 3.4 inches lower than the Renegade (16” vs. 19.4”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 3.5 inches lower than the Renegade’s (16.1” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a larger cargo volume than the Renegade with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 18.5 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 Renegade’s liftover is 30.2 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 Renegade doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Renegade’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

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 Renegade only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Renegade’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

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 Renegade 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 $375 less than the Renegade over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Renegade because it costs $145 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Renegade, including $195 less for front brake pads, $371 less for a starter, $79 less for a fuel pump, $267 less for front struts and $84 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 $244 to $1993 less than for the Jeep Renegade.

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 2020/10/30

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Renegade 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 Renegade isn’t in the top three.

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