2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Kia Sportage

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 2020/10/27

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 Sportage 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 Sportage 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, 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 Kia Sportage:

Kona

Sportage

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 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 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 82 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sportage is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

© 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 2020/10/27

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sportage’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

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. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sportage.

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/27

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Kona has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Sportage’s standard 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Kona has a standard 640-amp battery. The Sportage’s 600-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 34 points higher than the Sportage.

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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 3 places higher in reliability than Kia.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Sportage SX Turbo 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:

Kona

Sportage

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.7 MPH

86.4 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 2020/10/27

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

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

Sportage

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/26 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2020/10/27

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Kona as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Kia Sportage is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Sportage.

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops shorter than the Sportage:

Kona

Sportage

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/10/27

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 Sportage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Sportage SX Turbo AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sportage LX (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Kia Sportage.

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

Passenger Space

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The Kona has .3 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear hip room than the Sportage.

The front step up height for the Kona is 2.5 inches lower than the Sportage (16” vs. 18.5”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 3.3 inches lower than the Sportage’s (16.1” vs. 19.4”).

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/10/27

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 Sportage’s liftover is 29.8 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 Sportage 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 Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s passenger windows don’t open or close 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 Sportage’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

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 Sportage doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/27

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Sportage because it costs $127 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Sportage, including $35 less for front brake pads, $93 less for fuel injection, $11 less for a fuel pump, $21 less for front struts, $64 less for a timing belt/chain and $783 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $1938 to $4582 less than for the Kia Sportage.

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 2020/10/27

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

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 Sportage 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 Sportage 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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