2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

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 2020/10/26

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Kona’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The CX-5 doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Kona’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Kona and the CX-5 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CX-5’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. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

There are over 48 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Kona has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 186) than the CX-5’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona 4 cyl. is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl.:

Kona

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

78.3 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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the Kona gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5:

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

CX-5

2WD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

4WD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.5 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Kona as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Mazda CX-5 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 CX-5.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops much shorter than the CX-5:

Kona

CX-5

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

144 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 CX-5 (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 CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 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 CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the CX-5 Signature AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the CX-5’s (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The Kona is 1 foot, 3.1 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (34 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the Kona is 1.6 inches lower than the CX-5 (16” vs. 17.6”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 2.1 inches lower than the CX-5’s (16.1” vs. 18.2”).

Cargo Capacity

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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 CX-5’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Kona and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Kona is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-5 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the CX-5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the CX-5, including $35 less for front brake pads, $1 less for a starter, $212 less for fuel injection, $19 less for a fuel pump and $4 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $1522 to $3269 less than for the Mazda CX-5.

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 2020/10/26

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Kona and the Mazda CX-5, 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 CX-5 isn’t in the top three.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The CX-5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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