2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Mercedes GLA

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 2020/10/21

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 GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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

Both the Kona and the GLA 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

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 GLA has not been tested, yet.

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 2020/10/21

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 GLA’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

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 2020/10/21

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Kona has a standard 150-amp alternator (130-amp - Kona 1.6T). The GLA’s 115-amp alternator 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 39 points higher than the GLA.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th, 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 15 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Mercedes GLA:

Kona

GLA

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.7 MPH

89.8 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 2020/10/21

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

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

Equinox

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/34 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/10/21

The Kona stops shorter than the GLA:

Kona

GLA

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/10/21

The Kona has a standard space-saver spare (not available on 1.6T/AWD) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the GLA; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 2020/10/21

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

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the GLA 250’s (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Kona has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GLA (6.7 vs. 5.3 inches), allowing the Kona to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 250 pounds less than the Mercedes GLA.

The Kona is 9.9 inches shorter than the GLA, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the GLA 250 4MATIC:

Kona

GLA

At idle

34 dB

42 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/10/21

The Kona has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GLA (94.1 vs. 91).

The Kona has .7 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the GLA.

The front step up height for the Kona is 2.4 inches lower than the GLA (16” vs. 18.4”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 3.4 inches lower than the GLA’s (16.1” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the GLA with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Kona has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (45.8 vs. 43.6 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 GLA’s liftover is 29.5 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 GLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 GLA only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Kona’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the GLA’s headlights, which were 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 GLA 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 GLA doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard extendable sun visors. The GLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Kona with a number “8” insurance rate while the GLA is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the GLA, including $476 less for a water pump, $215 less for a muffler, $217 less for front brake pads, $368 less for a starter, $424 less for fuel injection, $249 less for a fuel pump, $217 less for front struts and $681 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 $8060 to $12852 less than for the Mercedes GLA.

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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes GLA 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 GLA 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 GLA has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Hyundai Kona outsold the Mercedes GLA by over three to one during 2019.

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

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