2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

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 prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Hyundai Kona has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’s traction control is for low speeds only. Low traction conditions at higher speeds are more dangerous, making the need for full range traction control important.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Kona and the Tiguan 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, 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 Tiguan’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 Volkswagen covers the Tiguan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Tiguan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Kona’s 7 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Tiguan runs out after 100,000 miles.

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 1 year and 16,000 miles longer than Volkswagen pays for maintenance for the Tiguan (3/36,000 vs. 2/20,000).

There are over 29 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

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 Tiguan’s 360-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 75 points higher than the Tiguan.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 21 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Volkswagen Tiguan:

Kona 4 cyl.

Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

2.5 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

8.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.9 sec

11.2 sec

15.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

4.4 sec

3.3 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.1 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

91.7 MPH

83.8 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 Tiguan:

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

Tiguan

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tiguan requires premium, 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

Kona

Tiguan

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 Tiguan S/SE’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 Tiguan’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Tiguan’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 850 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Kona is 1 foot, 9.1 inches shorter than the Tiguan, 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 lower than the Tiguan (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kona get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Kona Ultimate 4x4 is quieter than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (34 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the Kona is 1.4 inches lower than the Tiguan (16” vs. 17.4”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 1.4 inches lower than the Tiguan’s (16.1” vs. 17.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 12 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 Tiguan’s liftover is 29.4 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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 $145 less than the Tiguan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $255 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Tiguan, including $263 less for a water pump, $118 less for a muffler, $40 less for front brake pads, $310 less for a starter, $275 less for fuel injection, $245 less for a fuel pump, $202 less for front struts, $149 less for a timing belt/chain and $29 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 $3279 to $8707 less than for the Volkswagen Tiguan.

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 Volkswagen Tiguan isn't recommended.

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