Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo FWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Kona 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

147 HP

132 lbs.-ft.

Kona Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4-cyl.

175 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Hyundai Kona 4-cylinder:



Zero to 30 MPH

3.5 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.6 sec

11.1 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

6.1 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17.4 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sportage has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (16.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sportage’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kona:

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Kona SE

Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate

Front Rotors

12 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the Kona:



70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sportage has larger standard tires than the Kona (225/60R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Kona (245/45R19 vs. 235/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sportage LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kona SE Limited/Ultimate. The Sportage SX Turbo’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Kona Limited/Ultimate.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Sportage has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kona 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sportage’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Kona (105.1 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Kona.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Kona SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Kona SE (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Kona (6.8 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Sportage has 1 inch more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kona.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sportage’s rear seats recline. The Kona’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kona with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 19.2 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kona with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).

The Sportage’s cargo area is larger than the Kona’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Sportage EX/SX Turbo’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Sportage’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Kona doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.


The Sportage has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Kona has no towing capacity.


Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Kona doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Kona’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 Sportage’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Kona’s headlights are rated “Poor” to .”

The Sportage’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Kona doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sportage’s optional (except S/LX) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kona doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Sportage’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kona doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Sportage and the Kona offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kona doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sportage (except LX) offers an optional Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kona doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Kona because typical repairs cost less on the Sportage than the Kona, including $81 less for a water pump, $3 less for a muffler and $161 less for a starter.


J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Kona isn’t in the top three.

The Kia Sportage outsold the Hyundai Kona by 76% during 2018.

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

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