Which is Better: Kia vs. Hyundai?

A 2020 Kia Sorento driving in snow

For Elk River, MN drivers looking at Kia vs. Hyundai, which brand is the better buy? The two companies have a lot in common: They are based in South Korea, and Hyundai actually owns 51% of Kia Motors! Many drivers are attracted to the affordable and well-reviewed sedans, SUVs, and hybrids in both lineups. That said, there are a few points to keep in mind as you make your decision, and this guide from Cornerstone Auto was written with the goal of helping you make the call. Check out car-buying tips from Cornerstone Auto, and read on for our Kia vs. Hyundai brand comparison.



Kia vs. Hyundai: Brand Overview

Selection — Kia offers a 2020 a lineup of 18 vehicles:

  • 5 SUV/Crossovers
  • 6 Sedans
  • 1 Hatchback
  • 1 Minivan
  • 1 Hybrid Sedan
  • 1 Hybrid Plug-In Sedan
  • 1 Hybrid SUV/Crossover
  • 1 Hybrid Plug-in SUV/Crossover
  • 1 Electric Vehicle (EV)
  • 1 Upcoming EV SUV/Crossover

Hyundai’s upcoming 2020 lineup will also include 18 vehicles:

  • 5 SUV/Crossovers
  • 2 Sedans
  • 4 Compacts
  • 1 Hybrid Compact
  • 1 Hybrid Sedan
  • 1 Plug-in Hybrid Compact
  • 1 Plug-in Hybrid Sedan
  • 2 EV Compacts
  • 1 SUV/Crossover Fuel Cell
  • Warranty — Both the Kia warranty and the Hyundai warranty provide Elk River, MN drivers with a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile Limited Basic Warranty.
  • Exterior Design — Kia vehicles have a sleek and sporty profile, designed to reflect the energetic driving experience that Kia is known for. This tends to appeal to drivers who prefer a vehicle with athletic styling. By contrast, the Hyundai lineup is designed to appeal to drivers who want a vehicle that’s more on the practical and conservative side.
  • Console System — Kia’s UVO system appeals to performance-minded drivers who are focused on the vehicle’s sporty handling and maintenance. Hyundai’s Blue Link interior console targets driver convenience.

Kia Sorento vs. Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2020 Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV with an upscale cabin and easy-to-use infotainment features:

  • Starting MSRP — $26,690
  • MPG — Up to 22 city / 29 highway
  • Horsepower — 185 to 290
  • Towing capacity — 2,000 to 5,000 lbs
  • Engine — Standard 2.4L 4-cylinder, available 3.3L V6

The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe also offers a quality interior and user-friendly tech features, but falls a bit short on performance because it lacks a V6 engine upgrade:

  • Starting MSRP — $25,900
  • MPG — Up to 22 city / 29 highway
  • Horsepower — 185 to 235 hp
  • Towing capacity — 2,000 to 3,500 lbs
  • Engine — 2.0L 4-cylinder

Kia Optima vs. Hyundai Sonata

The 2020 Kia Optima is a competitive midsize sedan that drivers will appreciate for its spacious cabin, upscale interior, intuitive infotainment, and smooth suspension:

  • Starting MSRP — $23,190
  • MPG — Up to 27 city / 37 highway
  • Horsepower — 178 to 245
  • Engine — 1.6L 4-cylinder, 2.0L 4-cylinder, 2.4L 4-cylinder

While you’ll note that the 2019 Hyundai Sonata has a lower starting MSRP than the 2020 Optima, that’s not the case for the soon-to-be-released 2020 Sonata, which will start at $23,400. Performance specs for the 2019 model is comparable to the Optima:

  • Starting MSRP — $18,900
  • MPG — Up to 26 city / 35 highway
  • Horsepower — 185 to 245
  • Engine — 2.4L 4-cylinder, 2L Turbo 4-cylinder

Kia Sportage vs. Hyundai Tucson

While the 2020 Kia Sportage and the 2020 Hyundai Tucson get similar fuel economy for your daily drives, the Sportage gives you performance upgrades up to 240 hp, compared to 181 for the Tucson.

  • Starting MSRP — $23,990
  • MPG — Up to 23 city / 30 highway
  • Horsepower — 181 to 240
  • Engine — 2.0L 4-cylinder, 2.4L 4-cylinder

2020 Hyundai Tucson specs:

  • Starting MSRP — $23,350
  • MPG — Up to 23 city / 28 highway
  • Horsepower — 161 to 181
  • Engine — 2.0L 4-cylinder, 2.4L 4-cylinder

Kia Forte vs. Hyundai Elantra

Following up a complete redesign in 2019, the 2020 Forte adds optional GT and GT Line trims for race-inspired exterior detailing and sporty interior enhancements. GT also gets revamped suspension and more power for the engine:

  • Starting MSRP — $17,790
  • MPG — Up to 30 city / 40 highway
  • Horsepower — 147 to 201
  • Engine — 1.6L 4-cylinder, 2.0L 4-cylinder
  • Transmission — 6-speed manual, 7-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission

The 2020 Elantra is a safe choice among compact cars, offering a comfortable ride and similarly excellent fuel economy as the Forte. If you prioritize performance and prefer a more athletic driving experience, the Forte is likely your best bet. Check out the 2020 Elantra specs below:

  • Starting MSRP — $18,950
  • MPG — Up to 33 city / 41 highway
  • Horsepower — 128 to 201
  • Engine — 1.4L 4-cylinder, 1.6L 4-cylinder, 2.0L 4-cylinder
  • Transmission — 7-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission

Overall, while both brands offer a wide variety of affordable models, but they’ve built their lineups to appeal to different drivers. Hyundai’s focus is on providing the best value for drivers who want a smooth ride and conservative styling. However, drivers in the market for a performance-oriented vehicle with options to boost engine power to premium levels will want to go with a Kia. If you’re in the Elk River, MN area and considering a Kia, stop by the Cornerstone Auto showroom to browse our Kia inventory today!

Match With Your New Kia at Cornerstone Auto!

Feel free to contact us with any more car-buying questions like buying vs. leasing your next vehicle. Check out our new Kia models and pre-owned vehicle specials, and then call to schedule a test drive when you’ve found your favorites!

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Phone: 763-274-3390

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Cornerstone Auto
Cornerstone Auto
17219 Highway 10 NW
Elk River, MN, 55330 United States
763-274-3390
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Cornerstone Auto 45.3767051, -93.3884585.