Two somewhat pedestrian comments- I have tested a few radios and discovered that they are different, even when they are supposed to be the same. Like my vx-3r on 1watt won't hit the 145.310 repeater from my driveway, while my vx-7r On 1 watt will hit it. Both using the exact same antenna. So it's definitely possible that the Yaesu just receives better than your Kenwood. I trust you were turning your squelch down?
Second is I have resolved to mount my antennas more for antenna preservation than optimum propagation. Lots of us here with wagons all got our first radios around the same time, all mounted the antennas on the hatches, and most all have broken at least one. Some still fight that battle, others have lowered them to transmit another day. It's only in those circumstances where someone else can hear and you can't that it makes a difference, which for me has been at most about once per year. I have been ok with that compromise...
82 fj40, 99 uzj100, 06 gx470
05 525EXC, 01 XT225, 09 TTR125, 07 TTR90, 07 CRF50