The 2023 Hyundai Kona offers a great balance between good ride dynamics, unique looks, and a nice set of standard features.
The 2023 Hyundai Kona comes in four different trim levels, and has a turbocharged engine option, which makes this entertaining small SUV more thrilling. The Hyundai Kona is competing against a broad range of small utility vehicles, such as Mazdas CX-30, Jeep Renegade, Kia Soul, and Buick Encore GX.
There are a lot of excellent small SUVs competing for top spots from brands like Mazda, Hyundai, and Kia. Let us look closer at the Mazda CX-30 and the Kia Soul, and figure out which is the right subcompact SUV for you.
The Mazda CX-30 is a compelling subcompact SUV that comes standard with four-wheel drive, upscale cabin, and a thrilling turbocharged option.
The Kia Soul has some handy advantages, such as lower prices and longer warranties, but the Mazda CX-30 has standard all-wheel drive and a pricier cabin. All-Wheel Drive: All-wheel drive is not an option in Kia Soul, but is standard in every Mazda CX-30. The Kia Soul has a combined fuel economy rating up to 31 MPGe, whereas the most fuel-efficient variant of the Mazda gets up to 29 MPGe.
The turbocharged model offers more equipment than lower trims, and a higher-output engine would make the Hyundai Kona a lot more fun to live in over the long haul, without losing any of its fuel economy.
Meanwhile, Kona N Line and Limited feature the turbocharged 1.6-liter flat-four with 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Top-spec Limiteds from Hyundai get the lighter grey interior, which comes with the 10.3-inch infotainment screen as standard.
On the plus side, Kias Seltos is larger than the Kona, offering a spacious cabin with lots of cargo space. Riding on modified architecture shared with Kias Kona Hyundai cousin, the Kia Seltos has an independent front MacPherson and a multilink rear suspension.
The offering is not quite as efficient with the space as the upright-riding Kia Soul, which packs 24.2 and 62.1 cubic feet, though overall 1 inch less, but that is not awful for the size of a Hyundai Kona, and notably bigger than a thrifty Nissan Kicks.
The 2023 Kia Soul is affordable enough that drivers could easily choose higher trim levels and get the benefits of better technology and more standard creature comforts at a cost that does not break the bank.
The Kona received an overall five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as an excellent crash-safety rating from IIHS. The HR-V was recently joined by Mazdas CX-30, Subarus Crosstrek, and Kias Seltos as IIHSs top Safety Pick+ for 2023.