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Two of the smallest but most trustworthy used SUVs are the Honda HR-V and the Hyundai Kona. These subcompact crossovers are great daily drivers. Their diminutive size makes them ideal for a first or last SUV while still providing desirable qualities. Plus, the average used price for a 2020 model hovers around only $20,000. Here’s a 2020 Honda HR-V vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona comparison to see which SUV is the better buy.

A great jumping-off point for these two used subcompact SUVs answers the most common questions about them. From this table, you can see differences in their powertrains, cargo space, gas mileage, and more:

 2020 Honda HR-V2020 Hyundai Kona
Average Used Price$20,300$19,500
Engine Types/Sizes1.8-liter 4-cylinder2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque141 hp/127 lb-ft147 hp/132 lb-ft
TransmissionCVT6-speed automatic
0–60 Mph Acceleration8.6 seconds9.2 seconds
Top Speed124 mph127 mph
Fuel Efficiency28/34 mpg city/hwy27/33 mpg city/hwy
Cargo Capacity23.2/55.9 cubic feet19.2/45.8 cubic feet
NHTSA Safety Rating5-star5-star

2020 Honda HR-V pros and cons

2020 Honda HR-V Touring exterior rear
2020 Honda HR-V Touring | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The Honda HR-V is the most popular subcompact SUV, delivering CR-V styling in a smaller package. Because there’s only one powertrain option, the choices in the HR-V lie in the various trim levels. The pros and cons are as follows:


  • Sizable cargo area for a subcompact SUV
  • Good fuel economy
  • Well-balanced ride and handling
  • Spacious second row for its class
  • Great outward visibility


  • Underwhelming and unrefined powertrain
  • Confusing touchscreen menus
  • Few standard features

2020 Hyundai Kona pros and cons

2020 Hyundai Kona exterior rear
2020 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai Motor Company

The Hyundai Kona provides three powertrains (we used the base powertrain for this comparison), one of which is an electrified model. This subcompact SUV has a few pros and cons, including the following:


  • Refined interior
  • User-friendly technology
  • Potent available turbocharged engine
  • Agile handling
  • Great reliability ratings


  • Underpowered base engine
  • Cramped back seat
  • Subpar cargo capacity

2020 Honda HR-V vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona: Driving and performance

2020 Hyundai Kona interior dashboard and steering wheel
2020 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai Motor Company

Owners rated the 2020 Honda HR-V and 2020 Hyundai Kona the same in driving experience. Based on survey responses, J.D. Power gave both subcompact SUVs a 78 out of 100. That’s good enough for “average.”

However, more drivers might prefer the shifting feeling of the Kona’s traditional six-speed automatic transmission to the HR-V’s continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2020 Honda HR-V vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona: Interior and tech

2020 Honda HR-V infotainment and climate controls
2020 Honda HR-V infotainment and climate controls | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Thanks to its intuitive controls and more refined interior, the Kona outranks the HR-V in this category. However, Honda’s small SUV has a few qualities that should easily put it in contention for many drivers. For instance, the back row and cargo area are larger in the HR-V than the Kona. That provides kids and carpool riders more space for their legs and belongings.

Also, the HR-V offered more available features, which would need to be part of the mix already when shopping for a used SUV. For instance, the 2020 HR-V had available rear parking assist, remote engine start and fog lamps. Hyundai didn’t offer those options in its subcompact crossover. However, the 2020 Kona is loaded with safety feaetures.

2020 Honda HR-V vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona: Trim levels and features

Honda offered the 2020 HR-V in five trims — LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring — giving buyers a range of customizability. The top-tier Touring includes the following:

  • All-wheel drive
  • LED headlights/fog lights
  • Navigation system
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Universal garage door opener

Meanwhile, the 2020 Hyundai Kona also came in five trims: SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and Ultimate. The Limited and Ultimate models have a turbocharged engine for more power and performance than the lower trim levels. At the range-topping Ultimate trim, drivers can enjoy these features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation
  • Head-up display
  • Rear parking sensors

Which used subcompact SUV is the right fit for you?

Some drivers might prefer the 2020 Honda HR-V, which has more passenger and cargo room, good fuel economy, and a well-balanced ride. On the other hand, the 2020 Hyundai Kona has three powertrain options, a nicer interior, and user-friendly tech to put it ahead of other subcompact SUVs. Furthermore, Hyundai’s SUV earned a “great” quality and reliability score of 84/100 from J.D. Power, whereas the 2020 HR-V received only an “average” 76/100.

Regardless of which used car you choose, obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to uncover potential problems before purchasing. Also, prices may vary depending on trim level, mileage, overall condition, and location.