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Buyers looking for SUVs have lots of options in the segment to choose from in 2022. There are choices for different priorities on the market, including size; the subcompact SUV market has options from more than a dozen carmakers. Brands including Honda and Hyundai offer a subcompact SUV – the HR-V and Kona, respectively – for an affordable price. Here’s how the two compare:

Pros of the 2022 Honda HR-V

A blue 2022 Honda HR-V subcompact SUV parked near a body of water
2022 Honda HR-V | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

All 2022 Honda HR-V models come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine pushing out 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. That small engine is fuel-efficient at a combined 30 mpg. Front-wheel drive is standard for all models, and all-wheel drive is available.

Despite being a subcompact SUV, the HR-V comes with lots of space inside. There is 24.3 cubic feet of space with the seats in place. The HR-V also comes with the Magic Seat system that allows for seat bottoms to fold up for more storage space. The front passenger seat can also fold down. That gives the 2022 Honda HR-V a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s much more than competitors like the Mazda CX-30.

Two Honda HR-V trims – the EX and EX-L – come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety aids. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, and lane-keeping assist systems are all included. All of this comes with a starting MSRP of $21,870.

Cons of the 2022 Honda HR-V

Although the Honda HR-V’s engine is fuel-efficient, it’s low on power compared to competitors. Other subcompact SUVs like the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, and Subaru Crosstrek all come with more horsepower. Edmunds reviewers also say the engine can get noisy under acceleration.

The Honda Sensing suite is a useful package for the HR-V. However, in order to get it, you’ll have to buy the two most expensive trims. Edmunds and U.S. News reviewers both note the infotainment controls can be challenging to use as well.

The 2022 Honda HR-V is also the final model year of the first generation introduced in 2016. Many other subcompact SUV competitors have seen upgrades or redesigns. However, a redesign for the HR-V is on its way for the 2023 model year.

Pros of the 2022 Hyundai Kona

The 2022 Hyundai Kona comes in five trim levels: the SE, SEL, N Line, Limited, and N. There are multiple engine options to choose from, and most come with all-wheel drive as an option.

The entry-level SE and SEL trims both have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine giving 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The former gets 32 combined mpg, and the latter gets 30 mpg. 

The N Line and Limited trims are both powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine providing 195 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel-drive layout gets 32 combined mpg, and the all-wheel drive gets 29 mpg.

The top trim, the N, is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine pushing out 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. It’s only available in front-wheel drive and gets 23 combined mpg.

Every 2022 Hyundai Kona model comes standard with driver aids like lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and rear occupant alert. The 8-inch infotainment system bumps up to 10.25 inches for the Limited, N Line, and N trims. The system is easy to use and comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. 

The 2022 Hyundai Kona also comes with Hyundai’s impressive warranties, including five years/60,000 miles for the basic warranty and 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain. The starting MSRP is $21,300.   

Cons of the 2022 Hyundai Kona


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Though there are multiple engine options for the Hyundai Kona, the base engine is on the weaker side. Inside, there are many pieces of hard plastic, but it’s not too much. Cargo space when all seats are in place is 19.2 cubic feet, with 45.8 available when the seats are folded down.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is also part of the first generation of the model introduced in 2018. However, it does come with a slight makeover on more recent model years.

How do the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V compare?

The Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V both offer drivers fun handling behind the wheel with good efficiency. The Hyundai Kona gives you more options and power compared to the Honda HR-V’s only engine. However, the HR-V offers a lot more cargo space than the Kona, with the seats in position or folded down.

Both of these models are part of the first generation. Still, the HR-V maintains more of the same from its debut six years ago than the Kona. Hyundai’s upgrades make it fresher and offer more standard features, too. 

Is the Hyundai Kona or Honda HR-V better?

It depends on what you want from a subcompact SUV. Both start at a little more than $21,000, so neither is too cost-prohibitive. If you want cargo space and above-average fuel economy, the 2022 Honda HR-V is the way to go. If you want more safety features, better warranties, more driver aids, and a newer model, the 2022 Hyundai Kona is the better choice. That’s part of why both U.S. News and TrueCar rank the Hyundai Kona ahead of the Honda HR-V for 2022.