Skip to main content

The subcompact SUV vehicle class is extremely competitive. The 2022 Hyundai Kona has an exciting exterior design, and it is fun to drive. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 shares many of the winning traits of the popular Mazda 3 sedan. Which subcompact SUV is better?

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is one of the most entertaining subcompact SUV models to own

A black 2022 Hyundai Kona.
The Hyundai Kona | Hyundai

The 2022 Hyundai Kona’s design is unique even among the Korean automaker’s exciting lineup. Models like the Hyundai Tuscon are climbing in vehicle class rankings because of Hyundai’s approach to exterior design. Like the Kia Soul, The Hyundai Kona has one of the most distinct designs in its vehicle class.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona starts at just $21,150. It gets a whopping 30 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The Kona uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower.

The Kona comes in several different trim options, including the more powerful N-Line and Limited trims. These trims use a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes an exhilarating 195 horsepower. The new Kona handles well on the road and provides an exciting ride. Its N-Line model starts at $25,700 and includes sport seats, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a turbocharged engine.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is a sporty subcompact SUV

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 interior.
The Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

RELATED: Consumer Reports Only Recommends 5 2021 Subcompact SUVs

Car and Driver ranks the 2021 Mazda CX-30 above the Hyundai Kona. The CX-30 received a 9.5/10 overall rating as well as the Car and Driver Editors Choice award. So, what’s so great about this subcompact Mazda?

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 186 horsepower. Turbo trim models come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower.

The Mazda-CX30 gets 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway. It features a standard 8.8-inch infotainment system. It also comes standard with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, automated emergency braking with pedestrian protection, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The CX-30 starts at just $23,225. The real excitement begins with the turbocharged $31,225 Turbo trim.

Which is the better subcompact SUV?

A blue Hyundai Kona is on display.
The Hyundai Kona | Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

RELATED: Top Rated 2021 Subcompact SUVs According to Consumer Reports

The Mazda CX-30 received a better overall rating than the Hyundai Kona from Car and Driver. The base model Hyundai Kona is slightly cheaper than the CX-30. The Kona also gets better gas mileage.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 has a more powerful standard powertrain than the 2022 Hyundai Kona. Its turbocharged powertrain option is also still in a different league than the Kona’s turbocharged powertrain option. The CX-30 also has a more luxurious cabin despite the Kona’s inclusion of innovative tech. The CX-30 is the better subcompact SUV, but that doesn’t make the 2022 Hyundai Kona any less of an amazing vehicle.


What Features Come Standard on the Hyundai Kona?