Should You Buy the 2021 Mazda CX-30 or 2021 Hyundai Kona?

Is the 2021 Mazda CX-30 or 2021 Hyundai Kona a better midsize SUV? Consumer Reports looks at several categories when deciding, including reliability, road test, and safety features. Let’s examine each of these to see which SUV Consumer Reports thinks is the better choice. 

A red 2021 Hyundai Kona against a white background.
2021 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai

The 2021 Hyundai Kona’s road test score is higher 

Although their overall scores are very similar, the 2021 Hyundai Kona’s Consumer Reports road test score is higher, at a 76 to a 64. What makes the Kona’s score higher?

The brakes on the Kona score higher than the CX-30. While the CX-30’s brakes are excellent, at a 5/5, the Kona’s brakes score a perfect 5/5. The Hyundai Kona can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 129 feet and 131 feet on wet pavement. On the other hand, the CX-30 takes 133 feet to brake on dry pavement and 147 feet on wet pavement.

It’s worth noting that the 2021 Mazda CX-30 gets a better acceleration score, at a 3. It can reach 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds. The Kona’s acceleration isn’t great, at a 2/5. It takes the Kona 11.1 seconds to go from 0 to 60. 

Reliability in both the 2021 Hyundai Kona and 2021 Mazda CX-30 Is Fantastic

You can’t go wrong with either the Mazda CX-30 or the Kona in terms of reliability. They each score a 5/5 in Consumer Reports’ metrics. The 2020 also had an excellent reliability rating, with just the power equipment noted as less-than-perfect. The 2020 Kona had no problem areas.

Surprisingly, these high reliability scores don’t necessarily translate to happy owners. Although the predicted owner satisfaction in the Mazda CX-30 is a very good 4/5, owner satisfaction in the Kona is just a 3. The predicted satisfaction driving experience for the 2021 Hyundai Kona is just a 67, and comfort is a 56. Contrasting this with the Mazda CX-30, the driving experience is an 87 and the comfort is a 78.

Their safety ratings and features are nearly identical

Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking for the city, lane keeping assistance, and lane departure warning are all standard in the 2021 Hyundai Kona. So are a rear view camera, anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights. 

Optional are blind spot warning, pedestrian detection, and rear cross traffic warning. Automatic emergency braking for the highway isn’t an option in the 2021 Hyundai Kona.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 comes with even more. Standard are forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking for the city and highway, lane keeping assistance, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection. So are a rear view camera, anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights. 

Optional are blind spot warning and rear cross traffic warning. 

As you can see, it’s a pretty tight race between these two subcompact SUVs. Their scores are almost identical, and even the subcategory ratings are strikingly similar. Still, the 2021 Hyundai Kona beats the 2021 Mazda CX-30 by one point, and with its slightly higher road test score, it makes sense. Still, you really can’t go wrong with either the 2021 Hyundai Kona or the 2021 Mazda CX-30.

RELATED: 4 Consumer Reports Recommended Three-Row SUVs With Captain’s Chairs