The Consumer Reports Recommended 2021 Mazda CX-30 Edges Out the 2021 Hyundai Kona

The 2021 Hyundai Kona and 2021 Mazda CX-30 are both Consumer Reports recommended subcompact SUVs. They both have a reputation for being safe and reliable SUVs. On top of their Consumer Reports-recommended status, subcompact SUVs are attractive to people who want an SUV but don’t want something massive. 

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

Both the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30 have a good road test score

Consumer Reports tests vehicles at its enormous Connecticut facility. They purchase the cars so that there’s no question about bias or whether car manufacturers are giving them sound vehicles that don’t represent the model as a whole. Consumer Reports conducts tests such as emergency handling, braking, and comfort. 

Consumer Reports calls the 2021 Hyundai Kona “playful and inexpensive.” The Kona’s acceleration isn’t great, scoring just a 2 out of 5. However, the transmission and routine handling were both very good, getting a 4 out of 5. Emergency handling is also good, at a 4 out of 5. 

The 2021 Mazda CX-30’s acceleration is slightly better than the Kona’s, scoring a 3 out of 5. Transmission, routine handling, and emergency handling are all the same, scoring a 4 out of 5. 

Braking is better in the 2021 Hyundai Kona. The Kona scores a 5 out of 5. It can stop from 60 mph on dry pavement in 129 feet and wet pavement in 131 feet. The Mazda CX-30’s braking is still very good, scoring a 4 out of 5. The CX0-30 can stop from 60 mph in 133 feet on dry pavement and 147 feet on wet pavement. 

Reliability is excellent in both the Kona and CX-30

To determine the reliability of a vehicle, Consumer Reports sends out surveys to people who have bought previous versions of the vehicle. They then combine this survey data with what they know about the current model. They say that with these two pieces of information, they can “expertly predict the reliability of new and redesigned models.”

The 2021 Hyundai Kona scores a 5 out of 5 for its reliability. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 also has a 5 out of 5 for its reliability. The Mazda’s reliability is tied for first place out of all of the subcompact SUVs. The CX-30 and Lexus UX both have a 95 for reliability. The Hyundai Kona comes in fifth, with a still-respectable 87. 

Both the CX-30 and Kona are safe, but the CX-30 has more safety equipment   


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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 and 2021 Hyundai Kona have identical NHTSA crash test ratings. Each of these subcompact SUVs has five stars in everything except rollover. They both scored a four in the rollover categories. 

As far as safety features go, both the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30 come standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking at city speeds, lane departuring warning and lane keeping assist. However, the Mazda CX-30 also has automatic emergency braking at highway speeds and pedestrian detection. 

Overall, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 has a slight edge. Although the 2021 Hyundai Kona has better braking, the CX-30 has a couple of additional safety features and also a better reliability score. Although you can’t go wrong with either subompact SUV, the CX-30 has a slight edge.