The 2021 Buick Encore GX and the Hyundai Kona Actually Tied for Second Place Below this Mazda SUV

The crossover SUV segment is an undulating entity of success. Models like the 2021 Buick Encore GX, 2021 Hyundai Kona, and the 2021 Mazda CX-30 are a perfect example of this teeming pool of choices. All three of these are considered at the top of their class by Edmunds. In fact, the 2021 Buick Encore GX and the Hyundai Kona actually tied for second place below this Mazda SUV.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is the best extra small SUV in its class according to Edmunds. But what if someone tries out the Mazda CX-30 and doesn’t love it? What are some alternatives? According to these rankings, the 2021 Buick Encore GX and the 2021 Hyundai Kona are tied for No. 2. If you’re looking for one of the best subcompact SUV options, these three should all be on your list to check out.

Is the 2021 Mazda CX-30 a good car?

Yes, it’s a good subcompact SUV. It maintains the dogma that Mazdas are fun to drive, straddling the line between the Mazda CX-3 and the popular Mazda CX-5 with its versatile size and extra small SUV shape. In fact, according to Edmunds it’s the best 2021 small crossover SUV in its class.

A silver 2021 Mazda CX-30 driving on a highway
The 2021 Mazda CX-30 in action | Photo via Mazda

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 got a new turbocharged engine and newly standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This little SUV doesn’t get much praise for cavernous cargo space. It does, however, earn plenty of accolades for agile driving dynamics and a stylish upscale interior.

“The CX-30 satisfies all of the usual requirements of comfort, safety and technology, and it pulls ahead with its spunky performance, sharp style and interior refinement.”


The best 2021 subcompact crossover SUV options

Just below the Mazda CX-30 are two others that we might not necessarily expect to tie––let alone land on the same list. In fact, the 2021 Buick Encore GX is a member of GM’s luxury lineup of Buick models. Still, it’s right here on this Edmunds ranking.

Buick Encore GX | General Motors

The 2021 Buick Encore GX tied with the 2021 Hyundai Kona. If you are surprised that a Hyundai tied with a luxury SUV, there’s a good chance you haven’t been in a new Hyundai model. If the quality of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata I recently tested is a testament to the brand as a whole, I am not surprised by this judgement at all.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is loaded down with safety and advanced tech features. Furthermore, in its range-topping trim, the Kona is surely one of the most luxurious mainstream extra small SUV options on the market. Right up there with, well, the Mazda CX-30.

How much is the Buick Encore GX?

For a model found in a luxury lineup, the 2021 Buick Encore GX is a great bargain. According to Edmunds, this model starts just north of $25 grand. The critics praise its “comfortable ride quality” and space for people and stuff. In addition, it also has plenty of tech features and a nice infotainment system baked in as standard equipment.

man loading up 2020 Buick Encore with camping supplies
Buick Encore GX | General Motors

Is the Hyundai Kona worth it?

If you are hunting for a new SUV but don’t want to spend big bucks for a larger crossover option, the 2021 Hyundai Kona is a nice compromise. In fact, it’s small and spritely and can be had for around $20 grand. Plus, it offers a variety of trims and configurations will plenty of standard equipment on the base model.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona driving around a curve of a road shows off as one of the best small crossover SUV options
The 2021 Hyundai Kona in action | Photo via Hyundai

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“The 2021 Hyundai Kona is one of our favorite extra-small SUVs. It has an easy-to-use infotainment interface, smooth-operating driving aids and quick acceleration from its optional turbocharged engine.”