Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Fails to Beat the Hyundai Kona

Surprisingly, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is being outranked by the 2021 Hyundai Kona. Because you hear more about the Mazda CX-30, the Hyundai Kona feels like an underdog, but does it deserve to be the champion?

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 vs. the 2021 Hyundai Kona 

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 hasn’t been around long. It’s a hot new subcompact SUV that’s taking on other new competitors like the 2021 Kia Seltos, which hasn’t been ranked yet. But according to U.S.News, the Mazda CX-30 is only in second place. 

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

On their list of the Best Subcompact SUVs for 2021 and 2021, the 2021 Hyundai Kona came in first place out of 20 competitors. The Mazda CX-30 came in second place, which is still a huge achievement. It could be like the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which is in last place. 

Also, we aren’t saying that the Hyundai Kona is better than the Mazda CX-30. It just may outperform it in a few different areas that critics found to be more important. So, let’s see where the Kona barely beats the CX-30. 

Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30 performance 

The Hyundai Kona has an MSRP of about $20,400, and the Mazda CX-30 has an MSRP of around $21,900. So, the Kona has a more economical base model. Going up in trim models tops at about $29,450 for the Kona and $29,950 for the CX-30, so they’re competitively priced against each other. 

But the Hyundai Kona seems like it comes with more power. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder option with 147 hp. But you can upgrade to the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for 175 hp. 

RELATED: How Reliable Is the 2021 Mazda CX-30?

Edmunds says the 2021 Kona is a sporty little SUV with above-average acceleration and handling. The turbocharged engine can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, and it maintains control with excellent gripping power around curves. 

The Mazda CX-30 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 186 hp. This is more power than the Kona has to offer. Plus, a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 277 hp is on the way, so the Kona might not stay on top.

Until the new turbo engine is tested, the CX-30 will be known for having a meek acceleration. Both SUVs provide nimble handling, have all-wheel drive available, provide sporty handling, and more.

Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona features 

The Mazda CX-30 is noted for having a more refined interior quality. The Kona struggles with hard plastics and the use of other cheap materials. But going up in trim levels will help improve the quality. 

Also, the CX-30 receives negative feedback for having low visibility. High door sills and the shape of the vehicle create significant blind spots. Other than that, it has a spacious cabin that’s comfortable. Taller adults may feel cramped in the rear seat. 

2021 Hyundai Kona
2021 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai

The Kona has plenty of head and leg space as well. However, the backseat isn’t as spacious compared to rivals. Both SUVs offer about 45 cubic feet of cargo space, which is average for the class. 

While the CX-30 has a larger infotainment center and little more tech, such as a 7-inch digital cluster display, it has mixed reviews about functionality. The Kona could offer a few more advanced tech features. 

Plus, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 offers more standard safety features. So, the Hyundai Kona may only have a temporary victory. Once critics are able to test the new CX-30 turbo engine, it could outrank the 2021 Hyundai Kona.