SUVs are continuing to grow in popularity across the United States, with many drivers favoring the convenience of subcompact options. Two vehicles in particular — the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Kona — offer many similarities, making it challenging to choose between the two. Here’s what you should know about the performance of these SUVs, according to Raiti’s Rides.
What you can expect from the Hyundai Kona
Raiti’s Rides reviewed the 2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate trim, which features a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 that makes 175 hp. Base models do not have a turbocharged engine and only make 147 hp. The Kona Ultimate gets approximately 32 miles per gallon combined, a fuel economy rating that puts it slightly above many of its rivals.
This subcompact SUV has an MSRP of $29,300. Raiti’s Rides praises the handling of the vehicle, which is sporty but maintains a focus on everyday usability. The Kona features unique styling, such as slim LED daytime running lamps and bulkier headlights, that is typical of Hyundai vehicles and will likely appeal to fans of this automaker.
The Kona’s cabin features extremely soft, comfortable seats, and the few hard materials are balanced out by many softer, higher quality fabrics. The reviewer notes the Kona’s intuitive infotainment system, which features clear graphics.
The Kona also has a very smooth ride, accelerating well and providing responsive steering. There is a minimal amount of wind noise, and Raiti’s Rides ultimately found this SUV to be fun to drive.
Specs and features of the Kia Seltos
The Kia Seltos SX trim has a starting price of approximately $29,010. Like the Hyundai Kona, the Seltos has a 1.6-liter engine that makes 175 hp on these upper trim levels. Its combined fuel economy is estimated at 30 miles per gallon, placing it just slightly behind the Kona.
This SUV’s infotainment system features an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. It also has Bluetooth voice recognition and a 12V power outlet. Safety features include electronic stability control, forward collision-avoidance assist, and a lane departure warning system.
Where do these two SUVs differ?
Car and Driver notes that while the Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos are both based on the same platform, the Seltos offers more technology options, a taller ride height, and a more spacious cabin. Given that the Kona is already fairly roomy, the extra space in the Seltos is definitely noteworthy.
Additionally, the Seltos has a slightly more aesthetically pleasing cabin. While the reviewer for Raiti’s Rides complains about the excessive amounts of single-tone black plastic within the cabin, the Seltos features warmer accents on the dash and throughout the vehicle.
Both vehicles offer decent infotainment systems, but the Seltos definitely has an edge with its optional 10.25-inch touchscreen, especially compared to the 8-inch touchscreen found in the Kona. However, the Kona does have a few safety features that you won’t find on the Seltos. These include rear parking sensors with distance warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
These two subcompact SUVs also differ slightly in their cargo space. The Seltos has 26.6 cubic feet of space, while the Kona only has approximately 19.2 cubic feet of space.
Overall, while the 2020 Hyundai Kona may have a few shortcomings, it only differs from the Kia Seltos in a few areas. Both vehicles are reliable, fun to drive, and offer comfortable and spacious interiors. For people looking for a higher amount of cargo space or a slightly more advanced infotainment system, the Seltos may be preferable — but it’s pretty hard to go wrong either way.