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2021 Hyundai Kona vs Honda HR-V

2021 Hyundai Kona vs Honda HR-V

2021 Kona vs HR-V - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

As far as SUVs go, the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V are two excellent choices. They're made by companies that have rightfully earned their strong reputations, and these models are ones that people can drive with confidence. Both of these models are youthful and modern in style, and as smaller crossovers, they have the size that many customers are looking for. This overview will go over how they differ so that prospective buyers can more easily determine which model would be the right pick.

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The Powertrain

The Hyundai Kona has two available engines, while the Honda HR-V has only one. Under the hood of the HR-V, there's a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.8 liters. It comes with 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. This is a modest amount that's not going to offer too much excitement, but it should be enough capability to please many customers.

Lower trims of the Hyundai Kona have a comparable amount of power. They use four-cylinder engines as well, but these have displacements of 2.0 liters. They're able to make 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.

Higher trims of the Kona are going to be more attractive to buyers who prefer to drive more powerful vehicles. They use 1.6-liter turbocharged engines that can generate a much more satisfying 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

With all trims of both models, there's the option to get all-wheel drive. People will have to pay extra for all-wheel drive, but for many, it's worth it because it can significantly enhance traction when conditions aren't ideal.

Hyundai has given the Kona two available transmissions. If the crossover has the standard engine, it'll have a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC. If the Kona gets to have a turbocharged engine, it will have a seven-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission. This type of transmission is often found in higher performance vehicles, and drivers will appreciate how responsive it is. In all Konas, there's a program called Drive Mode Select. It allows someone to choose from Normal or Sport modes depending on his/her preferences.

Honda went a slightly different route with the HR-V's transmission. It uses a continuously variable transmission. That being said, the average driver won't be able to tell the difference between the transmission in the Kona and the one in the HR-V. The important thing is that they're smooth and easy to control.

Like the Kona, the HR-V has Sport mode, and three out of the four trims of the HR-V have paddle shifters to give drivers more manual control. There's also an Eco Assist system on every trim. This would do the opposite of Sport mode, making the engine less aggressive in order to conserve fuel.

Another system that the HR-V has is Hill Start Assist. It can be useful when the vehicle is facing upwards and is stopped on a hill. If a driver presses down hard on the brakes for a brief moment, then pressure will be held on the brakes as he/she transitions to the gas pedal. By doing so, it prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards.

The Kona and HR-V do pretty well in the efficiency department. The Kona either has an estimated 27/33 (city/highway) or 28/32 miles per gallon, depending on whether it has the non-turbo or the turbo engine. The HR-V can achieve an estimated 28/34 miles per gallon, so it has the slight edge. With both models, fuel economy is lowered by a few miles per gallon if all-wheel drive has been installed.


These crossovers feel agile and athletic. The HR-V has the more peaceful ride since it has Active Noise Cancellation. The engine really isn't that load, and the feature can make the cabin pretty quiet. The benefit of the Hyundai Kona is that it has the turbocharged engine. Some customers will definitely be more interested in this engine than the Honda's.

The size of the Kona and HR-V is one of their main selling points. While they have versatile and open cabins that can accommodate a solid amount of cargo, they're still fairly compact. This is an important factor for those living in more urban environments as well as customers who may be concerned about parking and maneuvering.

Out of the two crossovers, the Hyundai Kona is the shorter one. It has a length of 164 inches, and the HR-V is about six inches longer than it. Both models have about the same width, with the HR-V being a littler taller than the Kona is. This is true in terms of ground clearance and vehicle height.

With its greater length, the HR-V has more passenger space. In the front, there is 41.2 inches of leg room, and it may surprise some people that it has 39.3 inches of leg room in its second row. This is more than what may larger SUVs can offer. In the Kona, there is 41.5 inches of leg room in the first row, but there's a mere 34.6 inches of second-row leg room. Whenever adults or taller children have to sit in the back of the Kona, they'll notice this lack of space.

There's more cargo room in the HR-V, too. It has 24.3 cubic feet of space behind its seating area, and when the second row is folded down, capacity expands to 58.8 cubic feet. This isn't quite on par with larger two-row SUVs, but it's a respectable amount. In the Kona, the rear cargo hold has a volume of 19.2 cubic feet, and its maximum cargo capacity is 45.8 cubic feet.

Another benefit to the HR-V is that it has a second-row Magic Seat. This seat looks like a normal one, but it has a hidden feature. In addition to having a seatback that can be folded down, it has a seat cushion that can be folded up. This can create a convenient area in which taller items can be stored.

Whereas the HR-V might be more practical in terms of space, the Kona has the better technology package. Each one of its six trims has either a seven- or eight-inch touchscreens with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The standard setup comes with two USB ports. Most trims have SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio, and many have wireless charging, Blue Link Connected Car Services, and Infinity Premium audio systems with eight speakers. The top trim, which is called the Ultimate, is the one that has the larger touchscreen, along with integrated navigation and a head-up display.

The Kona's Ultimate trim also has smart cruise control. It's like regular cruise control in that it can maintain a certain speed, but it can adjust speed if necessary. If the leading vehicle slows down because of heavy traffic or another reason, the smart cruise control program will ensure that the Kona slows down appropriately. It can be appreciated when driving on the highway for long periods of time.

In contrast, the HR-V doesn't have a touchscreen in all of its trims. Its base model has a five-inch LCD screen as opposed to the seven-inch touchscreen that all of the other trims have. Those higher trims have Honda Link, Pandora compatibility, Apple CarPlay, and android Auto, but the base model is limited to having Bluetooth. The top two trims of the HR-V have SiriusXM and HD Radio, and unfortunately, navigation is not a standard component of any HR-V trim. The best audio package that the HR-V can have would consist of six speakers.

Like the Kona, the HR-V can have smart cruise control. Honda uses the term "adaptive cruise control." It's found on the top two trims.

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When it comes to driver-assist technologies, the Hyundai Kona is the model that has more advantages. It comes standard with forward collision-avoidance assist, driver attention warning, and lane keeping assist. It's great that the Kona can actively work to prevent frontal collisions and can correct steering, if necessary, to get itself back into the center of a lane. The driver attention warning can send out an alert if it seems like someone isn't paying close attention to the road.

Moving up a trim from the Kona's base model to the SE is associated with having even more driver-assist systems. The entry-level trim is the only one that doesn't have blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision warning, and lane change assist. These can all be useful considering that it's difficult to always know where surrounding vehicles might be at any given moment.

While these safety components can be found in the Honda HR-V, they aren't available with every trim. In fact, only the top two trims have the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist systems. They have collision mitigation braking and forward collision warning, lane departure warning and road departure mitigation, and lane keeping assist. They also have something called Honda LaneWatch, which can provide a live feed of the driver's blind spot.

Which Has the Best Value?

Having six available Hyundai Kona trims gives customers a wide range of options. The first trim is the SE, and it costs $20,500, which is a very competitive number. The SEL costs $22,300, the SEL Plus is priced at $24,150, the Night has a price tag of $26,200, and the Limited costs $26,300. The Ultimate has the best technology package, and this is reflected in its higher price of $28,150.

It's impressive that the Kona has two trims with leather seats, heated front seats, wireless charging, and auto-dimming rearview mirrors with HomeLink technology. The Night trim has a more edgy vibe with its sport pedals and gloss black accents. Some notable things about the SEL Plus is that it has a power-adjustable driver's seat and the enhanced sound system, and the SEL benefits from having proximity key entry and a more comprehensive safety package than the base model does.

Since there are four trims of the Honda HR-V, the choices are a bit more limited. The LX is the first trim in the lineup, and it's a little more expensive than the base model of the Kona is. It costs $21,200. The Sport is going to attract attention because of its smartphone compatibility, touchscreen, sport pedals, and fog lights, and it is priced at $23,170. The EX ($24,420) is where driver-assist technologies become standard, and the EX-L ($26,020) has the most features. They include leather upholstery, heated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Which is Better?

There are a few key ways in which the Hyundai Kona can be differentiated from the Honda HR-V. To start, the Kona has the available turbocharged engine that has more capability than the HR-V does. The Kona also has more advanced technology to keep people entertained and safe as they travel. When looking at the lower trims, the Kona is the cheaper one out of the two crossovers, but its two top-level trims are more expensive than the HR-V's EX-L trims.

How the HR-V is going to win the matchup has to do with space. It has more a generous amount of second-row leg room and more cargo capacity than the Kona does. For this reason alone, people may choose to go with the HR-V. Its higher trims are the ones to choose if customers are interested in taking advantage of more high-tech features.

When choosing between the Hyundai Kona ad Honda HR-V, people will have to decide which they value more - size or technology.

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