Top 8 Hyundai Kona Competitors

The Kia Niro might be the 2023 Hyundai Kona’s greatest competition.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
From the base SE and SEL trims to the high-quality N-Line, the 2023 Hyundai Kona is a great subcompact SUV, but it’s rivaled by some fierce competitors, including the Kia Niro, Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, and more.
  • The Hyundai Kona is a cheeky small SUV with an optional turbo engine for the Kona N-Line trim
  • The Nissan Kicks and Chevrolet Trax are some of the Kona’s most affordable competitors with lower MSRPs
  • The Honda HR-V offers ample cargo space and solid fuel economy, while the Kia Niro has hybrid options

1. Kia Niro

Starting price (2023): $26,590 to $44,550
Selling points: Hybrid powertrain, only warranty that rivals Hyundai’s
Weak spot: Unimpressive acceleration, AWD not available
Powered by a hybrid system that includes a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a battery pack, the 2023
Kia Niro
is phenomenally fuel-efficient. Upgrade to the plug-in version for added value, as well as a noticeably more exciting driving experience.
The base trim is affordable and no-nonsense, while upgrading will offer you leather seats, a larger 10.3-inch infotainment system, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, remote start, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. 

2. Ford EcoSport

Starting price (2022): $23,335 to $29,690
Selling points: Standard all-wheel drive, agile handling, impressive towing abilities
Weak spot: Gas guzzler, cramped interior 
Ford EcoSport
is the carmaker's smallest and most affordable SUV, but it sure is mighty! All-wheel drive is standard, and this little force can pull a whopping 2,000 pounds—a best-in-class towing capacity. 
Plus, it’s easy to maneuver at both city and highway speeds. Unfortunately, the 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine isn’t exactly quick—nor is it fuel efficient. You’ll only get 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
The interior isn’t super fashionable either, but it’s practical and comfortable for front-seat riders. It also offers competitive cargo space and convenient storage nooks throughout the cabin. 
The downside: The EcoSport was discontinued for 2023, so if you’re looking for a new vehicle, you may want to look elsewhere. 

3. Chevrolet Trax

Starting price (2024): $20,400 to $23,900
Selling points: Affordable, fuel-efficient, agile
Weak spot: Unrefined interior, basic features 
The 2024
Chevrolet Trax
is Chevy’s smallest, most affordable, and most fuel-efficient SUV—and a phoenix rising from the ashes. Discontinued for 2023, the Trax is back for 2024 with everything you expect from an SUV, including reasonable ground clearance, optional all-wheel drive, and a utilitarian cargo area.
A 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 155 horsepower. When combined with a six-speed automatic transmission and your choice of front- or all-wheel drive, you’ll enjoy quick and agile steering.
Only two trims are available, and you’ll have to splurge on the highest option for niceties like cruise control, rear-window tint, heated exterior mirrors, and remote start.  

4. Jeep Renegade

Starting price (2023): $29,995 to $32,845
Selling points: Cute exterior, impressive off-road chops
Weak spot: Relatively high price tag, slow acceleration
If you want a compact and affordable Jeep, look no further than the 2023
Jeep Renegade
. Every trim is available in front- or all-wheel drive and boasts a spacious interior, relaxing ride, and a long list of standard driver assistance equipment. 
Even better, the Renegade is customizable to your unique driving style and needs. If you crave the off-road capabilities that Jeep is known for, opt for the Trailhawk trim, which can tackle some seriously rough terrain. 
On the other hand, if you prefer something a bit more luxurious, the Latitude includes 17-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, and upgraded interior materials.

5. Toyota C-HR 

Starting price (2022): $25,615 to $28,635
Selling points: Attractive, unique styling inside and outside
Weak spot: Cramped rear seat, lackluster acceleration from CVT
Toyota makes eight different SUVs, but—like many of the options on our list—the 2022
Toyota C-HR
is their smallest and least expensive option. Its name stands for “coupe high rider,” and its exterior stylings are appropriately sporty and unique. 
Since this is a two-door vehicle, the back seat is a bit cramped, but the vehicle has a surprisingly impressive amount of cargo space. Plus, the materials inside the cabin are high-quality and durable, including an upscale-looking dashboard that metallically glistens in the right light. 
Say goodbye: Another new car casualty, the Toyota C-HR was discontinued in 2023. If you’re in love with this pint-sized ute, act fast. 

6. Honda HR-V

Starting price (2023): $23,800 to $29,400
Selling points: Impressive cargo space, good fuel efficiency 
Weak spot: Weak engine that produces unrefined sounds
Think of the 2023
Honda HR-V
as the best-selling CR-V’s little sister. Don’t worry—it’s just as practical, with a setup specifically designed to maximize cargo space. This is thanks to the second-row “Magic Seat” that folds flat to accommodate bulky items that typically can’t fit in a subcompact SUV. 
With the rear seats stowed, you can fit up to 22 carry-on suitcases! 
The interior is pretty comfortable for passengers, too. Spacious front seats offer ample head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers, while the rear seats will fit most adults cozily.
It’s also quite fuel efficient, getting an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city and 34 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive (FWD).
The HR-V earned a top 5/5 safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although key safety features aren’t standard. You’ll have to upgrade to access automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. 

7. Nissan Kicks

Starting price (2023): $20,440 to $23,000
Selling points: Affordable price tag, high-tech features
Weak spot: Lacks all-wheel drive, slow acceleration 
Originally launched in 2018, the 2023
Nissan Kicks
is one of the least expensive subcompact SUVs on the market today. It’s powered by a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive isn’t available, though, meaning off-roading is off limits. 
You’ll get plenty of bang for your buck when it comes to tech features, including an intuitive and user-friendly interface projected onto a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen. You’ll also enjoy a standard six-speaker audio system and Bluetooth connectivity but can upgrade with packages that include a Bose system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more. 

8. Subaru Crosstrek

Starting price (2024): $24,995 to $31,995
Selling points: Classic outdoorsy styling, available as a PHEV, standard all-wheel drive
Weak spot: Boring interior, not as tall as most SUVs 
No list of SUVs would be complete without a Subaru, and the 2024
Subaru Crosstrek
certainly gives the Kona a run for its money. Its rugged exterior aesthetically suits even the most outdoorsy individual, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive. However, it won’t tackle rough terrain with too much moxie. 
Fortunately, its roof rack can be used to carry your favorite outdoor gear—or, you can keep your things in its spacious cargo area, which is just shy of 21 cubic feet with the rear seat in place. For comparison, the Kona has about 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
The interior isn’t luxurious, but it is practical and easy to clean.
The best part: The Crosstrek is one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers on the market, with the hybrid model rated at up to 90 MPGe combined and 35 mpg on the highway.

Hyundai Kona vs. the competition

Ready for some test drives? The competition’s all lined up. 
Starting price range
Engine specs
Maximum seating capacity
2023 Hyundai Kona
$22,140 to $34,950
1.6L 4-cylinder; 2.0L 4-cylinder
2023 Kia Niro
$26,590 to $44,550
1.6L 4-cylinder
2022 Ford EcoSport
$23,335 to $29,690
2.0L 4-cylinder
2024 Chevrolet Trax
$20,400 to $23,900
1.4L 4-cylinder
2023 Jeep Renegade
$29,995 to $42,845
1.3L 4-cylinder
2022 Toyota C-HR
$25,615 to $28,635
2.0L 4-cylinder
2023 Honda HR-V
$23,800 to $29,400
1.8L 4-cylinder
2023 Nissan Kicks
$20,440 to $23,00
1.6L 4-cylinder
2024 Subaru Crosstrek
$24,995 to $31,995
​​2.0L 4-cylinder; 2.5L 4-cylinder
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