Hyundai Kona vs Subaru Crosstrek

The 2019 Hyundai Kona and the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek are both recent additions to the subcompact crossover SUV market, and they both have a lot to offer. 

The Hyundai Kona goes with bold, youthful styling while the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek’s styling is inspired by the rugged, off-road-themed styling of its larger sibling – the Outback.

Let’s explore the other differences between these two small SUVs in greater detail. 

Price

The Hyundai Kona is slightly cheaper, but prices are comparable

According to Subaru of America, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,895 for its base 2.0i models, and the price can go all the way up to $27,195 for its Limited model (excluding destination and delivery charges). 

The 2019 Hyundai Kona, on the other hand, starts at $19,900 for its SE model and ranges up to $31,950 for its Iron Man Edition model (also exclusive of destination and delivery charges). 

Therefore, if you are looking for the absolute cheapest option, the base model of the 2019 Kona is your winner – though it isn’t all-wheel drive like the base model Subaru Crosstrek. 

Body Dimensions

There isn’t much difference in size, but the Subaru Crosstrek is the larger vehicle.

The Hyundai Kona is 164 inches long, 70.9 inches wide (without accounting for side mirrors), and 61.6 inches high (with roof rails), while the Subaru Crosstrek is 175.8 inches long, 71 inches wide, and 63.6 inches high (with the roof rails).

Passenger Space

The Subaru Crosstrek offers significantly more rear row passenger space than the Hyundai Kona.

On the inside, the Crosstrek is expectedly more roomy, offering a total passenger volume of 100.9 cubic feet as opposed to the Kona’s total passenger volume of 94.1 cubic feet. 

In the Subaru Crosstrek, that 100.9 cubic feet of passenger volume translates to 39.8 inches of headroom, 43.1 inches of legroom, and 56.7 inches of shoulder room in the front, and 38 inches of headroom, 36.5 inches of legroom, and 55.6 inches of shoulder room in the rear. 

The Crosstrek can therefore comfortably accommodate 6-foot-tall passengers in both rows. 

In the Hyundai Kona, that 94.1 cubic feet translates to up to 39.6 inches of headroom, 41.5 inches of legroom, and 55.5 inches of shoulder room in the front; in the rear, it translates to 37.8 inches of headroom, 34.6 inches of legroom, and 54.5 inches of shoulder room. 

It should be evident that seating space of the Kona is more limited in the second row, so things might be a bit of a squeeze for rear-row passengers.

Cargo Volume

The Subaru Crosstrek has a more practical trunk that has a ~10 cubic feet size advantage when seats are folded down.

For cargo, the 2019 Crosstrek also again boasts more room with its 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats that increases to 55.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.

The 2019 Kona offers 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. Put into perspective, you can potentially fit an additional large suitcase into the trunk of the Crosstrek. 

Power and All-road Capability

The Subaru Crosstrek is AWD across all models, whereas AWD is optional on the Hyundai Kona. The Hyundai Kona offers a more powerful turbocharged engine on its high end models.

While neither SUV is designed for off-roading, the Subaru Crosstrek offers all-wheel drive as standard, making it well-suited to slippery and icy conditions. The Hyundai Kona is front-wheel drive, although the option for all-wheel drive exists.

All models of the Subaru Crosstrek come equipped with symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that enhances road grip on different types of road surfaces e.g. dry, wet, muddy, sandy, etc. 

An all-wheel-drive system is offered only as an option with the Hyundai Kona. 

Under the hood, the Crosstrek offers a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque for most of its models. Its Crosstrek Hybrid model, however, gets a hybrid engine that pairs the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor. While more fuel efficient, this hybrid engine is slightly less powerful with 137 horsepower and 134 lb-ft of torque. 

The Hyundai Kona, on the other hand, offers a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine for its SE and SEL models and a more powerful 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine for its Limited, Ultimate, and Iron Man Edition models.

Fuel Economy

The Subaru Crosstrek has better relative mpg according to EPA mileage estimates.

All Crosstreks share the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, so the gas mileage is 33/27 mpg (hwy/city) on all models.

The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Hyundai Kona also achieves 33/27 mpg, but that is reduced to 25/30 mpg when the all-wheel drive version is picked (which is more comparable to the Subaru Crosstrek). The Limited, Ultimate and Iron Man Edition models have a very similar fuel efficiency. 

Drive Experience

Because Hyundai offer a more powerful engine setup, the Kona is more fun behind the wheel.

Subaru don’t seem to be shy about the fact the Crosstrek isn’t a very fun vehicle to drive. They only offer it with the adequately powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic CVT/6-speed manual.

Hyundai, on the other hand, offer buyers to go for a 175-hp 1.6L turbocharged engine with a 7 speed dual automatic clutch transmission. It doesn’t exactly cross over into sports car territory, but it definitely feels a lot snappier in city traffic.

The Kona’s interior screams fun

Exterior and Interior Options

Both crossovers offer buyers a generous number of exterior and interior options.

In terms of exterior features, the Hyundai Kona can be optioned with LED headlights featuring automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights, automatic wipers, chrome exterior accents, LED taillights and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

On the inside, the Kona offers an Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto®-compatible 7-inch/8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in all of its models. 

It can also be had with available leather seating surfaces, an available 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, an available heated steering wheel, available heated front seats, an available automatic temperature control system, and much more. 

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek can also be had with automatic LED headlights featuring integrated daytime running lights, steering responsive fog lights, chrome exterior accents, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It also offers a roof spoiler and roof rails on all its models. 

On the inside, the Subaru can be had with available leather seating surfaces, an available automatic climate control system, an available heated steering wheel, available heated front seats, a STARLINK® multimedia system with a 6.5-inch or 8-inch touchscreen display, and much more. 

Driver Assists

High-end trims on both crossovers offer plenty of driver assists, but Hyundai only introduced adaptive cruise control with the 2020 model.

Both crossovers have their own intelligent driver assist technologies, although these are limited to the top level trims.

The Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist. EyeSight® is standard on the Limited trim. 

For 2020, the Hyundai Kona finally gets adaptive cruise control (which they call smart cruise control), although this is limited to the Ultimate trim. Older builds of the Kona do not offer adaptive cruise control.  

Verdict: Subaru Crosstrek

Buyers looking for reliability will be drawn towards the Subaru Crosstrek, given the automaker’s outstanding engineering record. It is also the more practical choice, with more interior room and better relative mpg.

However, the Kona has the fun factor going for it. Not only does it sport an outrageous design, it is also more fun to drive when you go with the turbocharged engine option. The fun factor carries over into its cheery and vibrant interior – although the Crosstrek employs better quality materials.

We’d have to say that the Subaru Crosstrek is our pick. It’s a subcompact crossover SUV that wouldn’t feel out of place in the compact class and it just offers more utility than the Kona. But those that find its drab appearance unappealing might want to consider the Hyundai Kona as an alternative.

Full Comparison Table

Hyundai Kona SE Automatic AWD ($21,700)
Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i CVT AWD ($23,495)
Engine and Transmission
Engine
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
Horsepower
147 hp @ 6200 rpm
152 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque
132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
145 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission
6-Speed Automatic
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Drivetrain
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Steering
Steering Type
Rack-Pinion
Rack-Pinion
Turning Diameter
34.8 ft
35.4 ft
Wheels
Front Wheel Size
16" x 6.5"
17" x 7"
Rear Wheel Size
16" x 6.5"
17" x 7"
Suspension
Front Suspension
Strut
Strut
Rear Suspension
Multi-Link
Double Wishbone
Tires
Front Tire
P205/60HR16
P225/60HR17
Rear Tire
P205/60HR16
P225/60HR17
Spare Tire
Compact
Compact
Fuel Economy
Combined
28 MPG
30 MPG
City
26 MPG
27 MPG
Highway
30 MPG
33 MPG
Emissions
CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year
6.3 Tons/yr
5.9 Tons/yr
Fuel Tank
Fuel Tank Capacity
13.2 gallons
16.6 gallons
Cruising Range City
343.2 miles
448.2 miles
Cruising Range Highway
396 miles
547.8 miles
Exterior Dimensions
Length
164 in
175.8 in
Height
61 in
63.6 in
Max Width
70.9 in
71 in
Front Width
62 in
61 in
Rear Width
62.4 in
61.2 in
Wheelbase
102.4 in
104.9 in
Ground Clearance
6.7 in
8.7 in
Interior Space
Seating Capacity
5 seater
5 seater
Front Seat Leg Room
41.5 in
43.1 in
Front Seat Headroom
39.6 in
39.8 in
Front Seat Shoulder Room
55.5 in
56.7 in
Front Seat Hip Room
53.3 in
55.1 in
Rear Seat Leg Room
34.6 in
36.5 in
Rear Seat Headroom
37.8 in
38 in
Rear Seat Shoulder Room
54.5 in
55.6 in
Rear Seat Hip Room
52.2 in
55.2 in
Weight and Towing
Curb Weight
3,085 lbs
3,188 lbs
Infotainment
HD Radio
Not Available
Not Available
Bluetooth Connection
Standard
Standard
Hard Disk Drive Media Storage
Not Available
Not Available
Premium Sound System
Not Available
Not Available
Satellite Radio
Not Available
Not Available
Smart Device Integration
Standard
Standard
WiFi Hotspot
Not Available
Not Available
Auxiliary Audio Input
Standard
Standard
Entertainment System
Not Available
Not Available
MP3 Player
Standard
Standard
Interior Trim
Bucket Seats
Standard
Standard
Cloth Seats
Standard
Standard
Leather Seats
Standard
Standard
Leather Steering Wheel
Not Available
Not Available
Premium Synthetic Seats
Standard
Standard
Vinyl Seats
Standard
Standard
Woodgrain Interior Trim
Not Available
Not Available
Sun/Moonroof
Not Available
Not Available
Comfort
Head-Up Display
Not Available
Not Available
Navigation System
Not Available
Not Available
Steering Wheel Audio Controls
Standard
Standard
Power Liftgate
Not Available
Not Available
Power Mirror(s)
Standard
Standard
A/C
Standard
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Not Available
Not Available
Automatic Parking
Not Available
Not Available
Climate Control
Not Available
Standard
Cooled Front Seat(s)
Not Available
Not Available
Cooled Rear Seat(s)
Not Available
Not Available
Cruise Control
Standard
Standard
Hands-Free Liftgate
Not Available
Not Available
Heated Front Seat(s)
Not Available
Not Available
Heated Rear Seat(s)
Not Available
Not Available
Heated Steering Wheel
Not Available
Not Available
Keyless Entry
Standard
Standard
Multi-Zone A/C
Not Available
Not Available
Power Driver Seat
Not Available
Not Available
Power Passenger Seat
Not Available
Not Available
Remote Engine Start
Not Available
Not Available
Remote Trunk Release
Not Available
Standard
Seat Memory
Not Available
Not Available
Universal Garage Door Opener
Not Available
Not Available
Seat-Massage
Not Available
Not Available
Rear A/C
Not Available
Not Available
Keyless Start
Not Available
Not Available
Navigation from Telematics
Not Available
Not Available
Telematics
Not Available
Not Available
Safety Features
Back-Up Camera
Standard
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Not Available
Not Available
Rear Parking Aid
Not Available
Not Available
Blind Spot Monitor
Not Available
Not Available
Lane Departure Warning
Standard
Not Available
Lane Keeping Assist
Standard
Not Available
ABS
Standard
Standard
Night Vision
Not Available
Not Available
Tire Pressure Monitor
Standard
Standard
Brake Assist
Standard
Standard
Stability Control
Standard
Standard
Traction Control
Standard
Standard
US NHTSA crash test result
Airbags
Driver Air Bag
Standard
Standard
Front Head Air Bag
Standard
Standard
Front Side Air Bag
Standard
Standard
Knee Air Bag
Not Available
Standard
Passenger Air Bag
Standard
Standard
Rear Head Air Bag
Standard
Standard
Rear Side Air Bag
Not Available
Not Available
Seatbelt Air Bag
Not Available
Not Available
Warranty Summary
Basic
5 Years / 60,000 Miles
3 Years / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion
7 Years / Unlimited Miles
5 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain
10 Years / 100,000 Miles
5 Years / 60,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance
5 Years / Unlimited Miles
3 Years / 36,000 Miles