2024 Hyundai Kona vs. 2024 Subaru Crosstrek

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Limited: 182 hp 2.5L DOHC flat-4, 178 lb-ft torque. • 2024 Hyundai Kona N Line AWD: 190 hp 1.6L turbocharged inline-4, 195 lb-ft torque.

Salman Chaudhary, Founder Pinkywheels.com

11/7/2023

2024 Subaru Crosstrek
2024 Subaru Crosstrek
2024 Hyundai Kona
2024 Hyundai Kona

2024 Hyundai Kona vs. 2024 Subaru Crosstrek

SUVs like the 2024 Hyundai Kona and 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, the distinction between first and second place can sometimes come down to the finest of margins. While their target audiences may differ significantly, both of these automobiles excel at fulfilling their designated roles.

The Hyundai Kona has reached its seventh year of existence, while Subaru Crosstreks have graced REI parking lots for over a decade. Both vehicles embark on a new generation for the year 2024, with Hyundai's Kona growing in size and adopting a more visually striking appearance, while Subaru's Crosstrek gains cladding and enhances its refinement. To facilitate a meaningful comparison of models from both lineups, we selected a Crosstrek Limited and a Kona N Line with the most robust engine options and similar base prices. The Hyundai is priced at $34,145, a figure that accounts for the inclusion of two-tone paint and floor mats, while the Subaru's as-tested price of $35,030 is influenced by an additional $2,840 for unique paint options and a package comprising a sunroof, audio system enhancements, and navigation features.

Runner-Up: Hyundai Kona N Line

The 2024 Hyundai Kona N Line stands out from the crowd more than any other small SUV, evoking the feeling of emerging from a futuristic, Ridley Scott-inspired dream. The prior generation already featured bold styling, but the new iteration takes it a step further, provoking varied reactions—some lauded it for its attractiveness, while others found it somewhat unconventional. The N Line variant primarily focuses on aesthetic enhancements, notably replacing the gray fender accents with body-colored elements and adopting a more aggressive front-end design.

Pros:

  • Strikingly futuristic styling akin to a sci-fi film.

  • Airy interior with a spacious rear seat and clever storage solutions.

Cons:

  • Polarizing styling may not appeal to all.

  • Increased size affects nimbleness and fuel efficiency.

  • Reduced fuel economy compared to the previous model.

Verdict: The new Kona excels as a people mover in terms of space but may not evoke the same emotional enthusiasm as its predecessor, especially in terms of fuel efficiency.

The 2024 Hyundai Kona has undergone substantial growth, resulting in an overall length increase of up to 6.6 inches and a 2.3-inch longer wheelbase. As a result, it now closely matches the dimensions of the Crosstrek, although the slightly taller Kona boasts superior interior packaging that imparts a greater sense of spaciousness. The rear seat, in particular, is now roomy enough to be deemed Uber-worthy. In addition to offering more passenger space, the Kona's dashboard exhibits a Space Age-inspired aesthetic, featuring slick dual displays and tactile controls. The cabin further impresses with its array of clever features, including a dashboard storage shelf and an adaptable center console.

However, the Kona's growth in size has sacrificed some of its on-road agility, which can be attributed to the added weight and extended wheelbase. Nevertheless, it remains a competent albeit relatively uninspiring driving companion. The N Line variant is powered by a retained turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine generating 190 horsepower, now paired with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission that rectifies the previous seven-speed dual-clutch unit's shortcomings. With an additional 200 pounds of curb weight factored in, the 2024 Kona turbo 1.6-liter AWD takes 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, almost a second slower than a 2018 model we tested. Although the new Kona's powertrain retains its sprightly character, it experiences a decline in acceleration performance.

While the 2024 Hyundai Kona exceeded its EPA-rated highway fuel efficiency estimate during a real-world 75-mph test, its 31-mpg result falls behind both its predecessor by 1 mpg and the Crosstrek by 4 mpg. The combined fuel efficiency rating has also decreased from 29 to 26 mpg in this new generation.

Despite the Kona's abundance of passenger space, other subcompact SUVs like the Chevy Trax and VW Taos offer similar interior dimensions. Additionally, despite the increase in cargo volume, the Kona can accommodate the same seven carry-on suitcases behind its rear seats as the Crosstrek. When the seatbacks are folded, the Subaru can fit two more suitcases than the Kona, totaling 22.

In summary, the Hyundai Kona's primary advantages over the Crosstrek include a more spacious rear seat, improved performance, and a more attractive interior. However, it compromises some of its previous character and efficiency, particularly at the fuel pump.

Winner: Subaru Crosstrek Limited

The third-generation Subaru Crosstrek's styling may not inspire extensive conversations. While it retains the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance, it sports more prominent fenders and a tougher front-end design. Subaru enthusiasts will find it reassuringly familiar, while newcomers can more readily distinguish it from the Impreza hatchback.

Pros:

  • All-day comfort and impressive fuel economy.

  • Satisfies various lifestyle needs while retaining its character.

  • Improved interior materials compared to the Kona.

Cons:

  • Slower acceleration.

  • Interior fit and finish lags behind the Kona's.

  • Outdated infotainment graphics.

Verdict: The Crosstrek successfully fulfills its intended purpose, delivering a comfortable and efficient driving experience.

While the Crosstrek may not be the speediest vehicle, it impresses with a comfortable interior and excellent fuel efficiency. The interior materials of the Crosstrek, while falling short of the Kona's quality, offer a more lively ambiance. The portrait-style touchscreen takes center stage, though the infotainment graphics appear outdated. The rear seat, while not as spacious as the Kona's, provides exceptional comfort. In particular, the Crosstrek's front seats are plush and supportive, surpassing the previous-generation Crosstrek's seats and even those of the current Kona. Subaru has made further enhancements by bolting the seat rails to the frame, a measure claimed to reduce head toss and fatigue.

The driving experience in the Crosstrek is laid-back, with a low seating position and responsive steering contributing to a rally-car vibe, albeit with limited power. The softly tuned suspension reinforces this feeling and adeptly smooths uneven terrain, even with the 18-inch all-season tires on our test vehicle. Subaru has also bolstered the new Crosstrek's structure to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), leading to noticeable improvements in refinement whether on highway passes or uneven roads.

The Crosstrek Limited is equipped with a larger 182-hp 2.5-liter flat-four engine, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. While it may not set any speed records, it manages to reach 60 mph in 8.1 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 16.3 seconds at 88 mph. Despite the lack of urgency in the Crosstrek's engine, a lower torque peak ensures that it remains responsive enough

Highlights

Price:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited is priced at $32,190 in the base configuration and $35,030 as tested.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD comes with a base price of $33,485, and the as-tested price is $34,145.

Engine:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited is equipped with a DOHC 16-valve flat-4 engine with a displacement of 152 cubic inches (2498 cubic cm). It generates 182 horsepower at 5800 rpm and a torque of 178 lb-ft at 3700 rpm.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD features a turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4 engine with a displacement of 98 cubic inches (1598 cubic cm). It delivers 190 horsepower at 6000 rpm and a torque of 195 lb-ft at 1700 rpm.

Transmission:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited is equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD features an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Chassis:

  • Suspension (F/R):

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited features struts in the front and a multilink setup in the rear.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD also utilizes struts in the front and a multilink configuration in the rear.

  • Brakes (F/R):

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited is equipped with 12.4-inch vented disc brakes in the front and 11.2-inch vented disc brakes in the rear.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD features 12.0-inch vented disc brakes in the front and 11.2-inch disc brakes in the rear.

Tires:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited comes with Falken Ziex ZE001A A/S tires sized 225/55R-18 98V M+S.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD is fitted with Kumho Majesty 9 Solus TA91 tires sized 235/45R-19 99V M+S Extra Load.

Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited has a wheelbase of 105.1 inches.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD features a wheelbase of 104.7 inches.

  • Length:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited measures 176.4 inches in length.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD has a length of 172.6 inches.

  • Width:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited has a width of 70.9 inches.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD measures 71.9 inches in width.

  • Height:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited stands at a height of 63.0 inches.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD has a height of 63.6 inches.

Passenger and Cargo Volume:

  • Passenger Volume (F/R):

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited provides 55 cubic feet for front passengers and 44 cubic feet for rear passengers.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD offers 52 cubic feet for front passengers and 47 cubic feet for rear passengers.

  • Cargo Volume (Behind F/R):

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited provides 55 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats and 20 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD offers 64 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats and 26 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

Curb Weight:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited has a curb weight of 3412 pounds.

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD has a curb weight of 3450 pounds.

Performance

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited:

  • 60 mph: 8.1 seconds

  • 1/4-Mile: 16.3 seconds @ 88 mph

  • 100 mph: 21.9 seconds

  • Top Speed (mfr est): 129 mph

  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 feet

  • Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD:

  • 60 mph: 7.5 seconds

  • 1/4-Mile: 15.8 seconds @ 89 mph

  • 100 mph: 21.1 seconds

  • Top Speed (C/D est): 124 mph

  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 feet

  • Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.82 g

Fuel Economy

  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited:

  • Observed: 23 mpg

  • 75-mph Highway Driving: 35 mpg

  • EPA Combined/City/Highway: 29/26/33 mpg

  • Hyundai Kona N Line AWD:

  • Observed: 22 mpg

  • 75-mph Highway Driving: 31 mpg