Hyundai Kona vs. Hyundai Tucson

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 18, 2021

Hyundai’s lineup of SUVs continues to expand and become even more well-rounded with updated models and new additions. The latest SUV to join the lineup is the fully redesigned 2022 Hyundai Tucson. The compact SUV enters the new model year with a bold design, more tech features, new powertrains, and a larger interior. Somehow, Hyundai made the Tucson an even better do-it-all SUV.

One step below the compact Tucson sits the subcompact Kona. The tiny SUV benefits from a redesign for the 2022 model year, wearing an updated exterior design, a refreshed look on the inside, and new tech features. Hyundai has also introduced the high-performance N model for 2022. The Kona is expected to receive a refresh soon, which will bring a lot of the same changes we saw with the new Tucson.

If you find yourself in a Hyundai dealership, looking at these two vehicles, which one should you go with? That’s what we’ll answer below with a comparison of the key specs and features.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Hyundai Kona & the Hyundai Tucson »

What The Kona Gets Right

As the smaller SUV, the Kona is the more affordable option of the two. Pricing for the Kona starts at $22,135 (with destination), which is $4,000 less than the Tucson that costs $26,135. That’s a large difference between the two and makes the Kona the obvious choice for consumers that are looking to purchase a new vehicle on a budget.

While Hyundai hasn’t released official information on how big the 2022 Kona is, we believe the vehicle will have the same dimensions as the current model on sale. That means the Kona will be roughly 18 inches shorter in length and 2.5 inches shorter in width, making it the far better choice for consumers in need of a small vehicle for city use.

If you’re looking for performance, the new Kona N has it in spades. Power for the high-performance model comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes up to 276 horsepower. In addition to the powerful engine, the Kona N comes with other go-fast goodies that enthusiasts will enjoy on a spirited drive. While the Tucson is available in an N-Line trim, it doesn’t have the same performance as the Kona N.

What The Tucson Gets Right

Hyundai offers the Tucson in regular, hybrid, N-Line, and plug-in hybrid models to give consumers more choices. The Kona is available in regular, all-electric, and N models. With one more available powertrain, which is a useful plug-in hybrid variant, we think the Tucson is the better choice for consumers that like having options to choose from.

As a compact SUV, the Tucson offers more interior space than the subcompact Kona. The Tucson has more front and rear headroom, rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room, as well as front and rear hip room over the Kona. Cargo space is also an easy win for the Tucson, which can hold up to 80.3 cubic feet of cargo behind the front seats. The most the Kona can hold is up to 45.8 cubic feet of cargo.

The Tucson may be a lot bigger than the Kona, but it’s nearly as efficient. The standard Tucson with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is rated to get up to 29 mpg combined. Official fuel economy figures for the Kona aren’t out yet, but the 2021 Kona with the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at up to 30 mpg combined. Seeing as how the Tucson is larger and has 40 more horsepower, its ability to get roughly the same combined rating as the Kona is impressive.

Need Something Small And Peppy?

The Kona may not be all-new like the Tucson, but it still has its strengths. Those include a high-performance N trim with serious gusto and small stature that’s easy to maneuver. Additionally, if you’re on a tight budget, the Kona’s more affordable price tag makes it an attractive option.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Tucson

For consumers that can spend the extra $4,000 on the Hyundai Tucson, the compact SUV is well worth the extra money over the Kona. With a more spacious interior, more models to choose from, more high-tech features, and similar fuel economy estimates, the Tucson is the far better option for the majority of consumers.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Kona »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Tucson »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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