The Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona represent two unique and exciting approaches to the subcompact SUV segment. Each has striking design, a choice of powertrains, and more practicality than you might first think given their small footprint. They are also easy on fuel and start under $25,000 — that’s roughly half the cost of today’s typical new car transaction price.

Let’s see how the CX-30 and Kona stack up against each other.

2024 Hyundai Kona

For 2024, the Hyundai Kona has been completely revamped. It is bigger than its predecessor, making it roomier on the inside and giving it greater presence on the road. Speaking of presence, its design makes the new Kona look like something out of 2034, not 2024. In addition to offering two engine choices, including a 190-hp turbo, the Kona is available as an electric vehicle (EV) with up to 260 miles of range on a charge. Pricing starts at $24,250.

Hyundai Kona highlights

Tech-laden interior: Even the least-expensive Kona includes features like a 12.3-inch touchscreen and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Even some luxury SUVs don’t have these as standard, yet here they are on a base Kona.

Driving assists: The top-line Limited trim ups the ante on safety and driver tech with features like Hyundai’s Blind-Spot View Monitor that presents a real-time digital image in the instrument display, and Highway Driving Assist, a semi-autonomous driving system that we’ve found works great.

Class-leading warranty: Like every other new Hyundai, the Kona comes with one of the best warranties in the business, one that covers 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see Kona models for sale near you. 

2024 Mazda CX-30

2024 Mazda CX-30 in red.

The CX-30 is the least-expensive SUV in Mazda’s lineup, starting at $24,995. Yet it packs a lot of features into that price — both tangible and intangible. First off, it is among the rare SUV in its class that comes standard with all-wheel drive. It also offers an upgrade turbo engine that makes up 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Those are significant numbers in such a small SUV. But even the standard 191-hp engine is far stronger than what others offer in this segment. Finally, we can’t forget about its design; to our eyes, the CX-30 is among the most svelte SUVs around.

Mazda CX-30 Highlights

The way it drives: Perhaps the biggest distinguisher between this Mazda and its competitors is road manners. It is among the most athletic vehicles in its class, and a joy to drive. If you’ve ever been behind the wheel of a Mazda, you know this.

Premium cabin: Step inside the CX-30 and you’re bound to be surprised in the best way. This is one nice-looking cabin with premium materials and stylish looks. If you didn’t see the Mazda badge, you might think this came from a luxury marque.

Standard safety tech: Every trim of the 2024 Mazda CX-30 comes with active safety and driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the CX-30 models for sale near you.


Both the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona are two subcompact SUVs that offer seating for five, optional turbo engines, and svelte design. They also both carry appealing starting prices under $25,000.


Spoiler alert: You can’t go wrong with either of these SUVs. If you’re the type of driver who, well, loves to drive, you’ll probably gravitate toward the Mazda and its inherent athleticism. The Kona, meanwhile, is all new for the 2024 model year, with better back seat room and some sweet tech. It’s also one of the few subcompact SUVs in its class offered with an all-electric powertrain.

2024 Mazda CX-30 2024 Hyundai Kona
Starting Price $24,995  $24,250
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 191 hp @ 6,000 rpm 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic  CVT
Fuel economy 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29 mpg combined 28 city/35 highway/31 combined
Also Available Turbo 2.5-liter 4-cyl. Turbo 1.6-liter 4-cyl., AWD; all-electric
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles  10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars  N/A
Max Seating Capacity 5  5
Wheelbase 104.4 inches 104.7 inches
Overall Length 173.0 inches  171.3 inches
Width 70.7 inches  71.9 inches
Height 61.7 inches  62.2 inches
Turning Diameter 37.3 feet  34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 37.8 inches  39.9 inches
Headroom, 2nd Row 38.3 inches  38.3 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches  41.7 inches
Legroom, 2nd Row 36.3 inches  38.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.6 inches  56.8 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row 53.6 inches  55.2 inches
Cargo Volume 20.2 cubic feet   25.5 cubic feet

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