2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Mazda CX-30

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Kona and the CX-30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Kona comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-30’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-30. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-30 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CX-30’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-30.

There are over 48 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Kona has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-30’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Kona’s reliability 40 points higher than the CX-30.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 186) than the CX-30’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Mazda CX-30:

Kona

CX-30

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.7 MPH

88.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Kona FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the CX-30 FWD (27 city/33 hwy vs. 25 city/33 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Kona as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Mazda CX-30 is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-30.

The Kona offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The CX-30 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Kona AWD/1.6T’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-30:

Kona AWD/1.6T

CX-30

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

The Kona stops shorter than the CX-30:

Kona

CX-30

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-30 (235/45R18 vs. 215/65R16).

The Kona SE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-30’s standard 65 series tires. The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-30 Select/Preferred/Premium’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Kona 4x4 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-30 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Kona has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-30’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Kona has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Kona flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-30’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the CX-30 Premium AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-30 Premium AWD (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Mazda CX-30.

The Kona is 9 inches shorter than the CX-30, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Kona has 1.5 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-30.

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-30 with its rear seat folded (45.8 vs. 45.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Kona and the CX-30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Kona is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kona has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the CX-30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-30 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kona will cost $210 less than the CX-30 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/27

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mazda CX-30 isn't recommended.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The CX-30 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Hyundai Kona outsold the Mazda CX-30 by almost 82 to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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