Buy/Drive/Burn: Affordable Subcompact Crossovers in 2021, Round Three
After we covered American and Japanese trios of $25,000 subcompact crossovers, round three means it’s time for the Korean offerings. But there are only two Korean brands in North America, so today we cover both of their entries and another from Japan.
The Kona was a new offering from Hyundai in 2018 and took its place as the smallest crossover underneath the compact Tucson. In North America, the Kona is equipped with either a 1.6-liter turbocharged or 2.0-liter inline-four, depending on trim. There are six trims for 2021, which range from around $20,000 to $28,000. Today’s SEL AWD trim asks $23,700 and offers the 2.0-liter engine. 147 horses are managed by a traditional six-speed automatic.
The Seltos is new for 2021 in North America, though it has been in production since 2019 for other markets. It shares a platform with the Kona, but uses its own body and interior: Seltos is the more blocky and upright of the two. It’s also priced differently, with only four trims from $22,000 to $28,000. For $25,390, our selection today is the EX trim for which all-wheel drive is standard. The same 2.0-liter as in the Kona appears here, but the transmission is Kia’s IVT automatic. No shifting gears for Seltos.
The Crosstrek debuted for model year 2013 as the XV Crosstrek, Subaru’s Impreza-based crossover that straddled the line between subcompact and compact. It received a second-generation for 2018 with a host of new refinements and additional features. Across four trims, Crosstrek ranges in price from $22,245 to $28,000, and all-wheel drive is standard across all models. Engines include 2.0- and 2.5-liter boxer fours. In Premium CVT trim, Crosstrek comes with the 2.0-liter (152hp) and asks $24,645.
Two Koreans, one Japanese, and three different approaches to a crossover. Which one’s a Buy for you?
[Images: Hyundai, Kia, Subaru]
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.
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- ToolGuy Imagine how exciting the automotive landscape will be once other manufacturers catch up with Subaru's horizontally-opposed engine technology.
- FreedMike Oh, and this..."While London likes to praise its own congestion charging for reducing traffic and increasing annual revenues, tourism has declined..."The reason London's tourism numbers are down is that the city has resumed its' "tourist tax." And why did the tourist tax get reimposed? Brexit. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tourist-tax-cost-millions-myth-hmrc-survey-foreign-visitors-spending-uk-b1082327.html
- Dukeisduke Eh, still a Nissan. Nope.