2023 Hyundai Kona vs 2023 Honda HR-V: SUV Showdown

September 26th, 2023 by

Small SUVs are hugely popular these days, and for good reason. They’ve mostly taken the sedan’s place as the go-to vehicle if you’re looking for interior space and comfort but also enjoy good handling and acceleration. The 2023 Hyundai KONA is a good example of this, as it epitomizes the Asian manufacturer’s long reputation of making quality cars at affordable prices. Here at Hyundai of Auburn in Alabama, we do our best to uphold the quality standards of the cars we sell and provide excellent service to our customers. Visit us and check it out for yourself.

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2023 Hyundai KONA vs. 2023 Honda HR-V

2023 Hyundai Kona in red on the beach

The KONA and the HR-V are competing in the crowded small SUV market. While deciding which is more appropriate for you is partly a matter of personal style and preferences, there are several objective factors that can help you make your decision. One of the first questions that you should ask when assessing a vehicle is how much it costs. The two vehicles are similarly priced, with the 2023 Hyundai KONA having a slightly lower price than the 2023 HR-V. The KONA has a starting price of $23,475, while the HR-V starts at $25,095.

Below are some of the other criteria you may use when deciding between the two.

Trim Options

The 2023 Hyundai KONA  is available in five distinct trim levels. The base SE trim is very well equipped and comes with many useful tech features, including an 8-inch touch-screen interface, wireless smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and several essential driver aids. Higher trims add more useful features, including more driver aids, bigger wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a sunroof, and a premium sound system. The top N trim gives the KONA a unique look both inside and out while also boosting its performance.

The 2023 Honda HR-V is only available in three trim levels. The base LX trim is slightly less impressive than the KONA SE, with a smaller 7-inch touch screen and wired smartphone integration. It also features a four-speaker sound system, while the KONA’s standard audio system has six speakers. Higher trims add these missing elements for an additional cost.


The 2023 KONA’s level of performance depends on the engine you choose. The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces up to 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, which is enough for most tasks. If you want a little extra push, you can go for the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, which generates up to 195 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This takes the KONA from zero to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds, which is impressive given its size and priorities. Finally, the top engine choice is a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque.

The same engine powers all 2023 HR-V trims: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a power output of up to 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. It works alongside a continuously variable automatic transmission and takes more than 10 seconds to push the Honda from zero to 60 mph, which is pretty slow, even for an SUV.

Safety Features

As mentioned, the 2023 Hyundai KONA comes with a long list of useful active safety features. They include:

  • Forward collision mitigation system: This issues a warning in case of an imminent frontal collision and also automatically applies the brakes if you don’t respond in due time.
  • Lane departure mitigation with a lane-keeping system: This warns you if the KONA starts drifting out of the center of its lane when you haven’t activated the turn signal. It can also steer it back into its lane if you don’t do so yourself.
  • Blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert: This lets you know if another vehicle is in the KONA’s blind spot. It also monitors incoming traffic from both sides while backing up and alerts you if another vehicle is about to cross.
  • Safe exit system: This keeps your passengers from opening any door when another vehicle is approaching from behind. This can be very useful when driving with children on board.

The 2023 Honda HR-V also comes with forward collision motivation and lane departure warning. However, its standard trim doesn’t include the blind-spot monitor and safe exit system. The former is available in higher trims, while the latter isn’t available at all on the HR-V. However, the Honda’s base version does include adaptive cruise control. This allows you to set a certain distance between the vehicle and the car in from when driving on a highway. The system will then maintain that distance, regardless of the respective car’s changes in speed.

Interior and Exterior Design

The 2023 Hyundai KONA is a modern-looking SUV. Its exterior look was refreshed in 2022, giving it a sporty look. It’s also available in many different colors, meaning it’s easy to find one that matches your personality. Some examples are Lunar White, Pulse Red, Thunder Gray, and Ultra Black. On the interior, the KUNA blends eye-pleasing design with functionality. All functions are intuitive and easy to reach, while the cabin’s shape provides ample visibility for you and all your passengers.

The 2023 Honda HR-V underwent a full redesign, giving it a more modern and premium look. It also has multiple available colors, including Urban Gray Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, and Milano Red. Its interior is one of the HR-V’s biggest upsides, with plenty of room for your passengers in both rows. The large door openings make it easy to get in and out regardless of passenger size, and all controls are intuitive and easy to use.

Visit Hyundai of Auburn

Our goal at Hyundai of Auburn in Alabama is to help you at every stage of buying and owning a vehicle. Our finance team can assist you in finding the most convenient way of financing your car purchase and you can use our online tools to apply for financing and calculate your payments. Then, our sales professionals can help you choose and test drive the right vehicle for you. After buying it, you can visit us for maintenance and repairs, as our factory-trained technicians will keep your car in excellent shape for many years. Contact or visit us today.

a red car parked on the side of a road next to the ocean by Hyundai Motor Group is licensed with Unsplash License