Hyatt Leaderboard Advertisement

Practical-y Perfect – Hyundai Kona/Honda Fit

Practical-y Perfect – Hyundai Kona/Honda Fit

You might never have noticed, but Hawaii is a very small chain of islands in the midst of a very large ocean. And so it is with the Hyundai Kona, a tiny sport-utility vehicle in a sea of more sizable competitors.

Like the coast of the Big Island from whence it gets its name, the subcompact Kona packs a lot of verve into a relatively small space. This is most obvious in its expressive styling, with a hunkered-down stance that looks downright sporty.

Powering my test car was a 175-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter is standard) that gives this little SUV a zippy quality that’s noticeably enhanced by punching the center console’s Sport button. Available all-wheel drive, a feature not even offered on some competitors, makes the entire package that much more appealing.

As with all Hyundai models, the Kona comes well-equipped. The top-of-the-line Ultimate trim level I drove, for example, sported such desirable features as leather upholstery, navigation and even a handy heads-up display.

Add 45.8 cubic feet of cargo room and you have a practical small SUV that still manages to stand out in an ocean of sport-utility models.

Base Price: $18,500

MPG: 28 city, 32 highway

Crash Test: N/A

The endearing Honda Fit is a pint-size wonder. (Photo: © Honda)

Every once in a while an athlete of smaller stature comes along and develops a reputation for doing big things. In the automotive world, that particularly impressive pint-size player is the Honda Fit.

That’s because this subcompact four-door hatchback has a knack for holding more passengers and cargo than you might imagine given its diminutive dimensions. For example, there’s room for a pair of taller adults in the back, something few small cars can claim.

The Fit is also known for its remarkably flexible cargo hold, thanks in part to the so-called “Magic” rear seat with a bottom cushion that folds up to create a tall floor-to-ceiling space behind the front seats. Fold both sections of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks down and you have 52.7 cubic feet of space, a number that compares favorably with some larger compact crossover SUVs.

The Fit endears itself with its nimble handling, especially when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission like the Sport model I drove. Add above-average fuel economy numbers and top-notch crash test ratings and you have a small player that does big things.

Base Price: $16,190

MPG: 29 city, 36 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

Looking for a new car ride? Find more car reviews online.


Sign up and receive updates for all of the latest articles on automotive, travel, money, lifestyle and so much more!

Leave A Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and may or may not be published at the editor’s discretion. Only comments that are relevant to the article and add value to the Your AAA community will be considered. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.