Wanting an SUV shouldn't automatically mean that you have to bust your budget and drive a boat. In fact, more and more manufacturers are recognizing that the subcompact SUV market is growing, full of drivers who want the versatility of an SUV along with the fuel economy and budget friendliness of a smaller vehicle. Two prime examples? The 2019 Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Kona. These SUVs are thrifty in more ways than one, putting a fair price on modern comfort and thrifty travel.
Road-Trip-Friendly Interior Space: 2019 Nissan Kicks
If you're planning a cross-country excursion with your closest pals, you'll appreciate the Kicks for its comfy seating and expansive cargo space. Once everyone settles into their roomy, supportive seats, there are still 25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats for luggage and personal items.
We will say that the Kona has supportive seating and impressive climate controls. But, behind the rear seats, you'll only find 19.2 cubes of cargo space. And there's another drawback. If the driver or front passenger is tall, legroom is tight for rear-seat passengers.
Strongest Safety Lineup: 2019 Nissan Kicks
Both of these crossovers aim to keep you safe. They even have a lot in common, especially where standard features are concerned. Both offer forward collision warning with automatic braking on every single trim level, helping you curtail costly damages. These crossovers also bolster visibility with standard their rearview camera and automatic headlights.
But the Kicks also adds some safety upgrades into the mix. Its standard hill start assist feature, for example, keeps you from rolling backward at a steep stop. If you've got a long highway ride ahead of you, you'll appreciate the standard cruise control.
Smartest Infotainment Lineup: 2019 Hyundai Kona
The Kona has a few standard features that we really like, namely, complete smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This technology displays apps on the 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, keeping drivers from reaching from their phones.
Like the Hyundai Kona, the Nissan Kicks comes standard with Bluetooth and a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen. The Kicks even has one extra USB port, so you can charge up to three devices at once. The Kicks standard lineup also includes Siri Eyes Free integration for smartphone users. Note that you can get Android Auto/Apple CarPlay on your Kicks. You just have to upgrade to the midgrade SV or top-trim SR to get it.
More Mileage for Your Money: 2019 Nissan Kicks
If you're looking to spend a lot of time on the road-whether to check out your city's foodie hotspots or every national park in your state-the Nissan Kicks is the thriftiest weekend warrior. Every trim level returns the same EPA ratings: 31 city and 36 highway mpg.
The Hyundai Kona isn't too far off. Depending on powertrain, this subcompact crossover returns up to 28 city and 32 highway mpg. But, if you're planning a lot of weekend adventure, the Kicks will better serve your fuel budget.
In the end, the choice is easy. The 2019 Nissan Kicks gives you more bang for your buck with its lower MSRP, better fuel mileage, and stronger safety lineup. There's even an impressive list of tech options, so smartphone addicts need not go without.