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Vancouver, BC, Canada CGK 2018 Ltd EyeSight
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Yep:
Subaru Crosstrek ground clearance: 8.7"
Huyndai Kona ground clearance; 6.7"
If you go off-road, the decision is a no-brainer.
My Kona is only 6.2" (EV). Also the Kona suspension is not designed for off-road, and you would be driving very slowly and carefully to not wreck the car. There is no way I would ever take my Kona, where I go with my Crosstrek off-road!
 

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2020 Premium 6MT
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520 Posts
In Australia apparently it's a heated steering wheel.
I believe the Crosstrek Limited version now has a heated steering wheel for 2020. That would have been nice, but not another $5,000 nice and I would've had to give up the MT.
 
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Just bought a Kona EV on May 1, because the govt gave me a $10K incentive rebate, plus free chargers all over the place around here. So first have to say thanks to my fellow Canadian tax payers for that gift.

I said I would come back and give an update and comparison with my Crosstrek. Here it is, and some pics below.

First, my Kona has a few things that my Crosstrek does not have:

1. Auto wipers.

2. HUD. Not just a gimmick. Starting to like this more and more. Besides speed, also shows lane traffic coming up behind you, which is kind of useful to know. And any alerts show up here as well, incl lane change traffic. I found the Kona really doesn’t like you cutting anyone off,… haha. The Crosstrek gives you a little more leeway.

3. Wireless phone charger.

4. Front and rear parking sensors (Subaru just has rear camera).

5. Ventilated A/C front seats.

6. Kona has a phone app (BlueLink) that allows me to remotely monitor status, and change things in my car. Eg, locks, charging, climate control, etc. Works pretty well and does not require a wifi or data connection (I assume satellite connected).

7. And of course the Kona EV is all electric.

Other than that, here are some of the major differences.

1. Space: Up front Kona has enough room, but rear passenger leg room is very tight compared to the Crosstrek. Also, Kona rear cargo area is smaller.

2. Clearance: Kona has 6.2 inches vs 8.7 for Crosstrek. Doesn’t matter to me though, as I didn’t buy it for off road. That’s why I have the Crosstrek. And of course, no AWD on my Kona.

3. Ride and comfort: Crosstrek is much better for this, with softer ride and is much smoother (and quieter) over the bumps (like railroad tracks). Also Crosstrek is more stealthy getting up to speed, and is more stable and confident at higher speeds. With the Kona, it feels like you are going fast, and you tend not to speed as much. Cornering on the Kona is not as good (despite the lower center of gravity with the big battery underneath), especially if you go over any bumps in the corners. Crosstrek is definitely more stable. Having said that, the Kona is better than my old Prius, but not anywhere near as good as the Crosstrek (which sets a high bar anyway compared to other vehicles). Seats are slightly more comfortable in the Crosstrek. They are both leather, but the Kona ones are not quite as soft, and feels like you are sitting on a harder bench. Maybe they need to be broken in a bit more.

4. Doors and entry/exit: Kona is better although not to say Crosstrek is really bad. I find that with the Crosstrek it is easy to scuff the bottom front of the door when exiting. Not so with the Kona. Not sure exactly why, maybe the Kona door is positioned more forward. But I did notice this.

5. Power and acceleration: Kona hands down in this area. It has 201 hp, but more importantly, 291 ft lbs torque which, with the electric motor, is immediately available from a stop start. The wheels (FWD) will squeal/chirp right up to 50 kph (about 30 mph), and your head snaps back to the head rest if you are not ready. I have really surprised some friends when I took them for a test ride. I don’t think there will be too many ICE cars that I can’t beat from a red light. Kind of fun, but not how I would drive it normally, of course. I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself.

6. Driver Assist and Safety tech: Crosstrek does everything better in this area, incl ACC (Kona lags too much) and LKA (Kona needs very good lane markings and doesn’t work at all below 60 kph). Kona only has a single camera on the windshield vs dual for the Crosstrek. I think that is the difference. Also, and this one is a little disconcerting, the Kona rear traffic alert doesn’t always pick up a car coming from the side. At our home I back out of my driveway at an angle onto the street. And I have found that on a couple occasions now, it does not pick up a car coming from one side. My Crosstrek, on the other hand, always picks up rear cross traffic even when at an angle. So that is a big difference. The other thing I don’t like is the pre-collision braking. I guess I am a bit of an aggressive driver, and usually come up pretty fast behind the car in front before braking. However, the Kona starts beeping fairly early, and has even slammed the brakes on me (and I mean slammed), even though I thought I still had lots of time to brake. That really surprised me, as the Crosstrek has never done that to me. So now I am a little spooked about that, and start slowing earlier (maybe too much), which is not how I necessarily want to drive. Will have to get used to this and adapt, I guess.

7. Instrumentation: Crosstrek is much more elaborate than the Kona with the multiple displays and setting options. Kona is OK for what you need, but a lot more basic. I think the “cockpit” in the Crosstrek feels nicer, and even the steering wheel has more controls. With the Kona, you need to do more on the center screen to look at or change something.

8. Head Unit: I like the Subura better, seems to be more intuitive and easier to use. Maybe I just need to get used to the Kona one. I don’t like how the radio presets works. And no driver profiles. Wife and I have to share all the same preferences. Nav seems the same as Crosstrek, though, and voice commands work well, as they do in the Subaru. The audio sound in the Kona is good, too, maybe a bit better than the Crosstrek (stronger base).

9. Paint job: Kona paint has a somewhat rough finish, even after a polish, almost feels like there is some overspray. My Crosstrek is silky smooth to the touch. I was back to the Hyundai dealer to pick up my floor mats, and checked some other cars in the showroom, and they were the same. So I asked the salesperson about that, and the reply was that is the “Hyundai paint”. If I want it really smooth, might have to give it a polishing compound treatment.

10. Warranty: Better with Subaru which gives 3 years end to end (incl wipers and brakes). Hyundai excludes all wear items, and only 1 year for free checks and adjustments.

11. Value: I think you get what you pay for. The ICE FWD Kona is a lot cheaper than the Crosstrek. But the Kona EV top trim version, like I have, is a lot more expensive (costs even more than the top trim Ascent).

12. Looks: All about personal preference. I like both actually. My Crosstrek is Cool Grey Khaki while the Kona is a deep, bright red and definitely stands out in a parking lot. Hope it doesn’t attract any keyers…

Having said all that, I like the Kona for what it is, a high range (450 kms) EV. That why I bought it. It is a replacement for my Prius and will be great for driving around town. And it is a good complement to my Crosstrek which is much better off road and can pull my boat. Also on trips, I would prefer the Crosstrek. However, the Kona will be our primary driving vehicle, and look forward to all the free driving (with free chargers all over the place here). And oh, my wife likes it, so that is important.


My earlier post, #57 that I quoted here, pretty clearly described what the Kona has that my Crosstrek doesn't. But it also describes some of its weaknesses and where the Crosstrek is better, My Kona is electric, which makes it a pretty good car. But I would never, never get an ICE Kona.
 

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2020 6 sp premium in Cool Khaki Grey
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I got a 2020 6sp crosstrek a couple months ago and today my daughter a Kona Limited. She was not a fan of the interior of the Crosstrek but really liked the Kona. Different strokes for different folks .... I love my Crosstrek so far and the Kona is just a another vehicle to me.
 

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2020 6 sp premium in Cool Khaki Grey
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The first impression is that the Kona is a really nice vehicle but directed at a completely different buyer.
 
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