Can’t wait for a Hyundai Kona Hybrid? Have you considered…


With wait times of upwards of nine months, the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is perhaps one of the most in-demand electrified small SUVs in Australia right now.

The new-generation Kona Hybrid has been lauded for its efficient electrified powertrain, which is part of the reason why there’s such a long queue to get one – along with its price tag of $36,000 to $46,500 before on-road costs.

If you’ve got itchy feet and can’t wait that long, there are a range of alternatives in Australia at around the same price and size.

Here are the CarExpert team’s picks on what you should consider buying if you don’t want to hold out for a Hyundai Kona Hybrid.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Kona

James Wong: Kia Niro HEV ($44,930 to $50,580 before on-road costs)

If you’re set on a Kona Hybrid (HEV) but can’t wait for a new one, then the Kia Niro Hybrid is effectively the same car from another showroom.

Compact Toyota hybrids are likewise in hot demand, and Kia’s boxy electrified crossover tends to be overlooked – largely due to its premium RRP positioning.

The Niro may be a little more expensive, but shop around and you might find yourself a deal. It offers similar levels of space and tech to the Kona in GT-Line trim, and arguably has more premium finishes.

My main gripe about the Kia, however, is the lofty service costs. Otherwise, it’s a funky and efficient crossover that’s well sized for city use and capable on the open road.

MORE: Buy a Kia Niro

Jordan Mulach: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid ($36,480 to $50,030 before on-road costs)

In both size and capability, one of the Hyundai’s rivals has to be the Corolla Cross, given the best-selling RAV4 is slightly too large for a direct comparison.

Hyundai has well and truly closed the gap to Toyota in terms of how efficient its hybrid systems can be, reflected in the fuel consumption claims between the Kona and Corolla Cross hybrids which are split by just tenths of a litre per 100km.

While Toyota’s cabins can sometimes feel a bit outdated, the Corolla Cross is one of its newest models on sale, and offers features to rival the Hyundai in its flagship Atmos AWD guise.

Perhaps one thing to consider is that this grade slots between the RAV4 Cruiser AWD Hybrid and Edge AWD Hybrid in price, which both offer more space.

MORE: Buy a Toyota Corolla Cross

Scott Collie: Honda ZR-V e:HEV ($54,900 drive-away)

Australians have an attachment to the Honda HR-V, and the CR-V. But what about the ZR-V?

This in-between SUV is neither as small as the four-seat HR-V, nor as chunky as the CR-V. Instead, it’s aimed at filling the Goldilocks zone in between.

With ample interior space, it’s still a practical option for small families. But it’s not difficult to park in tight spaces, and drives even better than the already nimble CR-V.

Throw in a punchy, efficient hybrid drivetrain that’s more fun than what Toyota, Hyundai, or Kia has to offer, and you’re onto a winner.

MORE: Buy a Honda ZR-V

William Stopford: Honda HR-V ($43,900 drive-away)

Looking at rivals to the Kona Hybrid, I’m reminded just how compelling a package the Hyundai is.

Toyota’s C-HR has similarly funky styling to the Kona but is also quite a bit more expensive, while the Nissan Qashqai e-Power is sadly available only in top-spec Ti trim.

The smart money is on the Toyota Corolla Cross, but I’d suggest checking out the Honda HR-V as well.

It’s frustrating that it has only four seats, because otherwise this is one sweetly packaged vehicle – spacious and versatile, yet with a small exterior footprint. The hybrid powertrain is also nice, though it does feel a little out of breath on steeper grades.

MORE: Buy a Honda HR-V

Max Davies: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid ($36,480 to $50,030 before on-road costs)

At pretty much the same price point, the Toyota is definitely worth a look as a Kona alternative.

It has more power (albeit a slightly worse claimed fuel efficiency), a spacious interior, solid driving dynamics, smooth acceleration, and a sense of familiarity that means you’ll know what to expect when you get in – even if it is a hybrid.

The Corolla Cross’ improved GXL variant still matches the higher-spec N-Line hybrid for price, but unlike Hyundai, Toyota does offer an all-wheel drive hybrid in case you need to do a spot of light off-roading. All for less than $45,000 before on-roads, too.

MORE: Buy a Toyota Corolla Cross





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