2019 Nissan Qashqai vs 2020 Hyundai Kona
Who Stacks Up?
Crowfoot Hyundai pits these two giants of crossover against each other on the smooth blacktop around Airdrie and Cochrane to find out which gets you the most bang for your buck.
Let’s talk design. When it comes to Hyundai v Nissan, there’s no contest. The Kona is simply brilliant. Bright colours, sharp design, eye-catchingly sporty - it crushes the boxier and more reserved Qashqai. Where Nissan’s opted for a bigger and more responsible look, Hyundai keeps it clean, cool, and altogether fast. Everything about the Kona screams ‘speed and comfort.’
But what about speed? Both cars punch in at 0-100km/h in about 10 seconds. You’re not going to win any races in either. Both use 2.0 litre engines. But the biggest difference can be felt on the road. We took both cars around Airdrie and fired them up. The Hyundai has a noticeable jump right from the starting line, and this can be seriously turned up by clicking into Sport Mode. This results in a smooth feel around those corners, streaking onto a straightaway flawlessly and without losing speed.
Both cars have been revised over the past years in terms of drive performance. The Qashqai’s dampers and spring rates have been retuned, the anti-roll bar stiffened to improve absorption, as well as brake systems for individual wheels on the corners, directing torque flow. The Kona’s been heavily modified as well. Bars, dampers, springs, bushes - all modified and better suited to the roads around Airdrie and Cochrane. This means everything is improved. Nissan’s reduced noise and vibration with thick glass and additional sealing. It is a sensible city car, light steering, good suppression, and an adult look.
That’s not to say the Qashqai isn’t a sensible city car. It is. It’s just more fun. Agile and quick, responsive turning, smooth around corners and light as a ghost down the highway – all complimented by its youthful design. Base models starting from $21, 195, it’s not a bad little car. Car and Driver even put it on their 2019 best list.