Suburbanites who want a lot of crossover for not a lot of money should consider the MG ZS, which has the roomiest cabin and largest boot. It also has the cushiest front seats and, for less enthusiastic drivers, reasonable performance.
As enthusiasts, we wish we could’ve spent four weeks with the Hyundai Kona. You’d imagine that its manual gearbox would be a turn-off to many buyers, but that hasn’t been the case. With around 100 units sold so far, we can assume that the 1-litre Kona’s design, performance and relatively affordable price (it’s also the least expensive contender here) have proved to be a compelling combination.
Less convincing, though, are the Kona’s tight rear accommodation, firm ride and small storage points. But if you’re a keen driver who can live with these drawbacks, then the Kona will make you quite happy.
The “one-derful” Seat Arona gives us many reasons to smile. Instead of the Kona’s manual transmission, it’s equipped with a faster dual-clutch gearbox, as well as quicker overall performance. Although the Arona is not as firmly damped as the Kona, the Seat’s small size does give it added manoeuvrability.
We also like the Arona’s practical cabin and enjoyable infotainment system. Less wonderful are its smaller backseat, less flexible boot and significantly higher price tag. At press time, the $128,900 Arona FR costs $23k and $37.9k more than the MG ZS and Hyundai Kona respectively.
(Left and right) Both the Arona and ZS have switchbladetype keys, but the latter’s ribbed finish offers better grip. The Kona’s device (middle) is the most elegant and it feels solid, too.