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A blue 2021 Buick Encore GX is parked in a driveway aftr winning a 2021 Buick Encore GX vs 2021 Hyundai Kona comparison.

2021 Buick Encore GX vs 2021 Hyundai Kona

Every car buyer has different priorities and aspects to consider before making a final purchase. This decision can get more complicated as manufacturers make more similarities between their models to meet customer needs. Many features have become so expected that they are standard on today’s vehicles, such as smartphone integration. Two vehicles that are easy to compare are the 2021 Buick Encore GX vs 2021 Hyundai Kona. These SUVs are both great values, each costing less than $25,000. They are definitely made with modern drivers in mind.

There is much to consider when purchasing a vehicle, but the 2021 Buick Encore GX and the 2021 Hyundai Kona can be compared easily. These SUVs have similar passenger space and eye-catching exteriors from all angles. They both have intuitive infotainment systems that are well designed for modern drivers. They are also comparatively easier on the wallet than many competitors. How do the 2021 Buick Encore GX and the 2021 Hyundai Kona stack up against each other?

A red 2021 Hyundai Kona is driving down a two lane road at sunset.

Engines and Exterior

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has two powertrains available. The first is a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission. The second is a 175-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. With both engine types, the Kona is rated at 30 miles per gallon combined. Front-wheel drive is the default for both, though all-wheel drive is an option. The 2.0-liter can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in 9.2 seconds, while the turbocharged 1.6-liter can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.3 seconds.

The Kona comes with six available trim levels and has a thirteen-gallon gas tank. LED running lights are available across all trims, though LED headlights are only available for the top two trims. The taillights are the same, with LED only available on the top three trims. Exterior colors include Lunar White, Galactic Gray, Ultra Black, Pulse Red, Sonic Silver, and Surf Blue. Wheels for the 2021 Hyundai Kona measure sixteen or eighteen inches in several different styles.

The 2021 Buick Encore GX has two engine options as well, both of which are three-cylinder turbocharged engines. The 1.2-liter has 137 horsepower, a continuously variable transmission, and front-wheel drive. The 1.3-liter has 155 horsepower, with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive available. The 2021 Buick Encore GX scores slightly better than the Kona when it comes to fuel economy, reaching up to 31 miles per gallon combined. It has a very smooth ride and easily controlled body motions, making long commutes or city traffic jams equally easy to deal with no matter how often they happen.

The 2021 Buick Encore GX is slightly more expensive, but that is because it doesn’t offer bare-bones base models. Instead, it only has three well-equipped trims that easily justify the comparatively higher starting price. The hands-free power liftgate, heated front seats, and remote start, among other features, are all options available for even the base Encore GX. There are a total of nine exterior colors, including Dark Moon Blue, Burnished Bronze, Chili Red, White Frost Tricoat, and more. Eighteen-inch wheels are also standard on all trim levels for the 2021 Buick Encore GX.

Interior and Infotainment

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has some cheap materials on the interior, but nothing is poorly made. Behind the second row is 19.2 cubic feet of storage space, which opens to 45.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Generous door pockets, under front seat space, the glove box, and some bins all serve as available storage space in the Kona. The standard touchscreen is seven inches, though an eight-inch is available in more advanced trim levels. This is coupled with easy to reach push-button controls mounted to the steering wheel, making the settings easy to adjust while on the move.

Two USB ports and an aux input are included as standard on the 2021 Hyundai Kona. A heads-up display is available for the driver, displaying helpful information on the windshield, such as current speed and nearby road signs, so that the driver will be more aware of them. Step by step navigation can also be shown on this screen, making it easier for safe driving by keeping the driver’s eyes on the road. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, allowing those who have not invested in higher trim levels to enjoy turn-by-turn directions offered through smartphone integration.

The 2021 Buick Encore GX offers more than fifty cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded, making it more versatile than the Kona. There is also an additional three inches of cargo height offered by the adjustable false cargo floor. Triple door seals and acoustic laminated glass work to block out road sounds and other distractions, making it easier to hold conversations, enjoy music, or simply listen to one’s own thoughts. A rear camera mirror offers a better view of the space behind the vehicle, allowing the driver to switch between that view and the standard mirror with a button push.

Along with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the 2021 Buick Encore GX also features Amazon Alexa integration and SiriusXM satellite radio. Connected navigation includes the benefit of turn-by-turn directions. Additionally, a Teen Driver mode is included to keep beginner drivers safer while they gain experience behind the wheel. This feature gives parents the ability to control the maximum permitted speed. It will prevent the stereo from blasting and doesn’t allow the driver to shift out of park without their seatbelt buckled. All these safety features, the better technology, and the additional exterior options make the 2021 Buick Encore GX the superior vehicle between the pair.

A blue 2021 Buick Encore GX is parked outside of a shopping area.


2021 Buick Encore GX: Always the Better Choice

The 2021 Buick Encore GX is definitely made with modern drivers in mind. Though it is more expensive than the base model 2021 Hyundai Kona, the extra features on the Buick absolutely justify the price jump. The additional cargo space and better-integrated technology features ensure that the Encore GX can meet the many needs of SUV-owning families. The Teen Driver safety feature can help young drivers adjust as they learn with the automatic speed limit restrictions preventing expensive tickets or worse fallout from dangerous driving.

The Encore GX offers more storage than the Kona, with more flexibility and options from the adjustable cargo floor. A larger center console gives more storage space, while the second-row seating gives more comfort and room for rear passengers. Truly, it hardly matters which aspect is compared; with the sole exceptions of cost and raw power, the 2021 Buick Encore GX comes out on top, and this better quality makes the vehicle more than worth the extra cost.