For those who assume that a sub-compact SUV would have more payload than a sub-compact car, think again. The Hyundai Kona specs say it has 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the raised rear seats, making it one of the smallest in the subcompact segment. It is also smaller than the last Hyundai Accent Hatchback, which had 21.2 cubic feet. It still has more than the Hyundai Venue, which is a whole size smaller (what’s less than subcompact?) and has 18.7 cubic feet of space. That doesn’t mean the Kona can hold more stuff, though. Look forward to many Kona Venue comparisons! Sure, I’ll pause while you grab some popcorn.
Like many SUVs today, the Kona has an adjustable load floor. This allows it to provide maximum space and create a flat floor when the rear seats are folded down.
Oddly enough, Hyundai fills the space between the top floor position and the spare tire (which exists, that’s good) with this large foam tray. Cool? Either way, you’ll need to put the thing somewhere if you want to maximize cargo space. And I’m pretty sure you want to maximize cargo space with the Kona.
Also unusual is that the position on the lower floor is not completely flat. It ramps up in the back seat, which isn’t ideal of course and may be why Hyundai thought you preferred the top position and large foam tray.
Normally I’d only test with the floor on the lowest setting, but just in case you picked up someone at the airport and forgot to take out the damn big foam tray, I figured testing with it and without it mild would be helpful. Is.
For the exact same reason for the airport pickup, I’ll test with the rigid, hatchback-style cargo cover in place.
As with every luggage test I do, I use two medium-sized trolleys to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two trolleys that just fit in the luggage compartment (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also bring my wife’s nice weekend bag to spice things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
Basically, the difference between low floor (left) and high floor (right) is one pocket size.
The low floor allowed the two medium rollers to fit on their sides, allowing for one of the larger check-in bags to be accommodated. The high floor required those medium-sized bags to lie on their stomachs, leaving only enough room for the smallest roll on its side. Of course, there is also room for two small bags of a low-floor type, rather than just one with the high-floor.
Okay, let’s get rid of the tail lift. I sure hope you have garage space.
Two options here:
On the left is the largest bag (grey bottom left) plus the three carry-on rolls and a duffel bag that fills the rest. The fancy bag and the blue check-in bag are left behind.
On the right, the blue check-in bag is exchanged for the largest gray bag. Nice bag remains, but blue duffel bag is present.
What is the difference?
Visibility. You can technically see the back and the medium bag doesn’t fly forward under sudden braking (which is why I’m not going to the roof for these tests).
Anyway, what you see here means that one of the biggest bags and the beautiful bag stay at home.
Okay, let’s go back to the Hyundai Venue luggage test.
The Venue’s cargo space is thus remarkably short as that of the Kona. The small, blue roll bag barely fits in the length, and the black medium bags do not… they can fit in the Kona.
As such, with the floor high and the luggage cover in place, the Venue is even less useful than the Kona. However, start ripping things out and things change. The Venue’s cargo floor sinks further down and doesn’t have such a large ramp. So it can fit a little more. Granted, “more” only equates to the pretty bag, smashed as the one at the bottom right, but it’s something. It should also be noted that the Venue’s roofline is more upright, which is always helpful when loading the cargo area.
Ultimately, if you’re going to venture elsewhere and tend to carry a lot of stuff, the Kona probably isn’t for you. A Nissan Kicks or Kia Soul would be a better bet, or you could go up a size in the mid-sized compact segment with a Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek or Chevrolet Trailblazer. All those links go to the luggage test of each model, btw.