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Haven't bought a Kona - yet. We are looking at the 2018 Kona with the turbo engine and comparing to the 2019 Crosstrek Premium and the 2018 Kia Niro EX hybrid. Test drove all three this week. Our wish list includes a stick shift, sunroof, electronic safety package (blind spot detection in particular), and best warranty possible.

Don't drive off-road but live in cities with terrible potholes. Don't need AWD as we are snowbirds and won't be up north in winter. Never drove anything other than a stick shift since my '68 Mustang and have a real aversion to buying an automatic and MPG matters. Have to have Sirius. The Crosstrek Premium comes in a stick but no sunroof or electronic safety systems and not very happy with the 3 yr 36,000. I also hear it's underpowered. The Niro is nice because it's a hybrid and has a good warranty but only automatic and so few of them on the road! Didn't like driving the Kona without the Turbo - it felt like a toy car. I read online that the 2019 Kona for Canada will come in a manual transmission with a turbo diesel engine which would be my dream. Is this correct?

Open to what y'all know/think have learned. Will the US 2019s be all electric? We don't have a garage so that won't work for us. Thanks in advance!
 

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Electric is still just an option, so there will still be gas powered Kona's. Along with the electric version, the US isn't getting anything else but the gas engines with automatics as far as I know so none of us have any experience with the manual or diesel engine. You say fuel economy is important to you but in almost all cars now the manual gets the worse MPG's. It's definitely true of the Crosstrek and hybrids/electrics never have manual transmissions. Also, in the US you can only get the manual on the Crosstrek in base trim. The Crosstrek is underpowered (relatively speaking) because the gas engine is essentially equal in power to the Kona 2.0l but the Crosstrek is bigger and heavier. So I doubt you are going to be happy with it if you didn't like the Kona 2.0l. Best warranty possible is going to be Hyundai, no doubt (unless things are different in Canada.)

Good luck.
 

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Thanks, Sarkus. I've given up on the Crosstrek - they advertise that all the options are available on the manual but they are not. Very misleading. If I can live with an automatic the Kona is better.
 

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I did consider the subie line, have an outback 2012, but not happy with the no shop manual from subie. But this seems to be the same with all cars now ? Hyundia sales manager promised shop manauls, but I got burned because they do not exist, except on line ! Question is what is the car for, you second one, only one ? Mine is a second run around vehicle, if I only had one vehicle then it would have been a better model and bigger then the kona. Again do you drive far, or no where mostly, this to me is comfort level. Why spend over $22k on a vehicle you will not be happy with on long drives if needed. Do not know what hyundia shop fees come down to, but my outback needed rear brake pads, $70 pads, but they wanted over $200 to install them ! Most work would be removing wheel, not brake pads. Not to mention the "lets change the brake fluid too for another $100 . Also are the dealerships close or far ? Just a few thinks to throw into the mind of thinking for ya ! If thinking of the subies, heard the second level of car is much better then bottom tier, just do not know the names, imprenza and ? Most people with foresters tell me how noisey they are on the roadways ! I considered a forester too, but still noisey last person I talked to last month. Also what is the track record of lasting vehicles ? Subie would be on top, think hyundia second but not sure. Kia I have no clue. This should be more concern in the long run ? MPG is relative, you could get a lemon and have poor mpg with any brand, unless rated over 5 mpg difference, it is only few bucks more a month, depending on how many miles you drive. To me comfort is first choice, milage second, repair cost and track record third !
 

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Honestly, a stick was a hard criteria for the SO and myself for a long time while we were looking. All of our cars are stick, and we are total diehards. Lately however, traffic in Atlanta has been getting MAD SHI**Y, and after having my leg literally fall asleep on me on a few 45-minute, average 25mph morning commutes, I started to warm to the idea of an automatic daily. When I brought it up with the SO, she admitted to thinking the same thing. We test drove a few of our top contenders for new car in auto trim and they were all soul-sucking. The sport mode on this 7-speed DCT is actually a force to be reckoned with, which is saying something for an auto. Its up there with the DSG on a GTI. And part of what makes it not feel terrible is that with the feel of the shifts and the throttle response, this transmission legitimately has a "driving feel" closer to a manual than a torque-converter auto. There's not much 'sponge' down low, for better and for worse. Sure there's no clutch pedal, and ripping from R to D and peeling away is still a slow and jerky process like it is on any auto, but if you're like me and won't mind giving your clutch leg a rest in traffic but still want an exciting drive, this car don't suck.
 

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And the Crosstrek is tragically, soul-destroyingly slow. Even in manual form. Source: my old roomie of 3 years owned an auto crosstrek for 1.5 of those years and traded it for a manual.
 

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I usually go for the stick shift as well.. but this time I opted for something different.. The Kona was the right size and
Had the most exciting engine and Tranny in this class.. The turbo engine is zippy and does well on regular fuel..
The DCT makes the most of the engines power.. sport mode adds even more to the mix...
I tested the Mazda and the HRV and the Kona looked better, better equipped and more fun to drive. .. best value for the $$
In this segment... IMHO
 
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