In the subcompact SUV class there are only a few good options because some just poorly executed.
I haven't driven a Hyundai Kona, but it sounds like a really great value. It's spacious, can be equipped with features found on more expensive cars, and has a 100k mile/10 year powertrain warranty.
If you didn't like the power of the Encore you probably won't like the engine in the HR-V either, especially since it has a CVT (engine constantly revs, creates droning noise, good for MPGs, not fun). Huge cargo space, pleasant interior, base model is well-equipped, and it's reliable. The ride is harsh though, like the Honda Fit it is based off of. Has some good traits to it, some bad ones, too.
The Mazda CX-3 will be the most fun to drive option. It is the best looking one subjectively. The ride is actually not as badly rated as the HR-V according to Consumer Reports. One of the only subcompacts that don't have a CVT.
Some cars you should test drive:
The Subaru Crosstrek is seriously the one you need to test drive. It has a ride that rivals many small luxury SUVs. It has a higher ride height than most subcompacts. I'm not a fan of Subarus, but the Crosstrek is probably the best in the subcompact SUV class. For your three priorities it checks all the boxes. The bad: it is slow and has a CVT, but it is really fuel efficient. Not as fun as a CX-3, but not bad. It's an easy car to live with.
Avoid the Nissan Rogue Sport because of the unreliable transmission, Jeep Renegade, and Fiat 500X.