Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

That is the entry level to the second-generation Hyundai Kona small SUV vary which went on sale in June this yr.

The all-new Kona addresses a key concern with the earlier mannequin: measurement. It’s larger and roomier in all dimensions, making it extra helpful for extra folks.

It brings a pointy ‘mini Tucson’ design with a number of shapely sheet metallic (and plastic wheel-arch cladding) and slimline horizontal lighting at each ends.

Even the bottom Kona 2.0-litre petrol pushed right here sports activities an EV-like entrance finish design, flashy wheels, and a cutting-edge inside show. It’s one other mannequin vary given an upmarket push.

There is no such thing as a scarcity of opponents within the bustling small SUV market however the brand new Kona sits proper on the pointy finish. Right here’s why.

How a lot does the Hyundai Kona price?

The bottom Kona pushed right here is priced at $32,000 earlier than on-road prices, or about $36,000 drive-away relying in your state of residence. That’s about $5000 greater than the outdated base Kona, and in keeping with the outdated Kona Elite. 

Whereas the entry worth is lots greater than earlier than, in wider context it stays fairly effectively priced at roughly $36,000 drive-away.

The Mazda CX-30 vary opens at round $35,000 drive-away, the Toyota Corolla Cross opens at $41,000, and the Nissan Qashqai at round $37,400. It additionally matches the second-from-base Kia Seltos Sport ($35,390).

Hyundai has saved the vary easy for the Kona, with simply the 2 specification variants and one choices bundle – accessible with three engine selections.

2023 Hyundai Kona vary

  • Kona FWD: $32,000
  • Kona FWD N Line: $36,000
  • Kona Premium FWD: $39,500
  • Kona Premium FWD N Line: $42,500
  • Kona Hybrid: $36,000
  • Kona Hybrid N Line: $40,000
  • Kona Premium Hybrid: $43,500
  • Kona Premium Hybrid N Line: $46,500
  • Kona Turbo AWD N Line: $40,000
  • Kona Premium Turbo AWD N Line: $46,500

Record costs, together with GST however neither state taxes or seller prices.

What’s the Hyundai Kona like on the within?

The important thing level to remove is the brand new Kona’s improved inside area. This mannequin is a considerable 145mm longer total and 60mm longer between the wheels than the outdated one, with considerably extra back-seat headroom and legroom.

Even the bottom Kona has a proximity sensing key that allows you to unlock the automobile with out taking the fob out of your pocket or bag, plus auto-unfolding facet mirrors. You may also use Hyundai’s cellphone app to remotely entry and even remotely begin the automotive for those who favor.

The seats are trimmed in primary material and alter manually, however they provide an excellent quantity of facet and thigh bolstering. The identical material is used on the doorways and sprint to interrupt up the slabs of onerous and considerably cheap-feeling plastics.

Basic match and end feels very stable and necessary touchpoints such because the steering wheel, gear shifter and centre console lid are trimmed in a nicer leather-like materials to carry the atmosphere.

The bottom petrol mannequin makes use of a standard gear shifter flanked by blanked-out button slots, however all different Kona variants have a sleek Ioniq 6-style shift-by-wire dial on the steering column – liberating extra centre tunnel storage.

There’s an excellent quantity of storage scattered about regardless, together with a big centre console and cupholder mixture within the centre tunnel, a rubberised charging pad below the AC controls, and an open part above the glovebox.

Hyundai has not travelled down the trail so many different manufacturers have taken, specifically utilizing touchscreens or haptic pads for each operate. There are buttons and dials for easy local weather management operation and display menu shortcuts, flanked in tasteful trim that resembles brushed aluminium.

The steering wheel has curler dials and buttons on every spoke to entry features similar to lane help, radar cruise management, and audio features – together with voice controls that piggyback your system’s AI. There’s additionally somewhat system on the steering column that screens for indicators of driver distraction.

The fundamental digital instrument cluster reveals velocity, the rev counter and journey information, and modifications colors contingent on the driving mode you’ve chosen. It’s restricted by way of performance however the {hardware} blends properly with the centre touchscreen in a classy single lengthy housing.

The infotainment within the Kona is likely one of the greatest inexpensive techniques in the marketplace. The 12.3-inch panorama touchscreen options fast processing that means straightforward swiping, and the menu layouts and consumer interface designs really feel bang up-to-date.

My wi-fi Android Auto re-paired quickly each time, making streaming and navigating a seamless expertise, whereas the reversing digital camera has a pleasant crisp decision. Even the essential sound system within the base mannequin shocked me, bringing out the complexity and layering in a few of my favorite tunes.

The Kona additionally launched with over-the-air (OTA) software program replace functionality, permitting distant software program and firmware updates for key techniques with out the necessity to go to a workshop. Most EVs have this however the majority of petrol autos at this worth level don’t.

It’s additionally a breeze to hyperlink to the Hyundai Bluelink app by way of QR code, which lets you remotely verify your automotive’s standing and placement, and lock/unlock’ remotely begin and remotely change the local weather management. In time count on apps to regulate ever extra performance, that means the Kona is future-proofed to a sure diploma.

In brief, whereas the supplies and trims in right here very a lot really feel ‘base mannequin’, the format and the know-how used are each bit consultant of the perfect of 2023.

One space the place the outdated Kona was fairly common was inside area. However this mannequin is kind of a bit bigger than the outdated automotive and has moderately sized facet home windows to let extra gentle in.

I’m 194cm and had useable legroom and headroom behind my driving place, making this a serviceable second household automotive or rideshare choice. The again seats supply a higher quantity of reclining as effectively.

Rear-seat occupants get air vents and two USB-C ports (4 within the cabin complete), in addition to seize handles and LED lightning. There may be nevertheless fairly a outstanding driveline hump working longitudinally down the inside flooring, limiting the centre place’s usability.

The boot is bigger than earlier than at 407L (up 33L) and the again seats fold down for longer objects. The ground is kind of shallow and lever however there’s a hidden part under with a space-saver spare wheel.

What’s below the bonnet?

The Kona will ultimately be one of many solely autos offered as a petroleum, a hybrid and an EV, when the vary is accomplished.

The bottom engine fitted to our take a look at automobile is a straightforward 2.0-litre petrol working the effectivity centered Atkinson cycle, like most hybrids. It makes 110kW of energy and a meagre 180Nm of torque, powering the entrance wheels by way of a CVT automated.

Claimed combined-cycle gas consumption is 6.6 litres each 100km, and it may well run on 91 RON or E10 gas.

However the Kona additionally comes with the choice of a 104kW and 265Nm petrol-electric 1.6-litre hybrid that slashes claimed gas financial system to three.9L/100km; or a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol with 146kW and 265Nm, an eight-speed automated, and on-demand all-wheel drive.

Clearly these selections are higher engines by way of, respectively; effectivity and efficiency. Additionally they command greater costs. It’s horses for programs.

How does the Hyundai Kona drive

The 110kW and 180Nm 2.0-litre engine lacks low-down torque, that means it may well get thrashy for those who immediate pressing acceleration – earlier than the CVT simmers the engine velocity down at cruise.

For common commuting although it’s completely fantastic, with enough low-speed response and the flexibility to maintain up in site visitors and sit at 110km/h with none drama.

Gasoline effectivity is okay, with my driving loop returning a median of seven.3 litres each 100km, which is acceptably near the declare.

The Kona FWD 2.0 is aimed toward commuters who actually don’t care about efficiency, with the turbo AWD there for efficiency lovers.

The hybrid in the meantime guarantees to slash gas use and its 32kW electrical motor will bolster low-speed acceleration and refinement. For a further $4000 it strikes me as price it, given it’ll possible maintain onto its resale worth higher as effectively.

The Kona’s new underpinnings, stiffer physique and added insulation assist enhance noise, vibration and harshness from the engine and tyres, lending a extra premium really feel from the motive force’s seat.

The bottom mannequin makes use of a humble rear torsion beam suspension setup whereas the hybrid and turbo use a multi-link format, reflecting its city focus.

However I used to be fairly impressed with the general tune, which concerned Australian enter into this system. The motor-driven steering is effectively weighted, the physique management and dealing with good in opposition to cornering forces, and it each absorbs bumps and recovers from undulations properly.

In comparison with a number of the extra cheap-and-cheerful SUVs on the market from China, there’s a veneer of high quality and added tuning evident within the Hyundai.

What do you get?

Our base Kona comes with the next customary options:


  • 18-inch wheels
  • House-saver spare
  • Proximity sensing key fob
  • Energy-folding facet mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime working lights
  • LED rear lighting


  • Push-button begin
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Manually adjustable fabric seats
  • Over-the-air updates
  • Smartphone app providers
  • Distant begin performance
  • 12.3-inch centre touchscreen
  • AM/FM/DAB+ receivers
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay
  • Wi-fi Android Auto
  • Sounds of Nature presets
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Wi-fi charger and 4 USB-C ports

The Kona Premium provides the next extras:

  • 3D surround-view cameras
  • Distant parking help by way of key fob
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Projector beam LED headlights
  • Privateness glass
  • Powered tailgate
  • Auto-dimming rear mirror
  • Ambient inside lighting colors
  • 12.3-inch instrument cluster improve
  • Linked satellite-navigation
  • Eight-speaker Bose audio system
  • Leather-based-trimmed seats
  • Powered entrance seats with driver’s reminiscence
  • Heated and cooled seats, heated again seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Shift-by-wire gear shifter on steering column

The N Line choices bundle is out there on each fashions for $3000-$4000 and provides:

  • 19-inch wheels (18-inch on Hybrid variants)
  • Physique-coloured cladding
  • N Line entrance bumper, facet skirts, wing-type spoiler, rear bumper
  • Gloss black mirror caps and N Line aluminium badging
  • Twin projector beam LED headlights
  • ‘Seamless Horizon’ centre LED positioning gentle
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Shift-by-wire and paddle shifters
  • Leather-based and Alcantara seats
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 12.3-inch instrument cluster improve
  • N Line steering wheel
  • Black headlining & pillar trims
  • Leather-based-appointed dashboard tray
  • ‘Darkish Metallic’ sprint highlights

Colors throughout the broader vary embody:

  • Atlas White stable
  • Mirage Inexperienced stable
  • Ecotronic Gray mica ($595 further)
  • Final Purple metallic ($595 further)
  • Denim Blue mica ($595 further)
  • Abyss Black mica ($595 further)

Unique to N Line variants are three brash extra exterior colors referred to as Cyber Gray, Neoteric Yellow, and Soultronic Orange.

Is the Hyundai Kona protected?

The revised Kona doesn’t presently have an ANCAP security score, however it definitely comes effectively geared up with energetic and passive security options together with:

  • Blind-spot collision avoidance help
  • Digicam-based driver drowsiness monitor
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping help (line and road-edge)
  • Rear cross-traffic avoidance help
  • Protected Exit Warning (door opening alert)
  • Radar-guided adaptive cruise management
  • Entrance and rear sensors, reversing digital camera
  • Entrance, centre, facet and curtain airbags
  • ISOFIX x 2 and top-tethers x 3
  • Computerized collision notification and SOS operate
  • Distant automobile updates and geo-fencing service

The Kona Premium provides the next:

  • Blind-spot digital camera show in cluster
  • Reverse AEB system
  • 3D surround-view cameras
  • Distant management parking help by way of fob

Hyundai claims the brand new Kona’s physique is stiffer and stronger, which ought to assist with impacts. All of the techniques labored very well, notably the best way the Kona can steer itself by way of corners and mirror the velocity of the automobile forward on highways.

Be aware that the road-sign digital camera monitor system pings you with a chime everytime you inadvertently exceed the velocity restrict, which is useful, albeit somewhat annoying.

How a lot does the Hyundai Kona price to run?

Hyundai supplies a five-year and limitless kilometre guarantee with ongoing roadside help added upon every annual seller service.

The bottom Kona 2.0 FWD’s servicing intervals are each 12 months or 15,000km, with clear pricing: $399 for every of the primary 5 providers.

The hybrid has the identical intervals whereas the turbo AWD mannequin has shorter 10,000km intervals.

CarExpert’s Take

Within the bustling small SUV market, the brand new Kona has carved out a spot close to the highest.

Even the bottom mannequin’s design is eye-catching, its inside applied sciences and connectivity are benchmark, it gives extra space than the pokey outdated mannequin, and provides glorious trip and dealing with for the common consumer.

Downsides embody the weedy base engine, unavoidable worth hikes, and a few cheap-feeling inside plastics. I’d personally go for the hybrid on total steadiness, regardless of the added price.

Consumers after one thing that unlocks soft-road adventures ought to go for a Subaru Crosstrek, consumers who prioritise a luxurious inside really feel may wish to have a look at the Mazda CX-30, and discount hunters ought to have a look at a Haval Jolion.

However those that need the perfect tech, the best design, and are ready to pay for a extra rounded driving expertise ought to go kick the tyres on this Kona – it’s an actual step up over the vastly widespread outdated mannequin.

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MORE: Everything Hyundai Kona
BUY: Hyundai Kona

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