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In-depth reviews

Hyundai Kona (2018-2023) review

The Hyundai Kona has funky looks and great on-board tech, although isn't as good to drive as the class leaders

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£26,040 to £35,140
  • Refined cruiser
  • Good safety kit
  • Choice of hybrid or all-electric drive
  • Stiff ride on big wheels
  • Dull interior
  • Cramped rear space
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The Hyundai Kona is a car that clearly uses its design to draw in buyers. It's not that rewarding to drive, with lifeless steering and not much dynamic polish, although Hyundai has attempted to address this shortcoming with revisions to the 2021 facelifted model's chassis and suspension set-up.

The manufacturer has succeeded in improving the Kona's ride, particularly over pockmarked surfaces, but there's not as much passenger or luggage space on board as you'll find in some competitors.

About the Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona is the South Korean brand's entry in the small SUV and crossover segment, with its long list of rivals including the Nissan JukeRenault CapturPeugeot 2008Citroen C3 Aircross, Vauxhall Mokka and SEAT Arona, not to mention the Stonic from sister brand Kia. So it's clearly an important model for Hyundai, which gave the Kona a facelift in 2021 and is launching an all-new second generation model in 2023.

The outgoing Hyundai Kona is available with a choice of petrol and electric powertrains. The entry-level Kona features a 1.0-litre petrol engine and mild-hybrid tech, while the full hybrid version – simply called the Kona Hybrid – employs a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 34bhp electric motor, allowing it to cover to short distances on electric power alone.

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Of course, the Kona Electric is the greenest version in the range, and offers a range of up to 300 miles if you get the larger 64kWh. Stick with the standard 39kWh battery however, and the Kona EV will cover 189 miles on a single charge, according to Hyundai. If you're more interested in straight line speed, the Kona N performance model uses a 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and will do 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.

The Kona is offered in Hyundai's usual selection of SE Connect, Premium, N Line and Ultimate specifications, with prices starting from around £23,600 for the entry-level mild-hybrid version, or roughly £26,300 for the Kona Hybrid. The all-electric Kona starts from around £32,000 to nearly £40,000 for the Ultimate version with the bigger battery, while the Kona N is somewhere in the middle, starting at just over £36,000.

Standard equipment on all Konas includes alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control and a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. All but the base model also come with a 10.25-inch central touchscreen, front parking sensors, heated front seats and steering wheel, and Krell hi-fi, but N Line specification adds with more aggressive front and rear styling, on top of the extra kit.

Frequently Asked Questions
The Hyundai Kona is refined, very frugal and comes with lots of kit as standard, but it's certainly not the most practical small SUV on the market.

For an alternative review of the Hyundai Kona, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0T Advance 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,040

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0T Advance 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,040

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6T N Line S 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £33,840
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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