In-depth reviews

Hyundai Kona - Interior, design and technology

Daring looks, smart cabin and excellent infotainment make the Hyundai Kona’s cabin a standout in the class

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

5.0 out of 5

£25,700 to £45,595
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It seems like Hyundai’s design team, with SangYup Lee (formerly of Bentley) at the helm, is on a mission to steal some of the thunder away from supercar owners, who have been hogging the limelight on the road for far too long. In just a few years, the brand has turned its range of sensible family SUVs and hatchbacks into a portfolio of some of the most dramatic, head-turning models on the market.

Among them are the latest Tucson SUV, Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 EVs, and the new Santa Fe seven-seater, which – whether you love their looks or not – stand out in hugely competitive segments. The Kona is the culmination of everything bold the brand has pulled off up to now; it combines the chiselled body lines and muscular arches of the Tucson with a futuristic front end and pixel lights, like those found on its Ioniq line-up.

The interior has been more heavily influenced by the Ioniq 5 hatchback and Ioniq 6 saloon. The dashboard is dominated by a dual-screen infotainment set-up – standard on every Kona – with three groups of physical climate controls and other shortcut buttons located below the centre touchscreen. Overall, the cabin feels bright, airy and spacious.

The pure-petrol and hybrid versions of the Kona are available in four trim levels – Advance, N Line, N Line S and Ultimate – while the Kona Electric only comes in Advance or Ultimate-spec.

Entry-level models get 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch on hybrids), along with body-coloured door handles, mirrors, spoiler and skid plates. Inside you’ll find dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch instrument display, central touchscreen of 12.3 inches with sat-nav, Apple CarPlayAndroid Auto, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, plus a reversing camera.

N Line trim gives the car a more sporty look, thanks to different front and rear bumpers, side skirts, 18-inch alloy wheels, black door mirrors and roof, plus body-colour wheelarches. Petrol and hybrid N Line models also get twin-exit exhaust tips, while the interior now features aluminium pedals, and heated N Line cloth seats front and rear. Extra kit includes Ambient lighting, a powered tailgate, heated steering wheel and a wireless smartphone charging pad.

Next up is the N Line S. This adds Alacantara and leather upholstered seats (heated and ventilated) with electric adjustable, three-zone air conditioning and a Bose sound system. N Line and N Line S models are also available with a two-tone roof.

Finally, sitting at the top of the Kona line-up is Ultimate trim. Range-topping models get a full-width daytime running light at the front, LED headlights, black leather seats, a sunroof and the Bose stereo.

A few optional extras are available, with the particular highlights being the Comfort pack on entry-level Advance Kona Electric models that adds heated seats all around, a heated steering wheel and wireless phone charging, or the Lux pack available on N Line S or Ultimate trims, which includes memory settings for the driver’s seat, and Hyundai’s ‘Premium Relaxation’ front seats that recline – a somewhat useful feature in the electric version that allows you to rest more comfortably while waiting for your car to charge when taking a long trip.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Every Kona features a 12.3-inch display behind the steering wheel paired with a 10.25-inch central touchscreen in petrol and hybrid models, while Kona Electrics feature another 12.3-inch display in the centre of the dash. The displays all look great and are fairly responsive, too.

The Kona also features the latest version of Hyundai’s infotainment system. The brand’s software was already one of the most intuitive and user-friendly set-ups we had tested, but the new system in the Kona is even better. For instance, the home page is now made up of large blocks, so finding the right menu is straightforward, but you can always use the physical shortcut buttons below the screen if you want. Alternatively, you can also use your favourite music and navigation apps via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which are standard-fit but not wireless.

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