The Car Connection Hyundai Kona Overview
The Hyundai Kona is a compact crossover SUV that's the smallest in the automaker's portfolio—for now.
New for the 2018 model year, the Kona seats five and offers a 4-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and an option for all-wheel drive.
For 2019, Hyundai made forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking standard, and added a second USB port in the console.
In a size class with adventurously styled vehicles like the Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR, the Kona is said to predict the styling themes Hyundai SUVs will wear in the near future.
In 2019 the Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric were named the North American Utility of the Year. Hyundai carried over the Kona with relatively few changes through 2021.
MORE: Read our review of the 2021 Hyundai Kona
Hyundai likens the wedgy Kona’s pronounced fenders and body cladding to armor. Hyundai caps the Kona with a contrasting roof, and fits it with a tall mesh grille and LED headlights, concave door panels, stubby rear roof pillar and slim tailights, for an on-trend body. The interior is organized around a central infotainment display, flanked by a softly sculpted dash.
With the Kona, Hyundai offers a range of small-displacement 4-cylinder engines. American-spec Konas will likely adopt a base 2.0-liter inline-4 with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This 4-cylinder couples to a 6-speed automatic. The company estimates 0-60 mph for this version at under 10 seconds, and top speed at 121 mph.
A 1.6-liter turbo-4 puts out 175 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque. This familiar powertrain, found in the Elantra, pairs with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Top speed is a claimed 131 mph, 0-60 mph an estimated 7.7 seconds.
Other markets with see a 1.0-liter turbo-4 and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. A battery-electric Kona has been introduced; it has a 258-mile range.
A three-mode drive selector changes power delivery and shift timing through a range of economy, normal, and sport modes.
The Kona rides atop a new architecture with MacPherson struts in front. Front-drive models have a torsion-beam rear suspension, while all-wheel-drive cars get multi-link control arms in back. Hyundai says the Kona will have a high seating position and SUV-style ground clearance, but crossover levels of ride refinement and comfort.
The Kona’s cargo space has two levels and split-fold rear seats. Overall, it’s 164.0 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, 61.0 inches tall, and rides on a 102.4-inch wheelbase.
On the safety front, the Kona offers forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.
Other tech features will include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, across a range of 5.0-, 7.0-, and 8.0-inch touchscreen displays. A rearview camera, in-car data services, navigation, a head-up display, Bluetooth with audio streaming, HD and satellite radio, and smartphone wireless charging will be available.