The unique Hyundai Kona was a cool, angular little factor. Based mostly loosely on the i30 Hatch’s platform and one of many earlier entrants into the correctly compact SUV class, the primary iteration was massively profitable for the Korean model.
Now, there’s a brand new one. Based mostly on the identical platform because the Kia Niro in addition to the i30 Sedan (Avante or Elantra in different markets), the brand new 2023 Hyundai Kona is greater and higher than ever.
It’s on a extra superior platform with up to date engines and the newest in Hyundai’s infotainment applied sciences, and now has extra space to higher compete with the likes of the Kia Seltos and Nissan Qashqai.
The Kona additionally presents a litany of variants in a time the place most rivals are simplifying their line-ups. By the tip of the yr there will likely be no fewer than 4 drivetrains accessible throughout 4 trim ranges and two look packages.
The attention-searingly yellow instance you see right here is the 2023 Hyundai Kona N Line 1.6T AWD.
N Line variations of the brand new Kona are a bit of complicated. With the turbo petrol AWD drivetrain, there’s solely N Line and Premium N Line variations accessible, the place the usual Kona and Premium variations can be found with 2.0 FWD petrol and 1.6 Hybrid (HEV) drivetrains, which might then be optioned with the N Line Bundle.
Maybe extra noteworthy is the actual fact the newest Kona 1.6T AWD picks up a brand new eight-speed automated transmission, which must be a welcome enchancment over the outdated seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The N Line Bundle additionally brings a good-looking set of additional options over the bottom Kona specification – is it the Goldilocks variant?
The automobile you see right here is priced from $40,000 earlier than on-road prices.
It’s positioned about mid-way via the vary, and is your most inexpensive ticket into the Kona with a turbocharged AWD drivetrain. For one more $6500 you’ll be able to have a decked-out Kona Premium N Line with the identical engine.
Pricing for the Kona Electrical hasn’t been revealed forward of its launch within the fourth quarter, however we’re anticipating a line-up of variants together with Kona and Premium trim ranges with the N Line choice bundle on each. Hyundai has additionally confirmed it is going to proceed to supply two battery sizes with the brand new iteration.
There’s numerous steel you may get for round $40,000 within the small SUV class, with sporty options together with the GWM Haval Jolion S ($35,990 D/A), Kia Seltos Sport+ 1.6T AWD ($39,300) Mazda CX-30 G25 Touring SP AWD ($42,510), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Exceed AWD ($42,990), Nissan Qashqai ST-L ($42,190), and the VW T-Roc R-Line ($47,090).
Different rivals for comparable cash embody the Honda HR-V (from $36,700 D/A), Renault Arkana Intens ($41,000), Subaru Crosstrek AWD 2.0S ($41,490) and the Toyota Corolla Cross GXL AWD Hybrid ($43,230).
2023 Hyundai Kona pricing:
- 2.0 FWD: $32,000
- 1.6 HEV FWD: $36,000
- Kona N Line
- 1.6 HEV FWD: $40,000
- 1.6T AWD: $40,000
- Kona Premium
- 2.0 FWD: $39,500
- 1.6 HEV FWD: $43,500
- Kona Premium N Line
- 1.6 HEV FWD: $46,500
- 1.6T AWD: $46,500
Costs exclude on-road prices
The brand new Kona is a world away from its predecessor within the cabin, with a better concentrate on upmarket design and expertise, in addition to extra space.
All N Line variations characteristic twin 12.3-inch high-resolution shows for the motive force’s instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen, each working Hyundai’s newest software program interface.
The digital instrument cluster is kind of primary and limits configurability to completely different dial outlines and some completely different menus between the dials, however the added display screen measurement and minimalist design really feel fairly futuristic.
Animations are fluid and the refresh charges are good, which carries over to the central show. On this specification there’s no satellite tv for pc navigation, nevertheless it does get wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with DAB radio in addition to Hyundai’s Bluelink linked providers.
The tiles on the principle menu are harking back to Genesis’s tackle the prevailing Hyundai/Kia software program, and wi-fi smartphone mirroring is snappy and dependable. I did expertise dropouts, nevertheless it was way more dependable than older Hyundai and Kia fashions with the characteristic. Plus, the 12.3-inch show’s decision and response occasions really feel properly upmarket.
Consolation up entrance is fairly good, thanks partly to the ethereal and spacious really feel of the brand new mannequin in addition to comfy, shapely seats that in N Line-spec are trimmed in a mixture of leather-based and Alcantara with brilliant purple accents and top-stitching.
They’re manually adjustable, however there’s loads of motion to discover a good driving place, each within the seats and steering wheel. For those who get one of many Premium fashions, you improve to 10-way energy adjustment with reminiscence and Zero Gravity operate – which reclines the seats proper again like a lounge. You additionally get eight-way energy adjustment for the passenger with the identical Zero Gravity characteristic in larger grades.
Whereas the design and presentation is sweet, with brushed metal-look bits and a pop from the purple accents, the fabric high quality is in want of enchancment within the Kona. The surfaces lining the dashboard and doorways are laborious and scratchy, although high-contact factors like front-centre armrest and door inserts are padded with the same leather-suede mixture because the seats.
Storage is sweet, although. The relocation of the gearshift to behind the steering wheel in all however the base petrol Kona imply the centre console is freed up with heaps of house for storage nooks and cubbies. There’s a spot for all the pieces actually.
There’s a modular cupholder space that may accommodate smaller cups, and there’s a shelf with a wi-fi cellphone charger beneath the centre stack that has a rubberised base to cease issues from sliding round.
There are additionally a pair of USB-C ports and a 12V outlet beneath the centre stack, forward of the Drive/Terrain mode selector and buttons for Auto Maintain, parking digital camera and sensors.
Solely the AWD model will get terrain settings as a result of extra succesful underpinnings, although all variations of the Kona get a number of drive modes – Eco, Regular and Sport – which tailor the steering, throttle response and transmission accordingly.
I additionally recognize the door bins that may accommodate bigger bottles – this has been a grip of mine with Hyundai and Kia fashions of late.
One other key enchancment with the brand new technology is the rear seat which, because of the longer physique and wheelbase, has affordable room for passengers bigger than children.
The physique is 150mm longer (4355mm lengthy) whereas the wheelbase as elevated by 60mm to 2660mm. A 25mm improve in width rounds out the important thing dimensional modifications.
All which means that an above-average grownup like 6’1 me can sit behind my very own driving place with out urgent my knees up in opposition to the seat backs, and there’s higher house for bulkier rear cargo like rear-facing little one seats. Talking of youngsters, there are ISOFIX anchors on the outboard positions and top-tethers behind all three.
There are additionally route air vents behind the centre console and an additional set of two USB-C ports again there, in addition to netted map pockets behind the entrance seats and a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders.
Just like the second row of seating, the boot space has grown over the earlier technology. There’s now 407 litres with all seats in play, up 33L on the outdated Kona.
Additional, Hyundai quotes 1241 litres with the rear seats folded. That’s far more aggressive with the likes of the Kia Seltos (433L-1428L) and Nissan Qashqai (429L-1524L). An area saver spare lives beneath the boot flooring.
In Australia, the Kona is accessible with no fewer than two petrol engines, a petrol-electric hybrid, and shortly there will likely be a pair of pure-electric choices too.
On take a look at we have now the up to date 1.6 T-GDi AWD, which generates 146kW (6000rpm) and 265Nm (1600-4500rpm) from a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Drive is distributed to an on-demand all-wheel drive system by way of a brand new eight-speed automated transmission, which replaces the outdated seven-speed dry-clutch DCT.
The turbo is the thirstiest Kona drivetrain variant, with a mixed gas economic system declare of 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres. Of notice is the city cycle determine of 10.0L/100km, whereas CO2 emissions are rated at 174g/km.
Hyundai nonetheless doesn’t match stop-start expertise to most of its native vary, which little question would assist to deliver down city gas use in site visitors. The Kona remains to be Euro 5-certified, although all variations with petrol tanks (together with HEV) are suitable with cheaper 91 RON unleaded gas.
All variations of the Hyundai Kona quote a most braked towing capability of 1300kg, with a max tow ball obtain of 130kg.
The Kona has at all times been one of many sportier choices within the phase. This new one, significantly on this specification, picks up the place the outdated one left off.
Hyundai and Kia’s dry-clutch DCT by no means felt significantly sporty in on a regular basis driving, quite feeling fairly elastic and torpid when getting off the road and when driving at low speeds round city.
The brand new eight-speed automated, carefully associated to the unit used within the Tucson and Santa Fe, is far smoother and extra responsive, and brings a welcome carry in general refinement.
In regular driving the turbocharged torque down low will get you entering into a easy and relaxed method, with the eight-speeder shifting rapidly and intuitively balancing response with effectivity.
The turbocharged Kona has a buzzy, burbly exhaust notice too, extra on the skin than the within, which is in step with the N Line’s sportier bent.
Regardless of carrying greater 19-inch alloy wheels and low-profile 235/45 Kumho Ecsta efficiency tyres, the Kona N Line rides fairly effectively even over pimpled inside metropolis tarmac.
There’s passive damping customary throughout the vary, however AWD and HEV fashions additionally get a extra subtle multilink rear suspension system over the usual 2.0 FWD’s torsion beam axle.
Whereas in isolation you in all probability wouldn’t discover a lot of a distinction, it helps make the automobile extra settled over bumps and in addition retains the rear extra tied down in bends.
This doesn’t have sufficient grunt or soundtrack to really feel like a correct sub-in for the Kona N, which to date hasn’t been confirmed for a brand new technology as but, nevertheless it definitely appears like one of many extra dynamic small SUVs on the market.
On the open street the added grunt of the turbocharged powertrain helps the Kona to really feel extra at house at triple figures, however there’s a little bit of street noise to take care of which dulls refinement.
The sleek roads in South Korea clearly don’t warrant an excessive amount of sound deadening, in order that’s a knock within the Kona’s all-round armour.
Wind noise is pretty effectively suppressed, and the motive force help methods are fairly helpful too. Adaptive cruise management with cease/go performance take the load off site visitors jams on highways, whereas the Lane Following Help operate retains you centred in your lane which could be useful on longer journeys – although it might really feel a bit of over-assisted for some
Commonplace blind-spot and rear cross-traffic help additional support visibility when negotiating gaps or reversing out of tight areas, the latter augmenting the reversing digital camera with dynamic tips in addition to entrance and rear sensors.
- 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/55 tyres
- LED headlights, daytime working lights
- LED tail lights
- Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
- Keyless entry and begin
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Rear air vents
- 4.2-inch digital instrument show
- 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Bluelink linked providers
- DAB+ digital radio
Kona Premium provides:
- Blind Spot View Monitor
- AEB in reverse
- 3D surround-view digital camera
- Facet parking sensors
- Acoustic entrance windscreen
- Rear privateness glass
- Darkish gray cladding, silver skid plates
- LED dual-projector headlights
- LED entrance, rear indicators
- Energy tailgate
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Bose 8-speaker premium sound
- Leather-based upholstery
- 10-way energy driver’s seat
- 8-way energy passenger seat
- Premium leisure entrance seats
- Heated, ventilated entrance seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated rear seats
- Auto-dimming inside mirror
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Ambient lighting
N Line Package adds:
- N Line bumpers, skid plates, side skirts
- Gloss black rear spoiler
- N badging, wheel caps
- 19-inch wheels with 235/45 tyres (2.0 MPi)
- 18-inch alloy wheels (HEV)
- Chrome twin exhaust
- Black mirror caps, beltline
- Body coloured cladding
- Leather/Alcantara trim
- N steering wheel
- Red air vents, seat highlights
- Dark metal trim highlights
- Black headlining
- Alloy pedals
- Sports scuff plates
- Extras over Kona (base):
- LED dual-projector headlights
- LED front, rear indicators
- Power tailgate
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- Auto-dimming interior mirrors
- Rain-sensing wipers
There’s at present no ANCAP or Euro NCAP score for the brand new Hyundai Kona.
Commonplace security gear consists of:
- 7 airbags incl. front-centre airbag
- Adaptive cruise management with cease & go
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
- Ahead, Reverse
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Blind-spot help
- Excessive-beam help
- Lane Following Help
- Lane hold help
- Main Car Departure Alert
- Parking sensors entrance, rear
- Rear cross-traffic help
- Rear occupant alert
- Reversing digital camera
- Protected exit warning
- Tyre strain monitoring
The Hyundai Kona is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
Upkeep will likely be required each 15,000 kilometres or 12 months within the 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre hybrid, and each 10,000 kilometres or 12 months within the turbocharged petrol.
The primary 5 providers in each the two.0 MPi and the 1.6 T-GDi will set you again $399 every – though that’s good for 75,000km within the 2.0 MPi, and 60,000km within the 1.6 T-GDi on account of their completely different distance necessities.
I noticed an indicated return of 8.5L per 100km over 485km of blended situations over every week of commuting, and a little bit of freeway driving thrown in too. It’s up on the official mixed declare, and on the upper aspect for the phase – one purpose to go for the upcoming Kona Hybrid for a similar cash.
Hyundai has made the Kona an entire lot extra aggressive in one of the hotly-contended segments in market.
With its further measurement, expertise and drivetrain refinements, the brand new Kona is without doubt one of the prime picks in school because of its vast alternative of variants and breadth of capabilities.
Sure the appears are polarising, however that’s at all times been a Kona trait. Now, it’s now not hampered by a tiny again seat and a scarcity of electrification choices. There must be a Kona for almost everybody at this level, particularly as soon as the Hybrid and Electrical arrive on the finish of the yr.
As for whether or not that is the specification to go for, I believe the 1.6 T-GDi AWD is just too costly and thirsty to actually make lots of sense. You’re not going to be taking this off-road so the AWD solely makes when you really need traction for adversarial climate or the odd stint down a gravel path.
For me, the Kona Hybrid shapes as the best choice – even when it’s a must to wait till the fourth quarter to get it – given it’s the identical worth as this turbo all-wheel drive choice if you would like the N Line bits. In any other case it can save you $4000 whereas reducing gas use by nearly 50 per cent primarily based on official figures.
On a base Kona 2.0 FWD or Kona 1.6 HEV FWD, the N Line bundle brings fascinating gadgets resembling projector LED headlights and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, in addition to an influence tailgate and rain-sensing wipers. As a pseudo mid-range variant, it is smart if you would like these gadgets with out spending up on the Premium.
However there’s just a few months wait earlier than we are able to have a strive of the electrified Kona variants. If the associated Kia Niro is something to go by, nevertheless, the Kona Hybrid and Kona Electrical ought to form as compelling choices in a phase nonetheless restricted when it comes to electrified options – keep tuned.
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