Hyundai Kona Review, Specs & Performance

If you're looking for a small SUV with plenty of choice, style and efficiency, you should check out the Kona from Hyundai. This quirky-looking hatchback is available in petrol, hybrid or pure electric form, so there's a version that will suit every need and budget.


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Overview of the Hyundai Kona

Standing out with it's funky design and bright colours, the new Hyundai Kona is one of the most distinctive compact SUV's in the market. It's noticeable, too, that the EV was developed first, which is why the car looks as unique as it does.

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona in a nutshell

The Kona is an excellent fit for people looking for something different from the run-of-the-mill. The second-generation Kona is one of the newest entrants in the crowded small SUV segment, competing with fierce competition like the Nissan Juke, Ford Puma, the Seat Arona, the Skoda Kamiq and the Volkswagen T-Roc.

As well as the aforementioned external styling, it offers a lot of big-car tech inside, such as a giant 12.3-inch panoramic screen with smartphone mirroring, adaptive cruise control, and even self-steering.

With more of us looking at EVs - the standard or long-range versions of the car are excellent – it's also worth taking a closer interest in the hybrid electric (HEV). Hyundai also offers sporty N-Line variants for those who want higher performance levels.




The petrol version of the Kona comes with a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 118bhp and is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. It's a smooth and refined engine that delivers decent performance and economy but can struggle on steep hills when fully loaded.

The hybrid version combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It has more power (139bhp) and torque (265Nm) than the petrol version and can run on battery power for short distances. We'd recommend this engine for those who regularly carry passengers or things.

There's also the more expensive 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that adds a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The electric Kona delivers a choice of 136ps or a 204ps version and can do 60mph in 9.9 seconds in 7.9 seconds, respectively. Drivers get an innovative regenerative system, vehicle-to-load outlets to power other items and active air flaps for fuel efficiency.




The 1.0T engine is good for a WLTP combined figure of 48.7mpg, which is pretty strong for a car of this size. Albeit with a 0-60mph time of 11.8 seconds, you won't be setting the heather alight.


The 1.6 MHEV hybrid delivers stronger performance and an interestingly better economy. With official fuel consumption of 57mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km it's worth considering upgrading for those doing larger distances, mixed style of driving and carrying passengers.

Hyundai Kona Electric

You have two variants for the electric Kona models. The first has a relatively small (but competitively priced) 39kWh battery and a 136ps electric motor. This offers up to 190 miles of range on the combined WLTP cycle.

The second (and will be the most popular option) is the 64kWh battery with a healthy 204ps motor. As mentioned above can offer up to 301 miles of range from a single charge (on the WLTP combined cycle) and can even do 60mph in only 7.9 seconds.

Both versions can take 100kW charging speeds, so a 100kW rapid charger will take around 30 or 47 minutes from 10% to 80%, depending on which battery size you opt for.




While the Kona is not a sporty car to drive, it is easy and comfortable enough for most situations. The steering is light and accurate, the suspension is well-judged, and the brakes impress. The hybrid version has a slightly firmer ride than the petrol version due to its larger wheels and battery pack, adding a bit of extra weight, but it's still a comfortable car for long journeys. The automatic gearbox is mostly smooth and easy to live with.


However, while the Kona is not the most spacious small SUV on the market, it's not the worst we've seen. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with enough adjustment to suit different drivers. The rear seats are tight for taller passengers regarding headroom but acceptable for children and shorter adults. The boot is also on the small side compared to some rivals, with between 366 and 466 litres of space, depending on the chosen model. However, you can fold down the rear seats to create more room if needed.


Basic features for the Hyundai Kona include 17-inch alloys, a rear spoiler with LED lights, rear and front skid plates and a heated leather steering wheel. There's also air-con, tinted glass and automatic windscreen demisting.

Hyundai has also added cruise control, an electric parking brake, rear and front parking sensors and keyless entry for convenience.

Drivers also get sat-nav, downhill brake control, forward collision avoidance and intelligent speed limit assist. Many drivers will also like the eCall system to contact emergency services when needed.

The car's interior is well-built and well-equipped, with plenty of soft-touch materials and glossy black trim. The dashboard is logically laid out and easy to use, with precise instruments and buttons. The infotainment system is one of the best in its class, with a crisp display, intuitive menus and quick responses.

It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and wireless charging for compatible phones. The Kona also has plenty of safety features, such as lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking. Hyundai stands out here for value for money where the kit is concerned.


Hyundai has always backed up its models with a stronger-than-average warranty, and the Kona is no exception. It's one of the best in the industry, with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. It also has a good reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction, as shown by its high ranking in various driver surveys.

Overall the Hyundai Kona is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a small SUV that's stylish, efficient and well-equipped. It is a solid and sensible choice that won't let you down. Whichever version you go for, you'll get a lot of car for your money and a lot of peace of mind. As a leasing choice, the Kona is highly recommended.