So, a subcompact crossover can be enjoyable to drive. It did not appear doable earlier than the Hyundai Kona got here alongside, however certain sufficient, this funky little city runabout managed to tug it off … and nonetheless does. Its obtainable turbocharged engine that blows away most rivals definitely helps. So too does its glorious Kona Electrical variant. But, even probably the most primary 2021 Hyundai Kona with its plain-jane 147-horsepower engine is a fascinating and stunning sprightly automotive to drive. The distinctive styling definitely provides to the enjoyment as nicely.

Clearly, the Kona could make an emotional connection higher than most of its rivals. It is also fairly priced, is filled with options, has a beneficiant guarantee and gives all-wheel drive, so there’s some substance behind the enjoyable. Nonetheless, it is one of many least sensible subcompact crossovers (the cargo space specifically is sort of small) and should you’re searching for that tall, commanding view of the street, you will not discover it right here. That limits its broad enchantment, however should you’re searching for a enjoyable and funky little crossover to drive round city, it is robust to beat.

What’s new for 2021?

A brand new Evening Version debuts, following development of gloss black wheels and trim utilized liberally to an automotive’s exterior and inside. Hyundai has eradicated the Sundown Orange and Lime Twist paint colours, together with their corresponding inside accents. This pop of coloration was one of many issues that helped differentiate the Kona, although we suppose if Hyundai killed it, clients weren’t as eager on coloration as we’re (the existence of the Evening Version definitely backs that up).

Be aware that there shall be vital updates made for the 2022 Kona, together with a good-looking front-end redesign and the brand new, sporty Kona N Line.

What is the Kona inside and in-car know-how like?

Most inside plastics are unremarkable, even for this section. The design itself additionally is not probably the most attention-grabbing, however, there are at the very least various textures that assist break up the monotony and customary houndstooth fabric upholstery. Sadly, the Lime Twist and Sundown Orange accents have been discontinued. The Kona Electrical stands out with lighter sprint and door colours, together with an obtainable two-tone coloration scheme of creme and blue. It additionally has a novel rising middle console with an digital shifter and completely different storage (photograph beneath).

With both design, the low sprint gives good visibility, the steering wheel sufficiently adjusts, and higher trims profit from an influence driver seat that gives extra adjustability than most within the section. The driving place can be greater than an automotive, however we would not say you get the “commanding view” of the street such as you’d get in an even bigger crossover.

One of many Kona’s main perks is the easy-to-use infotainment system. As in different Hyundai merchandise, it combines a touchscreen, loads of bodily shortcut buttons, and importantly, bodily quantity and tuning knobs. The person interface is not the prettiest, but it surely’s straightforward to learn and comprehend, and it responds shortly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary options on all fashions. Additionally provided is a head-up show, an uncommon function for this section and worth level. It is a coloration unit that shows on a transparent plastic panel that rises up on the dashboard reasonably than the windshield.

How large is the Kona?

The Hyundai Kona is on the small aspect of the subcompact crossover class, which ranges from pretty tight autos such because the Kona and the Mazda CX-3 to notably spacious autos such because the Subaru Crosstrek, Nissan Kicks and Chevrolet Trailblazer. It is one of many shortest in total size, and that is mirrored in notably tight rear legroom. Your backseat passengers ought to at the very least be happier than they’d be within the much more cramped CX-3 or the claustrophobic Toyota C-HR.

Cargo area can be among the many smallest within the class. In line with the specs, there’s about 19 cubic toes of area behind the Kona’s raised again seat. That is solely 2 cubes lower than the Subaru Crosstrek, which is not a lot on paper, however in follow, the distinction is immense. Its cargo space simply is not as deep or helpful. We managed to suit too fewer midsize suitcases within the Kona than within the Crosstrek or Kicks. We even managed to suit extra stuff within the smaller Hyundai Venue due to its intelligent two-level ground. Nonetheless, the Kona is healthier than a CX-3 or C-HR.

What are the efficiency and gasoline financial system?

This part is often fairly easy for different subcompact SUVs, however not so the Kona because it’s obtainable with two turbocharged fuel engines and an electrical powertrain.

The entry-level engine provided on the SE and SEL trim ranges is a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four that makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a traditional six-speed computerized, and might be had with both front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Some rivals do not provide AWD in any respect (C-HR, Kicks, Kia Soul). Gas financial system is 27 mpg metropolis, 33 freeway and 30 mixed with FWD. It lowers to 25/30/27 with AWD, which is a substantial drop lately.

Shifting as much as the Evening Version, Restricted and Final trim ranges brings a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four making 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque that blows away almost each competitor. This engine comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission and is once more obtainable with both front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Regardless of a giant distinction in energy, each engines return almost the identical gasoline financial system. The turbo will get 28/32/30 with FWD and 26/29/27 with AWD.

However for max effectivity, there’s the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electrical, pictured beneath. Its single electrical motor produces the equal of 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. It is front-wheel-drive solely. Electrical vary is an amazing 258 miles and its effectivity generally is corresponding to the Chevrolet Bolt, and only a bit higher than the Kia Niro Electrical and Nissan Leaf.

  • Picture Credit score: Hyundai

What is the Kona prefer to drive?

The Kona is an impressively nimble little crossover, whatever the model you get. Steering is fast and well-weighted, and the automotive corners with solely delicate physique roll. The nice visibility and small dimension additional add to its fun-to-drive nature. The journey is compliant and nicely managed, however is a bit stiff relative to a Honda HR-V or Nissan Kicks.

The bottom 2.0-liter engine is correct on par with the competitors, which implies it is enough. It is on the gradual aspect and will get buzzy when flooring the throttle, but it surely’s additionally pleasantly responsive. Its torque converter computerized transmission picks gears easily and fairly promptly. There’s even a Sport mode that sharpens transmission and throttle response even additional. Altogether, it makes a compelling case to skip the turbo engine.

In fact, the turbo engine makes its personal compelling case. Its 175 horsepower, 195 pound-feet of torque, and subsequent acceleration blow away nearly all the pieces else within the section. It is a distinction you’ll be able to completely discover and recognize. It has a really robust mid-range and makes the Kona really feel genuinely sporty. It may be a bit noisy like the two.0-liter, however the energy makes up for it. The turbo engine is paired with a dual-clutch computerized transmission that definitely shifts sooner than the automated and does nicely at selecting a great gear. It is also an enhancement over previous Hyundai dual-clutch transmissions, avoiding their hesitant responses at low speeds, but it surely additionally is not as clean as the two.0-liter engine’s computerized.

Most of the identical dynamic attributes apply to the Kona Electrical, and if something, the added battery weight really improves it by reducing the middle of gravity. Additionally, as an electrical automotive, it advantages from the everyday silent wave of all-electric torque when accelerating and from the heavy regenerative braking that makes one-pedal driving doable. As a small, urban-focused electrical automotive, the Kona Electrical shines.

What extra can I learn in regards to the Hyundai Kona?

Hyundai Kona vs Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Kia Soul

Our complete full comparability check of subcompact crossovers. The Kona scored nicely however didn’t come out on prime.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electrical Evaluation | Residing, loving the life electrical

Learn extra specifics in regards to the electrical Kona based mostly on every week our varied editors spent with it.


2018 Hyundai Kona SEL 2.0-liter Evaluation | Decelerate and lower your expenses

We check a Kona with the bottom 2.0-liter engine and the sweet-spot SEL trim degree.

2018 Hyundai Kona Final 1.6T Evaluation | The muscle has arrived

We additionally examined the range-topping Final with the turbocharged engine improve. Studying all of those critiques offers you a well-rounded, in-depth have a look at all the Kona line-up.

What options can be found and what is the worth?

The 2021 Hyundai Kona beginning worth of $21,540 is sort of cheap given its basic excellence and the quantity of ordinary tools you get. The prolonged five-year guarantee helps, too. Subcompact SUVs might be sparsely outfitted to start out, however the Kona SE will get customary alloy wheels, computerized headlights, driver help tech (see security part), a blind-spot mirror, a height-adjustable driver seat, fabric upholstery, a six-speaker audio system, a primary touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and two USB ports.

The SE is nice worth, however the SEL is maybe even higher as for $1,800 you get larger wheels, blind-spot warning, rear privateness glass, roof rails, proximity entry and push-button begin, heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite tv for pc radio. The opposite trims are additionally fairly priced, however this looks like the candy spot.

All costs beneath embrace the $1,140 vacation spot cost. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 choice on all of them. Additionally, by way of the Kona Electrical, remember the fact that it’s eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit score plus addition doable state credit.

Yow will discover a breakdown of every Kona trim degree’s options, specs and native pricing right here on Autoblog. The Kona Electrical is right here.

SE: $21,540
SEL: $23,340
SEL Plus: $25,190
Evening Version: $26,740
Restricted: $27,340
Final: $29,190

Electrical SEL: $38,330
Electrical Restricted: $42,940
Electrical Final: $46,540
Electrical Slide: Marcia Griffiths

What are its security tools and crash scores?

Each 2021 Hyundai Kona comes customary with ahead collision warning, computerized emergency braking, lane-keeping help, and driver inattention monitoring as customary options. The SEL provides blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning. The Final trim degree then provides rear parking sensors, computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, computerized excessive beam headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

The federal government gave the Kona an ideal 5 stars for total, entrance and aspect crash safety. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security gave the 2020 Kona its highest award of High Security Decide on account of incomes the best score of “Good” in all crash exams, the best ahead collision prevention score of “Superior” and having non-compulsory headlights rated “Good.” The one weak factors in IIHS analysis embrace “Poor” rated headlights on base fashions (that is typical for the business) and baby seat LATCH anchors with “Marginal” accessibility.

West Coast Editor James Riswick and Information Editor Joel Stocksdale contributed to this assessment.

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