2020 Hyundai Kona review: An outstanding vehicle with standout styling

2020 Hyundai Kona

The Kona’s entrance conclude is busier than downtown Seoul at hurry hour. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Like pineapple as a pizza topping, you are going to either love the Hyundai Kona’s looks or not, and you can make a decision for yourself if it can be a little something you want to make monthly payments on. If, on the other hand, you’re firmly in the naysayer camp due to the fact of the design, that’s a disgrace due to the fact there is so considerably to like in this article.

Table of Contents


  • Robust authentic-environment gasoline financial system
  • Helpful and valuable tech
  • Nicely intended interior
  • Spunky performance

Will not Like

  • Small-velocity transmission judders
  • Motor sounds like loss of life
  • Backseat is a little tight

I get it. This crossover’s styling is not for all people. The Kona is a small automobile with a large amount of grille. That slitlike applique over the major opening looks like a total afterthought. People superangular lamp assemblies that residence the daytime working lights are positively alien. And then there is certainly the darkish-gray entire body cladding, which is always of questionable tastefulness. Individually, I will not mind the Kona’s design and recognize that Hyundai was willing to acquire a gamble in this article due to the fact some of this crossover’s rivals are rather unexciting, like, waiting on hold with your world wide web provider supplier unexciting. Seriously, have you viewed a Ford EcoSport?

To charm to a wide vary of drivers, the Hyundai Kona is offered in five trim amounts, from entry-degree SE to highfalutin’ Final. My top rated-shelf all-wheel-generate tester rolls on trendy 18-inch alloy wheels, is equipped with standard LED headlights and features loads of driver-guidance tech.

The Kona competes with other subcompact crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks, while potential buyers are very likely to also cross-store Hyundai’s sister company’s Kia Soul, which has an similar wheelbase of 102.four inches. All these autos, and many other folks including the Toyota C-HR and Chevy Trax, are a equivalent measurement, while this Hyundai is the shortest of that group at just 164 inches from hood to hatch.

Curiously, the C-HR’s excess size will not translate into supplemental interior space. At 19.2 cubic feet, the Kona has .one cubic foot more cargo capability than the Toyota. Drop its backrest and that gain grows drastically, with capability topping out at forty five.8 cubes when compared with the C-HR’s 37 cubic feet. The HR-V, Kicks and Trax all offer more cargo space than the Kona, while Kia’s Soul is the hauling champion in this article, with 62.one cubic feet of highest space.

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

This vehicle’s backseat is relaxed, but a little more legroom would be appreciated.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Kona’s backseat is also on the tighter side, with a claimed 34.six inches of legroom. That is more than enough space, while I do want my knees had just a contact more respiratory place. Noggin space, on the other hand, is superb for my six-foot frame.

Figures apart, the remainder of this Hyundai’s cabin is fantastically crafted. The dashboard’s design is uncomplicated, moreover there are loads of wonderful components. Rigid polymers are attractively grained and there is certainly a wonderful swath of gentle plastic working throughout the dashboard. A equivalent content on the doorway uppers would be wonderful and considerably more elbow-pleasant, but this is a funds-cost automobile, so you won’t be able to be expecting it all. Interior storage space is good for a smaller sized crossover. You will find a cubby forward of the shifter that conveniently accommodates a mobile phone, wallet and other small items. The bin beneath the middle armrest is decently sized, while a couple of more nooks and crannies for storing junk could possibly be wonderful.

My Kona Final tester’s standard leather-based seating surfaces look good but experience more like vinyl than just about anything that was shucked off a residing, respiratory creature. Brightening up an usually inky-black interior are vivid-environmentally friendly accents about the air vents, starter button, shifter base and even on the seats in the type of the two piping and contrast stitching. These flourishes echo the exterior paint coloration my Kona is dressed in, a luminous hue identified as lime twist. This cornea-accosting paint is certainly not for all people, but I consider it truly makes the Kona pop and is totally in trying to keep with its youthful demeanor. If you won’t be able to take care of environmentally friendly like this, a palette of other colours is offered, which consists of the requisite black, white, silver and gray, but a searing orange and a denimlike blue are also on the menu.

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

This is a well-intended and nicely developed interior.

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Final models have an 8-inch pill-fashion touchscreen that’s mounted large on the dashboard wherever it can be uncomplicated to achieve. This display is household to a typically likable infotainment technique, just one that’s comparatively uncomplicated to use and fairly responsive. It is really certainly just one of the much better offerings on the industry today, primarily considering the fact that it has embedded navigation and consists of an 8-speaker Infinity audio technique. Greater-conclude versions of the Kona also function a four.2-inch reconfigurable screen in the meter cluster, which is wherever you can retain keep track of of gasoline financial system and keep abreast of the lane-trying to keep technique, amid other items. 

No make a difference the design, Apple CarPlay and Android Car are standard. The exact is legitimate of lane-trying to keep aid, ahead collision warning and a driver notice keep track of. That lane-centering technique is especially superb, just about as excellent as what Honda or Nissan offer. (Amongst mass-industry producers, their adaptive cruise-control and lane-centering systems are some of the finest.) Stepping up the ladder, rear cross-website traffic inform and blind-spot checking are integrated on all but the most primary Kona design. At last, the Final trim degree is the only just one that comes with computerized large beams, adaptive cruise control and a helpful head-up display, which tasks valuable details like automobile velocity on to a individual combiner panel that pops up from the dashboard. If you will not treatment to use this function, that element folds out of the way at the press of a button.

Two powertrains are offered in the Kona. Reduce-conclude models arrive with a 2.-liter four-cylinder motor that’s excellent for 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, figures that examine really favorably with what is offered in rival models. It is really paired with a regular six-velocity computerized transmission. Constrained and Final variants, on the other hand, function a one.six-liter turbo-four that’s appreciably more powerful, churning out a hundred seventy five hp and 195 lb-ft of twist. Front- or all-wheel generate is offered with either powertrain, a wonderful choice to have. Rivals including the Kicks, C-HR and Soul do not offer this traction-enhancing function.

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

Strong and effective, the Kona’s drivetrain could be smoother.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

People motor output figures may possibly not look all that impressive, but the Kona’s force-fed four-cylinder delivers loads of torque during its running vary, which assists this crossover accelerate with unpredicted simplicity, while there is a trade-off: This is not the most enjoyable powerplant ever developed. It sounds sickly when pushed tough, like a connecting rod could possibly liberate itself at any moment by punching a window in the cylinder block. This motor is also a little bit on the buzzy side, at periods impersonating a random-orbital sander by sending little tingles by means of the Kona’s construction.

The 7-velocity dual-clutch transmission is generally speedy to change gears and it can be typically clean whilst going about its small business. Overall, it can be a excellent device, if not fairly a good just one. Multigear downshifts can acquire a 2nd or so to manifest when you flooring the accelerator, but many thanks to that meaty torque band this is hardly ever important. The larger trouble with this transmission is that it judders ever so somewhat when getting off from a standstill. No, it will not shake the automobile, but you can experience the drivetrain quivering. Twin-clutch gearboxes have their positive aspects, but they just about by no means experience as clean or responsive at low speeds as transmissions equipped with standard torque converters. 

Underway, the Kona is impressively refined. This crossover’s interior is well-defended towards wind and street sound, the journey is well-isolated and its brake pedal is company and uncomplicated to modulate. As for steering, it can be completely enjoyable, with a speedy ratio that makes the automobile experience light-weight and maneuverable. The Kona is almost certainly more satisfying to generate than any of its key rivals, most likely with the exception of Mazda’s CX-3. It should really be much quicker than an HR-V or Trax, and its steering is orders of magnitude much better than the Nissan’s, which is more standoffish than a moody teen.   

With turbocharged electrical power less than its hood and an all-wheel-generate technique spinning every tire, my top rated-shelf Kona Final is rated at 26 miles per gallon town and 29 mpg on the freeway. Blended, it should really return 27 mpg, a figure that’s woefully inaccurate. In authentic-environment use I obliterated that figure, averaging a whisker considerably less than 35 mpg in combined driving, which is totally stellar. 

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

The Kona is an superb small crossover. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

How considerably does this South Korean excellence price tag? Eschew all selections and you should really be capable to generate household in an entry-degree Kona SE for about $21,440, a cost that consists of $one,a hundred and forty in freight prices. This figure is really equivalent to the base price ranges of a lot of key rivals, while curiously, the most-primary Soul undercuts it by just about 3 grand. 

The Kona I am assessing in this article checks out for about $31,000 including vacation spot expenses. All-wheel generate adds $one,400 to the base cost, that extravagant environmentally friendly paint charges an supplemental $300 and carpeted flooring mats even further inflate the sticker by $one hundred fifty five. 

With turbocharged torque, an upscale interior and superb driver-guidance tech, the 2020 Hyundai Kona is just one of the finest small crossovers you can purchase today. Confident, it may possibly be a little tighter inside of than some of its rivals and the transmission could be much better dialed in, but the rest of this automobile is so persuasive it can be uncomplicated to dismiss these minimal faults. If you won’t be able to stay with the Kona’s styling, well, I guess that’s your loss.