Hyundai Kona 2023 experience | Auto Express
The new Hyundai Kona is a great example of how to listen to feedback and act on it. Hyundai has improved its small SUV sensibly, offering enough extra practicality in this model to satisfy those looking for their next family vehicle and keep up with a much more polished cabin feel compared to the original Kona. Overall, the interior is smart and logical, featuring integrated and intuitive technology.
Admittedly, the bold, sci-fi-inspired design may not be for everyone, and there are cheaper compact SUVs out there, but at the moment the Kona – and the Kona Electric in particular – look like very good value for such a mature and well-equipped vehicle. And a well rounded car. It’s one of the many reasons why we crowned the new Hyundai Kona the Small SUV of the Year and Car of the Year for 2023.
Our selection: Hyundai Kona Electric Advanced Convenience Package
About Hyundai Kona
The first Hyundai Kona arrived in 2018 and was a huge success. Its unconventional styling certainly helped it stand out in the sea of small SUVs it was competing against, while the choice of petrol, hybrid and all-electric powertrains meant there was a Kona to suit almost every taste and every budget. There was also a fast version in the form of the Kona N. But it had its drawbacks, with the cramped rear compartment and relatively small trunk being the biggest.
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However, when it came to developing its replacement, Hyundai says it listened carefully to feedback from Mk1 Kona owners and it shows. The all-new second-generation Hyundai Kona is larger, more spacious and more practical than the original model, thanks in part to the K3 platform (also used in the latest Kia Niro) that sits beneath the car’s semi-floor body.
The Kona may have grown in size, but its main competitors remain the best in the small SUV and crossover segment. These include the Jeep Avenger, Ford Puma, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc, as well as its sister car, the Kona Niro. A few are also offered with the option of combustion and electric power, such as Peugeot, Jeep and Kia.
Kona has stuck with the same engine choice, meaning entry-level models are powered by either a 1.0-litre or 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that can be paired with either a six-speed or seven-speed manual gearbox. Dual-clutch automatic speed.
Next is the Kona Hybrid. It uses a 1.6-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, assisted by a single electric motor and a modest 1.32 kilowatt-hour battery. It’s a full hybrid, which means you don’t need to charge it yourself, but fuel economy is improved compared to the regular petrol variants.
The Kona Electric sits at the top of the range. There are two versions available: The standard-range model is powered by a 48.4 kWh battery that’s good for 234 miles on a single charge, according to Hyundai. Meanwhile, the Kona Electric Long Range Jet surpasses the 300-mile mark, with a maximum range of 319 miles. Like the rest of the Kona lineup, the EVs are front-wheel drive.
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Once you’ve chosen the model you want, there’s also the matter of trim levels; The entry-level Advance (the only option for the standard-range Kona Electric), the sportier-looking N Line and N Line S, plus the range-topping Final spec. More expensive models add luxuries like leather upholstery, a sunroof, and a Bose stereo, but even the base Kona is generously equipped with a 12.3-inch digital display, a large central touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alloy wheels, keyless entry, and parking sensors. Forward and backward, in addition to a rear camera.
There are several option packages available too, such as the Convenience Package for the Kona Electric, which adds heated front and rear seats, and a wireless charging pad to entry-level Advanced-spec models. Lux packages are offered for all three Konas, adding different kit such as ‘Premium Relaxation’ front seats and a remote smart park assist, depending on the trim level you bundle them with.
Prices for the regular Hyundai Kona start at just under £26,000, rising to more than £33,500 if you get the top-of-the-range version with the more powerful 1.6-litre engine and seven-speed DCT automatic transmission. The Kona Hybrid starts north of £30,000, but can rise to more than £34,000 if you want all the goodies that come with the Ultimate trim.
Finally, the standard Kona Electric range currently starts at just under £35,000. Upgrading to the Long Range model, with its larger batteries and extra range, adds £3,600 to the price of the Kona Electric, bringing it to nearly £38,600. The top models in the range are priced at more than £43,000.
For an alternative review of the Hyundai Kona, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk…