Favourites
Hyundai Kona Review logo

Hyundai Kona Review

Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona
Hyundai Kona

1/9

Hyundai Kona

2/9

Hyundai Kona

3/9

Hyundai Kona

4/9

Hyundai Kona

5/9

Hyundai Kona

6/9

Hyundai Kona

7/9

Hyundai Kona

8/9

Hyundai Kona

9/9

1 / 9

heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Funky looking, average driving crossover

Best bits

  • Generously equipped
  • Great infotainment hardware
  • Five-year-warranty

Not so great

  • Limited engine range
  • Drab interior design
  • Small boot

Read by

Hyundai Kona frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Hyundai Kona front interior

On the inside

Hyundai Kona frontright exterior

Driving

Hyundai Kona central console

How much does it cost to run

Hyundai Kona boot open

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Hyundai Kona

"The Kona ticks plenty of boxes for crossover buyers, with its funky exterior and a lofty driving position that make it easy to drive in town. Still, the bland interior and compromised practicality do mean there are better family cars, and the petrol-only engine range might not suit those buyers looking to cover high annual mileages."

Hyundai Kona frontleft exterior

The Hyundai Kona is a small SUV that tries to cash-in on the current crossover craze. It’s available in lots of eye-catching colours, a striking design and (as with most Hyundais now) a generous serving of standard kit. 


The Hyundai Kona is designed to appeal to buyers who want to marry the tall ride height and usability of an SUV with the convenience and low daily costs of a small hatchback, hence the nickname for cars of this type; crossovers.


Almost every major brand will sell you one of these in a range of sizes, so why should you put the Kona onto your shopping list? Well, despite the funky exterior, it's something of a conservative choice. You get a simple but dull cabin, decent handling, plenty of equipment in the right trim, and a reassuring five-year-warranty too.


As of 2019, you can only get your Kona with petrol or electric power, or a combination of the two. We have written a full review of the battery-powered version separately, but included information on the hybrid model. The rest of the range used turbocharged petrols, as Hyundai dropped the diesel when it launched the hybrid.


Unlike most of these compact crossovers, you can get your Kona with four-wheel drive. This version has a quick 1.6-litre engine and dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but its not the most refined (or fuel efficient) combination.


The range begins with a significantly more sensible 1.0-litre turbo petrol with 120PS and a manual gearbox. It's easily our favourite, since it's a perky motor that's great for town use, but can cope on the motorway too. Although this little engine can't match the running costs of the hybrid, it's still relatively economical, and a lot cheaper to buy. Unless you're a company car driver then, the petrol will probably make more financial sense.


Hyundai has built its reputation on offering strong value for money, and as long as you stick to the mid-range SE, Play and Premium models the Kona stays true to form. If you want luxuries like touchscreen navigation, a premium audio system and a wireless charging pad for your phone, go for the latter..


The cheaper SE version is a bit more comfortable to drive, with smaller wheels that help counter the Kona's stiff suspension. It handles tidily with good grip, but falls between two areas, since it's neither as comfortable on patchy roads than some of its competitors, nor as precise or engaging as others. Many of its rivals will do both.


Perhaps that makes the Hyundai a good middle ground, but for us it makes it decidedly average. The same is true of its practicality. The boot is nicely shaped and cunningly designed to make it easier to load heavier items, but there is no escaping the fact that it's on the small side, and the cramped rear seats are a let down.


As inoffensive family transport, you could do a lot worse than the Kona, but that's damning with faint praise. In such a competitive class, it's hard to ignore the range of alternatives that are better in one area or another.


If you want the EV version, you need our Hyundai Kona Electric review.


Ready to get your top quality Hyundai Kona?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Hyundai Kona

150kW Premium SE 64kWh 5dr Auto

  • 2020
  • 4,789 miles
  • Richmond Hyundai Southampton
  • Hampshire, SO151GY
Price:£30,893
PCP: £494.06/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £494.06, Customer Deposit: £4,633.00, Total Deposit: £4,633.95, Optional Final Payment: £13,566.00, Total Charge For Credit: £4,599.05, Total Amount Payable: £35,492.05, Representative APR: 7.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 7.61%, Excess Mileage Charge: 8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Hyundai Kona

150kW Premium SE 64kWh 5dr Auto

  • 2020
  • 9,886 miles
  • Delgarth Motor Group Hyundai Bletchley
  • Buckinghamshire, MK11DF
Price:£32,525
PCP: £508.28/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £508.28, Customer Deposit: £4,878.00, Total Deposit: £4,878.75, Optional Final Payment: £15,033.66, Total Charge For Credit: £5,685.49, Total Amount Payable: £38,210.49, Representative APR: 8.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 4.58%, Excess Mileage Charge: 14.9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Hyundai Kona right for you?

One of the big selling points of the Kona is its distinctive design. Some buyers will love it, for others it will be a turn-off, but either way the colourful exterior, high driving position and easy driving manners are all positives.


It'll suit buyers who want something with a bit more personality than a small family hatchback. Despite the tall suspension, it handles quite tidily, but even in the four-wheel drive model, the Kona is not a proper off-roader. At least you can specify all-wheel drive if you need it, since the vast majority of crossovers have the styling of a 4x4 SUV but not the added capability and grip. Still, it's only available with the thirsty 1.6-litre engine in top spec.


It's not especially practical, with other cars in this price range providing more boot and passenger space, so if you regularly carry adults, there are better options out there. The hybrid is cheap to run but expensive to buy.


What’s the best Hyundai Kona model/engine to choose?

The front-wheel drive 1.0-litre petrol turbo will be the best option for the vast majority of buyers. It’s not the smoothest, but flexible enough to keep up with motorway traffic, with a tall sixth gear that helps refinement when cruising. It’ll be kind on your wallet too, with an official economy of 45.6mpg and just 121g/km of CO2. 


Of course, the hybrid is the obvious choice if you are a company car user, or getting a second-hand 1.6-litre diesel. If you choose the latter, remember that its residual value will continue to drop further as buyers flock to hybrids and EVs, and that repairing a clogged filters is expensive, so only get one if you do big mileages on a regular basis.


Avoid the entry-level ‘S’ trim at all costs. It’s too basic to recommend, even as a used bargain, the SE model offers the best balance of equipment and price, and its smaller alloys help to mitigate the Kona’s other main issue, a jiggly and firm ride that never truly settles. On larger wheel's you'll be gritting your teeth over bumps.


What other cars are similar to the Hyundai Kona?

The Kona is part of the fastest expanding group of cars on the market: compact crossovers. A segment that exploded in popularity with the arrival of the first versions of Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Now all three cars have been replaced with a brand new generation that are better to drive, more refined and offer an increasingly level of technology and luxury kit on board, with prices rising to match their new status.


Still, if you want a high driving position on a tighter budget, you could buy a jacked-up version of a small hatch instead. Cars like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai's own i20 Active give you a mini-SUV flavour for less cash. For a more grown-up driving experience, the Ford Puma is great fun in corners, while the Volkswagen T-Roc is composed and refined. Both are available with punchy 150PS engines that deliver surprisingly brisk pace.


Company car drivers interested in the Kona hybrid should check out Toyota's C-HR, which is even lighter on fuel, managing the transition between petrol and electricity a little more seamlessly than the Hyundai does.


Learn more

Hyundai Kona front interior

On the inside

Hyundai Kona frontright exterior

Driving

Hyundai Kona central console

How much does it cost to run

Hyundai Kona boot open

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Hyundai Kona a hybrid?

There is a hybrid model available, which effectively replaces the diesel models, which were dropped from the line-up in 2019. It has a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired to a 43PS electric motor via an automatic gearbox, and emits 99g/km of CO2, and returns a decent 56.5mpg.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

Does the Hyundai Kona come with all-wheel drive?

Unlike some rivals, if you really need it then you can specify a Kona with four-wheel drive. It’s a smart system too, with a differential lock, but it’s only available on the Premium GT trim and with the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which means it’s a lot more expensive too.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell

Is the Hyundai Kona an SUV?

Yes, although it’s a small SUV or crossover rather than a proper utility vehicle. It does come with the option of four-wheel drive, but it’s more of a 4x4 in its spirit and style than execution.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

What about the Hyundai Kona Electric?

Perhaps the most well known Kona is the all-electric model. It’s performed brilliantly in recent comparative electric range tests, and offers Tesla-rivalling performance for a lot less money. It comes in 64kWh or 39kWh guises, with the former providing over 300 miles of EV range.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team