Home » The Sharp 2024 Hyundai Kona Lets You Pick Between Two Gas Engines Or 260 Miles Of Electric Range

The Sharp 2024 Hyundai Kona Lets You Pick Between Two Gas Engines Or 260 Miles Of Electric Range

2024 Hyundai Kona Topshot 3

Subcompact crossovers aren’t typically known for attractive styling, so we were understandably blown away when Hyundai first announced the new Kona. Not only did it promise to be more practical than the outgoing car, it looked properly sci-fi thanks to its Geordi LaForge visor and host of creases. Today at the New York Auto Show, a lot more details dropped on the U.S.-market 2024 Hyundai Kona and it all seems promising. Let’s take a closer look.

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Is the new Hyundai Kona Electric green? I actually reckon that this one’s more yellow. Hyundai chose to unveil the U.S.-spec Kona Electric in a color that makes it look irradiated, and I’m fully here for it. Granted, the sheer shock of this paint scheme does take some attention off of the Kona’s rad new styling, mostly because I can’t stop seeing a tennis ball. Again, it’s not a bad thing, it’s fun and I fully support it.

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In contrast, the pale natural tone of the ICE-powered model really lets the down-the-road graphic sing, and I’m even alright with the chunky arches since they’ve been toned down significantly from the outgoing car. This is a sharp little crossover with huge visual appeal.


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Hyundai is targeting a very reasonable 260 miles of range from the Kona Electric’s 64.8 kWh battery pack, which is impressive considering the new model is significantly larger than the old one, only gains eight tenths of a kilowatt-hour in battery capacity, yet still pulls out a two-mile lead over its predecessor. Granted, motor output isn’t quite what it used to be. While the current Kona Electric is hellbent on pulverizing its front tires with 290 lb.-ft. of torque, this new model puts out a much more modest 188 lb.-ft. of torque. On the plus side, horsepower is unchanged at 201, so I doubt most drivers will feel a huge difference between old and new once they’ve reached highway speeds. What drivers will notice is the addition of one-pedal driving, which makes city commuting a little more stress-free.

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In terms of charging, the Kona Electric uses a 400-volt architecture as opposed to the Ioniq range’s 800-volt architecture, so DC fast charging isn’t as quick as on segment leaders. However, the Kona Electric now features the perk of vehicle-to-load capability. Plug a dongle into the charging socket, and you can power up to 1.7 kW of home devices using your car. Heck, you could probably store that dongle in the newly-included frunk. Admittedly, it measures out to a tiny 0.95 cu.-ft., but it should be alright for charging cables and whatnot.

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If electrons aren’t your speed then good news, Hyundai has two more powertrains to choose from. Base models get the carryover and very whelming two-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes paired with a perfectly sufficient CVT and should deliver decent economy. Step up to either the N-Line or Limited trim and excitement jumps considerably with a 190-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that also puts out a flat 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm. Unlike in the outgoing Kona, the small-displacement turbo motor gets a proper eight-speed automatic gearbox that sounds like a promising improvement over the old dry-clutch DCT.

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Sadly, a rip-snorting anti-social Kona N is nowhere to be found, leaving this pint-sized rocket’s future in limbo. What a shame, that torquey demon of a subcompact crossover deserves to live another life, and the new Kona’s expanded footprint could help a hot version find greater appeal. Plus, the N-Line trim looks pretty slick and more power to back up those looks would be excellent. Also absent is the hybrid option seen overseas that would be a direct competitor to the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. Here’s hoping that we see at least one of these options in the future.

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No matter what powertrain you choose, all new Konas get a 2.3-inch wheelbase stretch over the old model and an extra inch of width. While this doesn’t sound like much, every inch counts in subcompact crossovers and the added size should bring more room, addressing a spot of contention with the outgoing Kona. To be precise, the new car gets a 1.2-inch bump in rear legroom over the old one, along with incremental bumps in headroom, front legroom, and shoulder room. Again, not huge numbers, but a welcome improvement.


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What’s more, the interior looks deeply pragmatic but in a sexy way, with loads of cubbies to stash all your things. There’s even a huge bin in the center console which looks perfect if you carry around a tote bag like I do, or really any sort of bag. For rear seat passengers, those stuck in the middle will be happy to find a fairly flat rear seat cushion for improved thigh support, just like cars used to have. Oh, and the rear seat also reclines for added comfort thanks to a two-position latch system.

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While the new Hyundai Kona won’t get everyone’s blood going, its a well-styled subcompact crossover that seems perfect for pockmarked city streets. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but expect more information closer to when the combustion-powered variants roll into showrooms this summer. The electric model will come along a bit later in the autumn, but it looks like it could very much be worth the wait.

(Photo credits: Hyundai)


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1 year ago

If I didn’t find the cleaner, angular looks of Hyundai’s Ionic 5 so damn appealing (it looks great in person too, though of course I’d have hoped for more actual colors) I’d might be more into how the new Kona EV looks. Presumably, it will cost less than the Ionic 5, and the 260-miles of range seems like a doable figure for most people… it certainly would be more than enough for me. I wonder what the base Kona EV will cost in real life (sans dealer markups and tax credits)… probably still more than I can rationalize, so I’ll likely wind up with a used i3 in the $10-15K range. However, I’ll probably go test drive the new Kona EV anyway, despite the slight headache I’m getting from looking that all that noise around the wheel arches.

I wonder if we’ll actually be able to get it in that tennis-ball-yellow color when the time comes… Toyota teased the new Prius in that metallic mustard color (maybe called Maximum Yellow?) and it’s by far the best color on that car, but it won’t be available that way in the U.S. market. 🙁

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