Hyundai Kona Review & Prices
The Hyundai Kona looks great and is more spacious than ever, but alternatives are more comfortable over bumps
Find out more about the Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona is a small but spacious SUV with styling that looks like it’s straight off the set of a futuristic movie. If you considered the old Kona but found it a bit tight inside, the latest version is actually longer, wider and taller, and therefore more practical than before.
That means it’s a bit like your bank balance, because bigger really does mean better.
And with so many other brilliant small family SUVs to consider, that extra practicality certainly helps make a case for the Kona. Your hard-earned cash could also be spent on a Skoda Kamiq, Volkswagen T-Cross, Peugeot 2008, or the ever-popular Ford Puma. You could even consider the bigger Citroen C5 Aircross at this price.
Like the Peugeot and Citroen in particular, the Hyundai is a bit of a head-turner. But where those cars are more Posh Spice chic, the Kona looks more like Futuristic Robot Spice. There are full-width light bars at the front and back that give off real sci-fi vibes and work well with the chunky bodywork.
There’s more of a mix of the best of old and new inside though, because while you get an up-to-date twin-screen dashboard setup, there are loads of traditional chunky buttons too, which make it much easier to navigate between menus than a fully digital system.
Despite this faintly old school vibe, the general ambiance is one of good quality. The design isn’t too fussy so there are few distractions, though you will find a few cheap, scratchy plastics if you go looking for them.
That’s being really picky though, because more importantly it’s really practical inside, with useful storage in the front and loads of space for those in the back. The boot’s big too, only beaten by the cavernous Citroen C5 Aircross.
The Hyundai Kona is a good all-rounder, and its smart, practical interior is well-suited to family life
Where the Citroen also wins out is comfort. It’s not that the Hyundai Kona is uncomfortable at all, but it can be a touch jiggly over bumps. And while the trade off is that it’s more fun than you might expect in corners, a bit more composure in everyday driving would be welcome. It is quiet and refined on the motorway, though.
You get a choice of two petrol engines and a petrol-electric hybrid, with the latter splitting the others on power but offering the best fuel economy. Official figures put it at 60.1mpg, but we hovered around 50mpg in our time with the car. That’s okay, but it seemed too keen to bring the petrol engine into play, even when the battery was well-charged, so perhaps could have been better. There is the Kona Electric if you want to do away with the combustion engine altogether.
So the Citroen C5 Aircross is more comfortable and the Ford Puma is more fun in corners, but the Hyundai offers a good balance between the two, so it’s a generally pleasing car to cruise around in. The driver assistance systems constantly bing and bong away, though, which gets annoying.
If this stylish, practical SUV sounds like your cup of tea, take a look at the latest Hyundai Kona deals available through Carwow, or see how much you could save by browsing used Konas from our network of trusted dealers. You can also check out other used Hyundais, and when it’s time to sell your car, Carwow can help with that, too.
The Hyundai Kona has a RRP range of £25,725 to £36,075. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,498. Prices start at £23,503 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £293. The price of a used Hyundai Kona on Carwow starts at £18,250.
Our most popular versions of the Hyundai Kona are:
|Carwow price from
|1.0T Advance 5dr
The Hyundai Kona is bang on the money when compared to its various alternatives. The excellent Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross start at a bit less, while the Peugeot 2008, which feels a bit more posh inside, is a very similar price, as is the Ford Puma. The Citroen C5 Aircross is also in the same ballpark despite being a bigger car, making it an intriguing value proposition.
The Hyundai Kona is a refined motorway cruiser, but it’s a bit jiggly over bumps
Because of the commanding driving position, visibility is pretty good so the Hyundai Kona is easy to place in busy traffic. You also get front and rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera as standard, which is helpful.
Comfort is generally fine, because the suspension doesn’t thwack into sharp bumps in the road. However, the car does jiggle about a bit and can feel like it’s never quite settled over particularly poor roads, which means it can’t match the Skoda Kamiq for comfort.
The hybrid is at its best in town, where the electric motor means you get good response from the throttle pedal and can dart in and out of junctions with ease. Economy is better around town where the electric motors can be used more, but the petrol engine chimes in earlier than you expect, which can be frustrating and means it’s not as economical as it could be.
Speaking of frustrating things, the driver assistance systems can be really annoying. While some are more useful than others, the constant binging and bonging can actually be quite distracting, especially when you can’t figure out what you’re being warned about. You can create a menu shortcut to turn them off quickly, because they all reactivate every time you start the car, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having them.
On the motorway
While the hybrid’s petrol engine can be a bit noisy when you accelerate, it settles down quietly at a cruise. Couple this with the fact that there’s little wind and road noise, and it’s a comfortable place to roll the odometer on. It’s not perfect though, as some bumps in the road will make a noticeable thud sound, even if it doesn’t actually unsettle the car.
Of the two non-hybrid petrol engines, you will want the more powerful option if you do a lot of motorway driving. The basic engine isn’t particularly powerful and won’t be as adept at getting up to speed.
Despite the annoying assistance alerts, the standard-fit lane-keeping assistant – which keeps you between the lines – is pretty good and only interferes if you really stray too far. Smart cruise control is also fitted to all models – except manual transmissions – which isn’t a given among alternatives at this price.
On a twisty road
Point the Hyundai Kona down a twisty road and it’s perfectly capable, if not the last word in fun. The steering is light, so you don’t get much confidence in how much grip your tyres have, but it’s fairly direct and doesn’t feel like it’s about to fall over. A Ford Puma is more agile here, but you have to accept it’s less comfortable the rest of the time.
And sorry to sound like a broken record, but the assistance systems raise their ugly heads again here. The lane assist that works so well on the motorway where the lanes are well-defined is annoyingly intrusive on countryside roads. From time to time it will tug at the wheel to keep you away from the grass verge, which isn’t ideal on narrow roads with poor visibility around corners ahead, or if you’re trying to leave more space for oncoming traffic.
There’s loads of space and storage wherever you sit in the Kona, and the boot’s really big, but small items can rattle in the door bins
While the driving experience of the Hyundai Kona is a touch hit and miss, there can be absolutely no complaints about the space and practicality of the cabin. The driving position is good with lots of adjustability so you can get a good view of the road ahead, and there’s little issue with space for taller drivers.
Storage is ample, with a long area between the passengers to store bits and bobs, as well as being home to the retractable cupholders, so you can have more space when you don’t need to keep a cup secure. The armrest cubby hole is usefully large, there’s an area for your phone beneath the dashboard, and the door bins are big – though it’s a bit of a shame they’re not felt-lined to stop items rattling around on the move.
Space in the back seats
Space in the back is impressive, too. Even taller passengers will find they have plenty of legroom and headroom, and because it’s fairly wide it’s not too cramped for three people side-by-side, either.
The door bin is less impressive in the back, but it’s big enough to hold a typical fizzy drink bottle, and there’s another small storage compartment between the seats in front, where you will also find a couple of USB-C slots.
Because of all that space it’s really easy to fit a child seat inside without having to move the seats in front forward. And to make things even better the doors open to around 90 degrees, making access a breeze. The ISOFIX mounting points are easy to get to, but aren’t quite flush with the seat cushion so it can be a bit fiddly to line things up. Far from a deal breaker, though.
There’s more good news in the boot: the capacity is 466 litres, which makes the Kona one of the most spacious small SUVs you can buy. The Ford Puma isn’t far behind with 456 litres, while you can get up to 455 litres in the Volkswagen T-Cross if you push the rear seats forward. But then you can’t put people in them.
Again, the Citroen C5 Aircross feels like an outlier as a bigger car, but it’s worth considering because it’s such good value. And it’s practical, with a 580-litre boot as standard, or up to 720 litres with the rear bench forward. That’s massive by any measure.
Making a further case for the Kona’s practical boot is the fact that it’s also really easy to get things in and out, because the bumper sits quite low and there’s no lip to slide items over. You also get loads of space under the floor if you want to keep things out of sight or just need to maximise capacity.
It is a bit of a shame that you have to reach in to fold the rear seats down, though, rather than having a lever in the boot. But at least the boot isn’t so deep as to make this impossible. Do this, and you get 1,300 litres of space, which is beaten only by the Skoda Kamiq and, you guessed it, the Citroen C5 Aircross.
The Hyundai Kona has a fresh, fuss-free interior design, but there are cheap plastics to be found
Most modern cars have big touchscreen displays that you have to use for everything from choosing radio stations to adjusting the cabin temperature. For some things, that can be annoyingly fiddly and distracting, but fortunately, the Hyundai Kona suffers no such issue.
The dashboard is festooned with buttons that make it quick and easy to navigate through menus, or tweak the temperature quickly on the move. The result is a curious mix of the old and new school with the twin-screen setup above, but it has a pleasingly retro feel rather than looking dull and dated.
When you do need to use the screens, they’re sharp and responsive, with intuitive menus that mean you’re not digging around for hours to change a simple setting. The instrument display is a 12.3-inch unit, while the infotainment screen is 10.25 inches, and you can use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for quick integration with your playlists and maps.
The pleasingly responsive infotainment tech is matched by a general feeling of quality in the cabin. Particularly in higher-spec trims, everything you touch feels upmarket and built to last, though there are some cheaper plastics if you go looking for them.
On-board technology is impressive whichever trim you go for, with the only features that aren’t standard-fit being the Bose sound system (N Line S and above) and wireless charging pad (N Line and above).
There are three engine options for the Hyundai Kona, in the form of two petrols and a petrol-electric hybrid, plus the all-electric Hyundai Kona Electric.
The first engine is a 1.0-litre unit with 120hp, which is available with a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic. Both options are pretty sluggish, taking more than 11 seconds to hit 62mph from a standstill, though economy of up to 47.9mpg makes the smaller engine more efficient than the more powerful option.
That would be a 1.6-litre engine that makes a healthier 198hp. It will go from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds with the manual, or 7.8 seconds with the auto, so both are more sprightly – useful for darting out of junctions or getting up to speed on the motorway. The trade off is that you use more fuel, at up to 44.1mpg.
Want maximum economy? The hybrid is your best bet. Although official figures put it at 60.1mpg, we saw around 50mpg during our time with the car, though this is still better than you will see with the non-hybrid engines. With 141hp it’s got enough get up and go when you need it, but it’s far from exciting.
For road tax and company car drivers, the hybrid is your best option, because it will cost the least. The price difference between the petrols and hybrid isn’t huge, but the latter will provide savings for both road tax and company car tax.
When tested by Euro NCAP the Hyundai Kona scored a not-quite-perfect four stars. Though Adult and Child Occupant protection scores were good, it suffered from low marks for protecting vulnerable road users and in the safety assist category.
Standard safety kit is good, with forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control fitted to all cars – though Konas with a manual transmission only get the regular cruise control that doesn’t automatically adjust its speed to the traffic ahead.
You need to step up to N Line S to get the full suite of safety kit, though. This adds a blind spot monitor with collision avoidance, as well as a system to warn of traffic crossing the rear while reversing, a parking collision avoidance system, and a 360-degree parking camera.
Although this new model hasn’t been on sale long enough to know just how reliable it is, the outgoing version had a pretty good reputation in this regard.
Configure your own Kona on Carwow
Save on average £2,498 off RRP
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.