The Hyundai’s interior dashboard is easy to use and its interior plastics feel durable, but there’s not much to get excited about even in top-of-the-range models’ colourful cabins
There hasn’t been much effort to inject a sense of style into the Hyundai Kona interior, which is a shame for a model that is supposed to be an alternative to the genuinely stylish Citroen C3 Aircross.
Your only option to liven things up comes in top-of-the-range Premium SE and Premium GT models specified with one of Hyundai’s ‘vivid’ exterior paints. Inside, they get bright coloured pieces of trim surrounding the air vents and gear shifter, coloured piping on the seats and matching coloured seat belts, but it’s not enough to make up for the plain design.
Sadly, there aren’t many positives to be drawn in terms of quality either. The centre of the dashboard has a large swathe of soft-touch plastics, but the rest of the interior looks and feels ordinary and although the glovebox has a damped action, its lid feels flimsy.
On the upside, the dashboard is straightforward to operate with two large knobs for the ventilation system that are easy to use when you’re driving. Basic S models look dated thanks to their 5.0-inch LCD infotainment screen, but the rest of the range gets a nicer looking colour touchscreen either seven or eight-inches in size.
In terms of seat materials, S, SE and Premium models get perfectly acceptable black cloth upholstery while the rest of the range has black leather that will be easier to keep clean.
Avoid the ugly LCD screen in S models and you get a 7.0-inch colour display that’s easy to use and can mirror the screen of your smartphone
Entry-level S models of the Kona are worth avoiding because they’re the only model not to come with a proper colour display. Instead, they get a 5.0-inch LCD that makes the interior look dated and is more awkward to use on the move than the larger colour screens fitted to higher-end models.
Features include a Bluetooth phone connection, DAB digital radio as well as USB and Aux plugs for playing music and charging your phone. Even these entry-level models come with steering-wheel-mounted controls for skipping tracks, changing radio stations and adjusting the volume.
Just one step up to an SE model gets you a vastly improved system. They come with a seven-inch colour screen that looks much nicer than the 5.0-inch version and has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring – so you can seamlessly use the sat-nav and music apps on your smartphone on the Kona’s screen.
Step up to a Premium model or higher and you get the top-of-the-range 8.0-inch display which is the best of the bunch. Its graphics are clear and you can swipe through menus like you do on your smartphone. It also comes with a generous seven-year subscription to Hyundai’s live services so the integrated sat-nav can route you around congestion and give live weather updates. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also included.
The high-end infotainment system includes an uprated eight-speaker Krell stereo with an amplifier and a sub-woofer. Although it’s certainly louder than the basic six-speaker system, it doesn’t offer the rich depth of sound you get in, say, the B&O Play stereo fitted to the Ford Fiesta.
Also worth mentioning is the head-up display fitted to Premium SE and Premium GT models. It projects information such as speed and sat-nav directions into your eyeline so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road as you drive along.