The 2020 Hyundai Kona’s pricing starts at $21,249.
It offers one of the most complete lines of versions in the segment.
The 2020 Kona EV is one of the better buys among small EVs.
As we write these lines, we’ve just learned that the Kona’s designer, Luc Donckerwolke, has left the Hyundai Group. Much like the body of his work, the Kona’s styling sets the small SUV far apart from its many segment colleagues. Love it or hate it, the fact is that the Hyundai Kona, introduced in 2017 for the 2018 model year has been nothing short of an eruptive success.
So many car companies describe their products as unique and novel but line up any of the Kona’s in a visual comparison test, vehicles like the Kia Niro, Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks and Chevrolet Trax, the star of this story shines.
The same goes for the interior’s presentation. The dashboard is decidedly modern and spartan. Ergonomics are spot on and the level of comfort is better than expected. So is the list of standard features included with the petrol-powered iterations. For $21,249, owners of the Essential trim get heated front seats, a 7-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more. The 147-horsepower is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and drives the front wheels. AWD is a $2,000 option and so, for $23,249, the Kona is one of the most affordable AWD vehicles in the country.
The volume leader is the Preferred. For $1,700 over the Essential, features grow to include a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, Blind-Spot collision warning, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic warning, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, keyless entry and push-button start. Adding AWD to the $22,999 Preferred delivers a mountain of value and equipment for a dollar short of $25,000.
The leap to the $27,149 Trend AWD version brings with it an extremely peppy turbocharged 175-horsepower 1.6-litre 4-cylinder and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This version is the happy medium between features and performance. The Luxury and Ultimate include leather, power sunroof, navigation among many other elements.
The hero 2020 Hyundai Kona is the EV. Pricing starts at $44,999 for the Essential trim, or just low enough to meet government incentives. Size-wise, it is identical to the petrol Kona and features a high level of desirable equipment. However, the Preferred, at $46,049, is the smarter trim thanks to its heat pump and battery temperature management system, heated front cloth seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, and far more.
All are powered by the same 201-horsepower permanent magnet synchronous electric motor linked to a 64 kWh battery that provides up to 415km of real-world range.
The 2020 Hyundai Kona will continue to dominate, of this we have no doubt. A facelifted Kona is expected for the 2021 model year and it will carry the torch.
What the 2020 Hyundai Kona Does Well
Even with the basic 2.0-litre petrol engine, the Kona is spritely thanks in good part to a conventional automatic transmission.
The turbocharged 1.6-litre and adjoining 7-speed dual-clutch transmission are good fun and can be worth the extra money. Interestingly, combined fuel consumption ratings are identical for both engines with AWD.
Despite the relatively compact exterior dimensions, the Kona is surprisingly roomy.
The Kona EV is a revelation is driving pleasure, real-world performance, and driveability.
By selecting the right trims and features, the Kona can be an impressive, value- and feature-packed bargain.
What 2020 Hyundai Kona Doesn’t Do So Well
Reliability and medium-term quality are at best average.
This applies to the petrol engines and transmissions that have had issues in the past.
Despite being an interesting product overall, depreciation can take hold rather quickly especially with the higher more expensive trims. This does not exactly apply to EVs for the following reason:
Kona EVs have been notoriously difficult to come by because of the strong demand and relatively limited availability.
What We Tell Our Friends
Arguments against purchasing a 2020 Hyundai Kona are really limited to what’s said above. Selecting an AWD Preferred is a very reasonable decision. Where the EV is concerned, as there are still limited electric options in the price range, it comes out on top as one of our favourites. This may change in the next eight to twelve months as many new models are on the way.
In the segment, the Honda HR-V is the safest bet. Its naturally aspirated engine and CVT transmission are better than fair and the cabin offers up the most interior volume in the segment. Unlike the Kona, resale value for the Honda should be better than decent.
The bottom line is that the 2020 Hyundai Kona is a really cool small SUV alternative but don’t go overboard with trims and features.