Monday, July 15, 2024
First Reviews2024 Hyundai Kona: What We Liked and Disliked

2024 Hyundai Kona: What We Liked and Disliked

  • The 2024 Hyundai Kona builds on the old platform with minor mechanical changes; fuel consumption remains similar.

  • The vehicle is roomier and prepares an electric version, reversing the design order from the previous generation.

  • Despite improvements and a healthy dose of technology, the Kona has become more expensive, reflecting ongoing inflation.


In 2018, Hyundai introduced a new small SUV to the North American market: the Kona. It had high aspirations and was about to enter a booming segment: subcompact SUVs. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that the Korean manufacturer has succeeded. In fact, year after year since its arrival, the Kona has accounted for no less than 20% of the automaker’s sales in Canada. If the mission was accomplished with the first-generation model, the challenge awaiting Hyundai is no less great with the new-generation model. With the segment now almost saturated with small SUVs, the Korean manufacturer will have to repeat the same feat.

Motor Illustrated travelled to Ayer’s Cliff in the Eastern Townships to drive the 2024 Hyundai Kona. Here’s a full account of our first impressions.

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer

Timid mechanical changes

Let’s be clear from the outset: the 2024 Kona is evolutionary. It is not built on a new platform, but rather on the old one, which has been slightly improved. The same applies to the mechanical aspects. The Kona uses the same powertrains as the previous-generation model. Under the hood of Essential and Prefered versions, we find a 2.0 L, four-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine developing 147 hp. Depending on the version chosen, this power is sent to the front wheels or all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, we were unable to test this engine.

As for the N Line and N Line Ultimate versions, their hood houses a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine. Whereas the previous iteration of the model produced 195 hp, we’ll now have to make do with 190 hp. But the biggest mechanical change is the choice of transmission. While versions equipped with the 2.0 L still receive a continuously-variable automatic transmission, versions equipped with the 1.6 L now inherit an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is better, smoother and possibly more reliable than the dual-clutch gearbox previously used. Good news.

With so few mechanical improvements and such a larger Kona, we shouldn’t have expected a miracle in terms of fuel consumption. The automaker claims a fuel consumption of 7.6L/100 km for a 2.0L engine version with front-wheel drive. If you opt for four-wheel drive, this figure rises by 1L/100 km. Fuel consumption rises to 9.1L/100 km with the turbocharged engine. For our part, at the end of a test drive of over 200 kilometres, mainly on secondary roads, the onboard computer showed a rating of 7.9L/100 kilometres with the turbocharged model.

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer

Roomier overall

Today’s Honda Civic is larger than the Honda Accord of yesteryear. Many vehicles tend to get taller, bigger, wider and longer over time. And the Kona is no exception. It is 145 mm longer, 25 mm wider, 45 mm taller, and its wheelbase has been lengthened by 60 mm. A thorough analysis of the vehicle reveals that designers have maximized space in the second row and in the trunk. While the Kona may have been too small for some Quebec families, it now has the ammunition to appeal to a wider customer base.

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer

An electric version is to come

Within the Kona family, sales of the electric version represent no less than 30% of total sales. Its importance is, therefore, crucial. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until early next year for its arrival on Canadian soil. It’s interesting to note that the first Kona was originally conceived and developed as a gasoline-powered vehicle and was later adapted to become an electric vehicle. For the second-generation model, the process was reversed, i.e. design began with the electric version and was adapted to accept a petrol engine. The gear selector has been positioned on the steering column, as on the Ioniq 5 and 6. The result is a spacious, uncluttered center console.

For the moment, we have to make do with preliminary data concerning the Kona Electric. Power is expected to be in the region of 210 hp, with an estimated range of 418 km.

 

A healthy dose of techno

The 2024 Kona is very much of its time, and it shows. Right in front of the driver’s eyes is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. To its right is the infotainment system, whose touchscreen format is also 12.3 inches. Everything is well harmonized and generally simple and intuitive. We appreciate that the engineers have retained physical buttons to control cabin temperature and sound volume, for example.

Among the technological innovations, we should also mention the digital key. You can now add your vehicle key to your watch or smartphone wallet. The digital key is compatible with Apple, Android and Google devices. We sincerely hope that the programmers have taken the necessary precautions so as not to make life easier for vehicle thieves with such technology.

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer

Everything’s more expensive… even the Kona

We can’t get away from the fact that everything costs more in 2023. Inflation is hitting hard and fast, and the automotive industry is no exception. Whereas the Kona started at just over $20,000 when it arrived in 2018, you’ll now have to fork out $25,999 for an entry-level Essential version. As for the Preferred version, its price has been set at $29,499. In both cases, an additional $2,000 is required for four-wheel drive. For the turbocharged engine, the N-Line version starts at $35,499. Finally, at the top of the range, the N-Line Ultimate version starts at $38,499. In all cases, a shipping and preparation charge of $1,925 applies.

Admittedly, the 2024 Kona is more advanced and spacious than it used to be. We think Quebec families will certainly appreciate it. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re no longer looking at a cheap entry-level vehicle, and we’re paying the price at the checkout.

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer
2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: Germain Goyer

Advertisement

Trending Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.