Friday, June 21, 2024




Introduced as a 2018 model, the Hyundai Kona has grown a bit as it enters its second generation.

At 171.3 inches long, the redesigned 2024 Hyundai Kona gains about 6 inches over the 2023 model and no longer is the smallest in the South Korean automaker’s SUV fleet.

The Kona — the name is taken from a district in the Big Island of Hawaii — now slots between the larger Tucson (182.7 inches) and the Venue (159.1), which assumed the title as Hyundai’s smallest subcompact SUV when introduced in 2020.

The benefits are clear. That extra length and a slightly longer wheelbase (104.7 inches to 102.4) give the 2024 Hyundai Kona more passenger and storage space than its predecessor while still retaining the ability to squeeze into tight parking spaces.

That’s what you call win-win.

The 2024 Hyundai Kona is available in four trim levels. The base SE and upgraded SEL have a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is underpowered (147 horsepower, 132 pound-feet of torque) while the Limited, which this review is based on, and N Line models get a turbocharged 1.6L 4-cylinder engine with more respectable numbers (190/195, respectively.

Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims with all-wheel available as an option.

The 2.0L normally aspirated 4-banger is mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and the turbo-4 thankfully is hooked up to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The government says the turbo-4 with AWD drinks fuel at the rate of 24 miles-per-gallon in the city, 29 highway, and 26 combined. The SE and SEL are rated only about 1-3 mpg more efficient.

Hyundai dressed up the exterior and in addition to more space added more tech features to the interior. Passenger volume went up to 101.2 cubic feet from the 2023’s 94.1 with an increase in rear legroom to 38.5 inches from 35.2. Front legroom is virtually the same, but cargo space went up to 25.5 cubic feet behind the backseat from 19.2.

Standard features in the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited include 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights, a power sunroof, and a proximity key with push-button start.

Standard comfort and convenience features include automatic dual-zone climate control, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, hands-free rear liftgate, and H-Tex seating surfaces.

Bose Premium Audio is standard, and a new 12.3-inch touchscreen includes navigation, but getting wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto requires you to update the system. (Lower trims without navigation include wireless operation as standard for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.)

Standard safety systems include Smart (adaptable) Cruise Control, a surround-view camera, driver-attention warning, blind-spot warning, parking distance warning, a blind-spot view monitor (which projects an image in the instrument panel when the turn signal is activated), lane-keeping and lane-following assist, and forward collision avoidance warning.

Pricing for the 2024 Hyundai Kona starts at $23,475 for the base FWD SE trim  (including the $1,335 destination and delivery fee). FWD SEL models start at $23,285. N Line and Limited trims with FWD hover around the $30,000 mark.

All-wheel drive adds $1,500 to each trim.

My test 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited with AWD carried an MSRP of $34,485. With carpeted floor mats the only extra, the final bottom line was $34, 695. That’s a bit of a jump over the 2023 Kona Limited that started at $31,785 including freight charges, but the 2024 model takes a significant step up.
What I liked about the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited:
Though still classified as a small SUV, it has grown a bit with this latest makeover and has the feel of a midsize both in handling and cabin space. Storage capacity with all seats in place is a generous 25.5 cubic feet and second-row passengers get 38.5 inches of legroom. Fuel economy won’t wow you but it is decent. I’m not a big fan of the Neotreric Yellow exterior (think yellow with a hint of green) on my test 2024 Hyundai Kona but it sure was easy to pick out in a large parking lot.

What I didn’t like about the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited: This is not a deal breaker for me since I rarely take advantage of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, but some owners have reported difficulty hooking up their devices to those systems wirelessly. You may have to download a special update to do so if your Kona has navigation. Getting picky here, but some touchscreen displays (like the various radio settings) lose the clock. Otherwise, the infotainment features are user-friendly enough. Towing is not recommended. 

Would I buy the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited? Yes. It definitely should be on your “look list” if you want a small crossover SUV that doesn’t skimp on passenger or cargo space plus looks great sitting in your driveway. An all-electric version also is available if you are so inclined, but the Kona Hybrid (HEV) is sold only overseas.

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