New Hyundai Kona SUV

From £16,450

Watch our video review

Gearbox

Automatic or Manual

Seats

5

Doors

5

Boot size

334 - 361 litres

The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
4.0
The Kona is not a spectacular car to drive, but it feels light and easy around town and secure and stable on the motorway. Although it’s a compact car, it still manages to feel airy with enough space for four to travel in comfort. Add in plenty of equipment and an extensive warranty and all of a sudden, you’re running out of excuses not to buy a Kona.

Pros

  • Striking looks
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Limited engine range
  • Steering lacks feel
  • Not the biggest boot

Full review

By Pete Tullin   Wednesday 25 October 2017

How good does it look?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

The Kona is one of the more striking compact SUVs to hit the UK in recent times. The Kona continues the current trend for dual lighting, with the LED daytime running lights sitting on top of the headlights. A roof-mounted rear spoiler, complete with third brake light, a pair of integrated roof rails, and extensive use of black lower body cladding all emphasise the robust, off-road look. The Kona is available with a choice of ten metallic paint colours, three different contracting roof themes, and a selection of alloy wheels ranging from 16- to 18-inches.

What's the interior like?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Although it’s not as outlandish as the exterior design, the Kona still manages to look pretty stylish inside. The use of colour-coded stitching on the steering wheel and seats and splashes of complementary body-coloured paint on the air vents, gear shifter and starter button surrounds, make it easier to forgive the hard, shiny plastics on the dashboard and door trims.

If you’re expecting the lofty driving position you find in many SUV, you’ll be disappointed. It’s better to think of the Kona as an elevated version of the i30 family car. The driving position is still excellent however, thanks to a good range of seat adjustment and a steering wheel that adjusts up and down, and in and out.

Like most cars in this sector, the Kona is available with an infotainment touch-screen that sits in the middle of the dashboard. This displays the audio, navigation and phone connectivity icons. There’s also the option of a couple of more luxury car features, such as a heated steering wheel and a head-up display screen, which sits on top of the main instruments, directly in the driver’s line of sight. It displays navigation instructions and speed limit icons in a way that doesn’t involve the driver having to take their eyes off the road.

How practical is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Like most cars in this class, shoulder-room is a bit on the snug side, but other than that, the Kona provide a decent amount of space for four, even five, at a push. Although knee-room can get a wee bit tight in the rear if you get stuck behind a particularly tall driver, an almost flat floor and elevated seating means you won’t need to sit with your legs crossed.

There’s a fair few storage areas dotted around the cabin, including cup holders, front door pockets – that will each hold a 1.5-litre bottle of water – a decent-sized glovebox, and a hidden cubby under the central armrest.

The bad news is the boot is a bit on the small side. If there’s only one or two of you, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as you’ll get most of your belongings safely stored under the boot load cover. If you have small children, you should just about be able to fit in a baby buggy diagonally with a bit of space to spare. If you want to include the travel cot and a bundle of cuddly toys though, you’ll need to flip down one of the 60/40 split folding rear seat backs.

What's it like to drive?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

If you live in a rural area and feel additional traction will come in handy, you can get a four-wheel-drive Kona, but it’s only available with top of the range trim. This means it’s very expensive, and for this kind of money there are countless better 4X4 SUVs.

The vast majority of Kona sales will be made up of the 1.0-litre variety. Given the typical urban driving conditions these cars will regularly encounter, the Kona is more than capable. If anything, the suspension is on the firm side, so when you’re driving on rough roads, the rear end of the car will move about quite a bit, but it’s not too noisy over lumps and bumps. At motorway speeds, the Kona feels securely planted, but you will notice quite a bit of wind-noise.

The majority of owners will be happy with the light and easy steering, which will help when zipping in and out of traffic with minimal effort. But you do have to turn the steering wheel several times to reach the lock, so you’ll need to find a pretty wide road to ensure your three-point-turns don’t turn into five-pointers.

How powerful is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Although we wouldn’t dismiss the 1.6-litre 4x4 Kona, you’ll be in pretty exclusive club if you decide to buy one. You’ll cut out the hassle of changing gears manually, and the 7-speed automatic gearbox itself changes gear smoothly, but surprisingly, for such a powerful engine, it feels quite unresponsive at lower speeds. More often than not, you’ll find yourself standing hard on the accelerator when pulling out of junctions, overtaking slower moving traffic, or simply trying to build speed to merge with faster flowing traffic.

The 1.0-litre is not perfect either, but it’s performance feels more in keeping with its size. It pulls pretty well away from the mark and it’s reasonably flexible, but it doesn’t like to be revved hard.

Although you’ll probably quickly get used to it, the clutch pedal does feel quite mushy, and the six-speed gearshift is a bit notchy, but both are light, so it’s not something that’s going to bother you too much when driving in heavy traffic.

How much will it cost me?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Until the diesel and all-electric models are released, the entry 1.0-litre petrol model returns the best fuel figures in the basic S trim. This is partly because it isn’t loaded down by lots of heavy equipment. It is capable of 54.3mpg, and produces CO2 emissions of 117g/km.

Move up to the higher trim levels and you’ll increase the weight and add bigger alloy wheels – both of which have a detrimental effect on economy – meaning fuel figures for the 1.0-litre engine drop by a couple of mpg, and emissions rise to 125g/km.

The 177PS 1.6-litre petrol engine is only available with top-end Premium GT trim, which comes with an automatic gearbox as standard. It also comes with four-wheel-drive, and that extra weight has a dramatic effect on economy and CO2 emissions. Officially, the top-notch Kona returns 42.2mpg with 153g/km of CO2.

Hyundai dealers are always keen to offer a discount, but given the Kona and its contemporaries are in high demand at the moment, you shouldn’t expect the same level of savings as you might on Hyundai’s less popular models. However, we expect the Kona to have very strong residual values, which will soften the blow of having to pay close to the Kona’s list price.

How reliable is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

The Kona is far too new for Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index to have collated any data, but as a brand, Hyundai is sitting pretty towards the top of the manufacturer standings. Hyundai offers one of the best warranties in the business, which is transferable. This is a great selling point if you wish to sell the car on before the warranty expires. The Kona is covered for an unlimited number of miles over five years, which makes the three-year/60,000-mile warranty offered by most European manufactures look positively stingy. That said, we don’t expect many people to cover huge mileages in their Konas, so if that’s you, and you’re looking for ultimate peace of mind, you might want to consider the Kia Stonic, which comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.

How safe is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Euro NCAP has yet to crash-test the Kona, but given Hyundai’s previous safety record, we expect the Kona to perform pretty well. It comes with a decent amount of standard safety equipment, which includes plenty of airbags, lane-keep assist, hill-hold and hill-descent control, and driver fatigue monitoring. The Premium SE model also gets blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Premium GT adds automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, which will automatically attempt to bring the car to a stop if it senses a collision is imminent.

How much equipment do I get?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

The Kona is available with five trim levels: S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT. Entry-level S cars come with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, four electric-windows, powered side mirrors, LED daytime running lights and automatic headlights, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 5.0-inch infotainment screen plus a DAB radio.

That seems like plenty, but if you’re into your tech, moving up to SE adds a 7.0-inch touch-screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, rear parking sensors, and, a rear-view camera. Bigger 17-inch alloy wheels are also included, as is a touch of leather on the steering wheel and gear knob.

The Premium trim adds keyless entry and engine start, automatic wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels – you might want to assess the effect these have on ride comfort before you go ahead – and an 8.0-inch touch-screen.

Premium SE adds heated and ventilated leather seats, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel and front parking sensors. The top-of-the-range Premium GT is only available with the 1.6-litre petrol engine, and comes everything Premium SE gives you, plus full LED headlights and rear lights.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

We wouldn’t blame you if you bought a Kona simply on looks alone. It’s certainly one of the more striking additions to the rapidly expanding compact SUV sector. The exterior wow-factor is complemented by a funky, airy interior, and a decent driving experience, along with competitive pricing, excellent levels of equipment – even on the base model – and a comprehensive five-year warranty, which all stack up to a create a compelling argument in the Kona’s favour.

Our recommendations

From the range of the new Hyundai Kona, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
Kona 1.0 T-GDI SE
Punchy engine and plenty of kit at a competitive price point.
Most economical
Kona 1.0T-GDI S
Smaller 16-inch wheels and lighter weight help this basic car deliver 54.3mpg.
Best avoided
Kona 1.6 T-GDI Premium GT
Four-wheel-drive and lots of goodies, but the price is hard to justify.
Choose your Hyundai Kona
At Auto Trader, we have reviews from people who have owned this car and can inform you on what it's like to live with
Owners verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
4.5
Read owner reviews

Information regarding the vehicle advertised is obtained from various sources, whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, changes in pricing and the vehicle specification may have occurred since the content was published. Always check with the Dealer before entering into any agreement.