Hyundai Kona 2021 Review

February 18, 2021

The Hyundai Kona – the second-best seller for the last two years in a row in an overcrowded class of more than 20 small SUVs – has had its first major update since arriving in local showrooms in 2017.

Crash-avoidance technology has been added across the 2021 Hyundai Kona range, although only the most expensive models come with the full suite of advanced safety systems – and speed-sign recognition is still not available.


There are six models in the revised line-up, starting with the base Kona from $26,600 plus on-road costs, the Active from $28,200, the Elite from $31,600 and the Highlander from $38,000. Add $595 for metallic paint.

Prices for these mainstream Kona models represent an increase of between $500 and $1400 compared to the pre-facelift versions.


New for 2021 is the Kona N-Line and N-Line Premium (pictured in red in this story), both of which are all-wheel drive and powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder matched to a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.

The first SUVs to wear Hyundai’s sports label start from $36,300 and $42,400 plus on-road costs respectively.


All 2021 Hyundai Kona SUVs except the N-Line versions are powered by a non-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, sending power to the front wheels via a CVT automatic that has been tuned to mimic an eight-speed conventional auto.

Turbo all-wheel-drive power is no longer an option on the cheapest Kona variants.

In addition to the six airbags and a five-star safety rating carried over from the original model introduced in 2017, the updated base Kona comes with forward crash avoidance, lane-keeping assistance, radar cruise control, wireless phone charging, 16-inch alloy wheels, wireless Apple CarPlay, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, and a rear-view camera.

The Kona Active gains leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, and power-folding side mirrors.


Helpful touches on all models include extendable sun visors to better block glare from the front door windows. And a warning in the instrument cluster that advises when the car ahead drives off in stop-start traffic (just in case you’re not paying attention).

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