2024 Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric Debut in New York

Kona grows in size, gets more tech, and has an all-new design.

By Dan Heyman Wheels.ca

Apr 11, 2023 4 min. read

Article was updated 2 months ago

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Fresh off making waves all over the automotive world thanks to a massive showing at the 2023 World Car Awards, where its Ioniq 6 won electric vehicle of the year, car design vehicle of the year and overall world car of the year, Hyundai announced the arrival of the latest versions of their ultra-popular small crossover: the Kona and Kona Electric.

We mention the Ioniq brand here because a look at the Kona Electric reveals a few select design details that have been inspired by the Ioniq. They are subtle, but it’s nevertheless interesting how we’ve come to a time where an older model line is taking design cues from a newer all-EV line; the automotive world is a brave new one these days and so it goes.

Hyundai Kona EV
The main connection is something called the “Pixelated Horizon Lamp”, which is Hyundai speak for the Kona’s full-length light bar made up of a number of small, square lights that runs below the main taillight bar, just above the rear bumper. It’s hard to look at the item and not be reminded of a similar theme that runs throughout the Ioniq line-up. The lower front fascia receives a similar treatment, but is otherwise completely smooth and makes for a low drag coefficient of just 0.27 CD.

Other neat styling touches include flared wheel arches both front and back, a full-length front light bar that serves as the DRLs and headlamps that have been brought down low enough that their topside aligns with the top of the front fenders. The taillamps get a similar shape and the marker lights have been moved down to the Pixelated array, replacing the somewhat roughshod and overly-complex assemblies from the previous Kona. The two-tone wheels and subtle roof-mounted spoiler (that becomes somewhat less subtle on the N Line model) serve as nice toppers for the exterior styling package.

In addition to the enlarged spoiler, the N Line also gets special 19” alloy wheels, available Bose premium audio, red accented sports seats, dual exhaust tips and a redesigned front fascia.

Inside, all Kona Electric models – no matter the exterior colour – get yellow accents on the steering wheel, dash and seats to differentiate them from the more monochromatic interior the non-Electric Konas get. The dash on every Kona, meanwhile, is made up of dual 12.3-inch displays for your gauge cluster and infotainment (which is of the next-generation variety), canted slightly toward the driver for a more ensconced feel. In another nod to the Ioniq cars, they’ve moved the gear selector from the centre console to a wheel-mounted stalk, in an effort to de-clutter the dash and to also provide more storage inside.

Hyundai Kona EV

Otherwise, the centre stalk is devoid of touch-sensitive haptic feedback controls and instead gets traditional “hard buttons” for the HVAC system, infotainment and seat heater controls. The front seatbacks are also slimmer to allow for more rear legroom and there’s even an option to upgrade to ambient lighting that changes depending on which drive mode you’re inThere’s also more rear cargo storage and more storage still in the Electric version as it gets a “frunk” under the hood to store smaller items or the charge cable. The Kona is also the first vehicle in Canada to support Hyundai’s Digital Key 2 which allows owners to use their smartphone as their key and to leave their keyfob at home.

Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai Kona EV

Power for the Kona comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque (equalling last year’s numbers), sent either to the front wheels or all four wheels via a smart CVT. The N Line, meanwhile, gets a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder good for 190 hp and 195 pound-feet and sees the CVT replaced with an 8-speed automatic.

The Kona Electric comes only as a 2WD model and gets a 64.8 kWh battery that provides an estimated 418 km of range and can be charged from 10-80 per cent in just over 40 minutes when attached to a DC fast charger. Power-wise, it’s good for 201 hp and 188 lb-ft and can even be equipped to offer vehicle-to-load capability. So now, you can watch TV when at the campsite.
Pricing for the 2024 Kona will be available closer to launch, likely in the summer for the gas models and Q4 for the Electric.


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