Base Camp: 2024 Hyundai Kona

Redesigned Kona grows in size and price. Which trim is the best value?

By Matthew Guy Wheels.ca

Aug 29, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated a month ago

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Hyundai has been known for ages in this country as the purveyor of vehicles with a solid value play, these days with assists from its wingers “Styling” and “Power”. The Kona stepped into a void left by the Tucson when it got slightly larger a few years ago, providing an alternative for customers shopping in the Elantra price range.

For 2024, the Kona has been significantly revamped, appearing with an alarming new face reminiscent of Robocop’s helmet, at least to those of us with one foot still in the ‘80s. The base trim is still called the Essential on this side of the border, equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, priced at $25,999 before fees. An automatic transmission is the sole choice of gearbox – which really isn’t a gearbox at all since it is of the continuously variable sort. We digress. Horsepower figures remain the same.

The ’24 Kona grows a bit in size compared to its predecessor, stretching an extra 145 mm (5.7 inches) longer and 25 mm (1.0 inch) wider than before. Some of that bounty is said to be shuffled to the rear seat, where passengers in that perch should enjoy better legroom than last year. And, yes – we know it’s a Limited trim in these photos; overall footprint and appearance (and LED lighting signatures!) will be similar, so use yer imagination for now, mmkay?

Alert readers will have noted a price hike, and some of that increase is thanks to snazzy standard equipment which pops up even on the base Essential model. On board is a 12.3-inch touchscreen, one which incorporates a next-generation infotainment system that builds on the generally excellent software currently inhabiting today’s car. It appears we’re getting to the point in base model cars where it’s cheaper for some manufacturers to simply include the biggest infotainment screen on all trims instead of making a smaller one solely for The Cheap Seats. This phenomenon played itself out years ago on the likes of power windows and air conditioning, and we’re glad to see it migrate to infotainment. Thank you, economies of scale.

2024 Hyundai Kona

Hyundai’s Smartsense safety features are also standard across the board, meaning active driving aids such as forward collision assist are part of the deal, as are 17-inch alloy wheels. Back to the infotainment system, we learn that wireless connectivity to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay tools are standard kit as well. It is rumoured that remote start is standard on all trims, though it is unclear if that is a dedicated feature or one provided through the BlueLink over-the-air service which is generally offered as a three-year trial before expiring.

What We'd Choose

All-wheel drive will be a $2,000 option on the base Essential trim, meaning it still comes in about $500 cheaper than the Preferred trim with front-wheel drive. While full details will be shared closer to the ’24 Kona’s official launch later this year, we’ve learned the Preferred trim will likely gain adaptive cruise control and the brand’s too-cool digital key along with a few other creature comforts.

With that in mind, we’d rather spend an equivalent sum on a Preferred FWD than an Essential AWD – especially since every good Canadian driver budgets for a quality set of winter tires anyway, right? But anyone unconcerned by those few extra features would be smart to sample the Essential FWD and enjoy its healthy list of standard equipment whilst saving about $40 per month compared to the more expensive options.

Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.



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