The 2024 Hyundai Kona Has More Room for Activities

By 5 Min Read

Small SUVs are getting bigger. The 2024 Hyundai Kona—once firmly a subcompact—is now longer, wider, and taller than the tiny SUV it replaces. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bigger exterior dimensions offer more passenger and cargo space, and the new Kona is ripe with room.

At 171.3 inches long and with a wheelbase of 104.7 inches, the Kona has grown by 5.7 and 2.3 inches, respectively. That added size gives the Kona a more robust 25.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat. That’s 6.3 more cubes than last year and better than competitors like the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek. Rear seat legroom improves by about three inches, too, making the back seat a genuinely nice place to be.

The cabin is clean and simple. Soft plastics, premium faux leather, and aluminum accents dot the dash, door panels, and center console. Every surface feels like an upgrade over the previous Kona. And you even get heated and ventilated front seats on this Limited model—a rarity for this segment.

Quick Specs 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD
Engine Turbocharged 1.6-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output 190 Horsepower / 195 Pound-Feet
Fuel Economy 29 City / 24 Highway / 26 Combined
Base Price $25,625
As-Tested Price $34,695

A sizeable 12.3-inch touchscreen graces the dashboard, joined by a matching 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Our test vehicle still didn’t have wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it is coming to 2024 Kona models via an over-the-air update.

The already-funky-looking SUV looks more futuristic now, with an ultra-slim light bar spanning the width of the hood, and chunky black plastic cladding around the front bumper and wheel wells for a more rugged look. It’s even better with the Neoteric Yellow paint job—a no-cost option.

Pros: More Space, Futuristic Design, Nice To Drive

On the road, the Kona is an excellent cruiser. The upgraded 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine on this Limited model makes 190 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Power delivery is quick and there’s enough of it available at high rpm to make easy work of highway passes. The eight-speed automatic is an upgrade over the base model’s CVT and it’s a quick shifter.

All-wheel drive is available across the board, but it’s a $1,500 option on all trims. Yes, even the top-tier Limited comes with standard front-wheel drive. But with that you do get a unique suspension setup; FWD models have a torsion beam while AWD models have an independent multi-link setup in the rear.

2024 Hyundai Kona Review
2024 Hyundai Kona Review

So not only does adding AWD give drivers more confidence in inclement weather, but it also makes the Kona a more well-rounded performer. Chuck it into a corner and the Kona feels tidy and balanced. There isn’t as much body roll as you’d expect and the chassis soaks up to undulations and broken pavement well. Even with too-big 19-inch wheels, the Kona has a comfortable ride. The steering is overly boosted and vague, but that’s not unexpected for this segment.

The combo of all-wheel drive with the 1.6-liter engine is also the least efficient option of the group. It returns 29 miles per gallon city, 24 highway, and 26 combined—the base model gets up to 31 mpg combined. The HR-V, Crosstrek, and Toyota Corolla Cross are all more efficient with all-wheel drive.

2024 Hyundai Kona Review

Cons: Inefficient With All-Wheel Drive, Pricey With The Turbo

As for the price; If you read my recent “Cheap Cars Are Dead” column, you probably know where I’m headed here. When the previous Kona was new in 2017, it only cost $18,000—and it was pretty good for that price. Now you’re staring at a $25,625 base price with destination included. More than a $7,000 increase. The AWD Limited model tested here comes in at $34,695 with no options (other than a carpeted floor mat accessory). Not exactly affordable.

But, the new Kona brings a lot to the table. It’s bigger, which means more passenger and cargo space, and the styling is unique. You certainly won’t lose this car in a crowded parking lot—especially with that paint job. And it’s nice to drive. Assuming you’re willing to swallow a serious price increase, the Kona ticks a lot of the big boxes for shoppers in this segment.

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