Hyundai has pulled the covers from the new-look 2021 Kona, revealing the funky small SUV's first major update since arriving on the scene in late 2017.
As well as receiving a host of styling updates, the facelifted Kona will be the latest Hyundai model to gain a sporty N Line version.
Its fresh design, dominated by the shark-inspired nose, is in keeping with Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness global design language that includes a bolder grinning grille design as already seen on the 2020 Santa Fe large SUV and the 2021 i30 hatch and sedan.
The Kona's characteristic high-mounted daytime running lights have been restyled along with the lower bumper and driving lights. Lower down, the main bumper fascia blends more seamlessly with the wheel-arch cladding to give the front end a chunkier, robust appearance.
Apart from the bonnet's curved edges, the side body retains the muscular and sculpted shape of the previous Kona but an extra 40mm added to the length brings a sleeker silhouette.
As well as the fresh look, the redesigned interior provides additional cargo capacity and rear-seat legroom.
The console area is disconnected from the instrument panel to emphasise the horizontal layout. The dashboard appears wide and airy to create a spacious atmosphere, while the console itself is less cluttered with the inclusion of an electric parking brake.
New to this model is a 10.25-inch digital cluster, first seen overseas in the all-new i20. In addition, there will be an optional 10.25-inch central infotainment screen over the standard 8.0-inch version. Digital DAB radio and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard.
Several new convenience features include second-row heated seats in upper-spec versions and a second-row USB port. The manually adjusted front seats in the more affordable variants have also been improved and passengers in the front row will be able to adjust their seat height.
Other interior enhancements include new ambient light technology that illuminates the centre cup holders as well as in the footwells, and new aluminium finish rings around the speakers and air vents.
More driver assistance features are available with new Kona including:
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop and go
- Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW)
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
- Rear Seat Alert (RSA)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) - now with optional cyclist detection
In addition, it will be available with eCall, a feature that automatically alerts emergency services if the airbags are deployed or the e-Call button is pushed.
Kona N Line
The new Kona N Line exterior design will feature an enhanced aerodynamic design with low-set air intake and more aggressive front bumper, complemented by corner fins and lean crease lines.
The side profile will also differ with body colour cladding and new rocker panels, complemented by the dedicated 18-inch alloy wheel design.
A revised rear bumper incorporates a large central aerodynamic diffuser in a contrast colour to the body as well as a one-side double muffler. The bumper fascia has sharply creased corners and N style fins for better airflow.
The interior has dedicated N Line colour package in one-tone black with cloth, leather or suede seats, distinctive red stitching, sporty metal pedals and N logo on the gear shift and seats.
The Kona N Line uses a version of Hyundai's 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch auto, which will be slightly more powerful than the current version, up 15kW to 145kW.
The hybrid version, which has been available in overseas markets since last year continues on. It features the 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor with a combined output of 103kW, paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and with two-wheel drive.
A 32kW electric motor draws its energy from a 1.7 kWh lithium-polymer battery. Hyundai Australia has previously said it would review the introduction of a Hybrid Kona here and has yet to confirm if it will be part of the 2021 line up.
MORE: Kona Electric review
Fuel-saving 48v mild-hybrid technology also features in the update, however, that will only be available with the diesel and 1.0-litre turbo petrol engines that are unlikely to be sold in Australia. The Kona Electric will continue in its current guise for now as a standalone model.
The updated Hyundai Kona and Kona N Line are expected to arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2021, although the local model line-up and specification will be announced closer to launch.