The updated Hyundai Kona range has arrived in Australia boasting new styling, advanced safety features, extra technology and more choice, though prices have risen across the board.
The line-up introduces two sporty N Line and N Line Premium variants to the range in anticipation of a Kona N model arriving in the second half of 2021.
The Kona electric will also rejoin the range with a facelifted design in March.
The six-variant Kona range is more expensive than before, starting with the $26,600 Kona (up $2300 over the old Kona Go), $28,200 Kona Active (up $2140), $31,600 Kona Elite (up $1000) and $38,000 Kona Highlander (up $1340).
The new Kona N Line costs $36,300 and the up-spec N Line premium caps off the range at $42,400.
To justify those price increases, extra equipment has been added as standard to every model grade which we will get into below.
Two engines underpin the updated range, with a new 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine powering the Kona, Kona Active, Kona Elite and Kona Highlander.
All are front-wheel drive and feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with eight simulated ratios that replaces the previous model's six-speed automatic.
A 146kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is reserved for the N Line variants, which both feature all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The entry-level Kona kicks off the range with equipment including an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, reversing camera, 4.2-inch display within the instrument cluster, LED daytime running lights, wireless phone charging, roof rails and an electronic parking brake. The 8.0-inch screen is new for 2021, as is the 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, wireless phone charging and electronic parking brake.
The Hyundai Kona also benefits from range-wide Hyundai SmartSense safety tech, which includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep and follow assist, adaptive cruise control with queuing function and a driver attention warning.
This is the first time an adaptive cruise control system with lane following assist has featured on an entry-level Kona variant.
The Kona Active betters the above equipment set with new leather upholstery, leather steering wheel and shifter, rear parking assist system and new 17-inch alloy wheels.
It also adds heated/power-folding exterior mirrors, map pockets and rear privacy glass over its equivalent 2020 variant.
The Hyundai Kona Elite stocks a larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen and Harman Kardon eight-speaker sound system (new for 2021), climate control, smart key with push-button and remote start capability, carbon grey exterior cladding, gloss black grille and front fog lights.
It also adds to the standard safety set with blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear-cross traffic collision avoidance assist and a safe exit warning system.
These safety items were not previously available on the 2020 Kona Elite specification.
The high-end Kona Highlander features a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, heated/ventilated powered front seats, heated steering wheel, heated outboard seats in the second row, LED headlights, head-up display, sunroof and 18-inch alloy wheels with Continental tyres. A high beam assist joins the safety kit.
Turning towards the sporty variants, the N Line scores the 146kW/265Nm turbo engine, all-wheel drive, a multi-link rear suspension arrangement and 18-inch sports alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres.
Despite stocking the more powerful engine, the Kona N Line mirrors the specification of the Kona Elite. It misses out on the digital instrument cluster, heated/ventilated seats, head-up display and sunroof.
The N Line Premium adds those features back in, mirroring the specification of the Kona Highlander.
N Line variants are designated by exterior styling enhancements, N Line badging, N Line sports seats, red stitching and alloy pedals.
A beige interior can be added to the Kona Highlander for $295, while the two N Line variants are available with a contrasting black roof at no extra cost (the sunroof is deleted with this option).
The new Hyundai Kona range is covered under Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.
It’s the third model as part of Hyundai’s ‘18 models in 18 months’ product offensive, following the facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe and new Palisade SUVs.
The new 2021 Hyundai Kona range is on sale now.
2021 Hyundai Kona Australian pricing
- Kona – $26,600
- Kona Active – $28,200
- Kona Elite – $31,600
- Kona Highlander – $38,000
- Kona N Line – $36,300
- Kona N Line Premium – $42,400
All prices expressed in this story do not include on-road costs.