Hyundai Showcases New Kona

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

hyundai showcases new kona

The brand from Korea is no stranger to applying massive styling changes during next-gen redesigns and even some mid-cycle refreshes. This tradition continues with its latest Kona, an entrant in the B-segment crossover class which retains some of the old car’s overall shape but puts on an entirely new (and slightly alarming) front and rear fascias.

With the introduction of the overseas Staria minivan and now this Kona, we’re clearly into what historians will eventually call Hyundai’s ‘Robocop’ era. As with numerous vehicles on the road today, its headlamps are in the bumper jowls but, thanks to the human proclivity to assign anthropomorphic traits to vehicles, a narrow strip of LEDs span the new Kona’s hoodline in an effort to give the thing some form of relatable styling in the area we have been conditioned to expect a set of ‘eyes’. The charging door on EV variants is as prominent as it is invisible on some of its Genesis cousins.

Pixelated squares on the lower valance tie the Kona to members of the all-electric Ioniq family, and aggressive side strakes recall the Elantra. More pixels appear out back, some on the wide taillamp plus a few more on the bottom of its bumper. It’d seem Hyundai is keeping turn signals on this model tucked on the car’s outer corners; we’d complain this makes them more difficult to see in traffic than if they were integrated into the high-riding illuminated strip but that observation is already well-trodden. 

Growing significantly in size, the new Kona is 6.9 inches longer with a 2.4-inch longer wheelbase compared to last year’s car. This bumps the cargo capacity behind the rear seats to 17 cubic feet from just 13 cubes. Interior trappings are also vastly improved, now offering twin 12.3-inch displays and zooty color combos. Note the retention of real buttons for common controls, which is a good thing.

There will be numerous power choices. Hyundai says the Kona was developed as an EV first, so let’s start there. Some markets will get a ‘standard range’ trim but it’s a safe bet we will only get the 65.4 kWh battery paired with a 214-horsepower electric motor. Euro estimates (which are always generous) suggest a driving range of over 300 miles but something closer to 250 is expected when the EPA has its say. Will all-wheel drive appear? Maybe as a hot N model later on.

Gasser trims will get the familiar 2.0L engine, though N Line will be treated to a 1.6L turbo. No one is talking power numbers for those cars as yet but it is reasonable to assume they’ll be similar – if not identical – to the present Kona, meaning roughly 150 horses for the 2.0L and nearly 200 for the 1.6L Gamma engine. All-wheel drive should be on the table in some configurations and whilst a hybrid powertrain is on tap in some parts of the world, the rumor mill says that powertrain won’t make it to America.

Look for the new Kona in dealers roughly when the kids go back to school in September.

[Images: Hyundai]

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2 of 11 comments
  • Poltergeist Poltergeist on Mar 08, 2023

    I like how Dungdai pre-installs weird creases in the sides of their cars now so you can't see the one's "installed" when their typically crummy drivers drive them into poles, traffic signs etc.

  • PeterPuck PeterPuck on Mar 08, 2023

    Someone here once said that Hyundai has a knack for designing cars that look like they’ve already been in an accident. It’s still true.

    Like Twitter users overstate things and use hyperbole to gain attention, Hyundai overstyles their cars to gain attention.

  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.