Drive Notes: 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today for our Drive Notes feature, I give you a 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited.


I first drove the redone Kona in Maryland last fall, and now I got to spend a week with one.

Here's the pros and cons I saw from the Limited-trim Kona during my week behind the wheel.

As a reminder, this is the upper trim and the engine here is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 190 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque -- and this tester had all-wheel drive.

Pros

  • The interior materials were generally nice, save some hard/cheap plastics on top of the doors. I found the design to be pretty handsome and pleasing to the eye, as well.
  • Hyundai continues to improve steering feel -- although there's still a bit too much artificialness to it, it's nicely weighted.
  • Handling is, if not fun, at least competent.
  • Ride is pleasant on unbroken pavement. For rougher pavement, see below.
  • Rear-seat room is adult-friendly.
  • I liked the large storage area around the cupholders, but the closed center-console is very small.
  • Road/wind/tire noise are well muted, and engine noise is, too, at least at lower RPMs.
  • HVAC and infotainment controls are easy to use, and the infotainment is also easy to navigate.
  • Low-end acceleration is perfectly adequate.

Cons

  • The engine gets noisy at higher RPMs.
  • This vehicle could use a bit more passing punch. The turbo feels like it hits a bit of a wall as the revs climb.
  • The ride is a bit too stiff when going over speed bumps or broken pavement.
  • I didn't love the harder plastics on the upper parts of the doors.
  • It really is a bit annoying that the enclosed part of the center console is so tiny.
  • The fuel-economy numbers are mediocre at 24/26/29.
  • I heard/felt some driveline clunkiness/dragging when accelerating from a stop. I worried there had been damage but a quick visual inspection showed nothing. I think the AWD system was doing some machinations. Also, the emergency brake sometimes clicked on when parking -- I wonder if that had something to do with it.

Overall, I like the Kona as an option for someone looking for a small, city-friendly crossover. It could use a little tweaking here and there, but total package is pretty livable -- and the $34K price doesn't seem too steep.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 17 comments
  • YellowDuck YellowDuck on Jun 13, 2024
    OMG the wheels! Yuck.
    • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jun 13, 2024
      I'm Ok with any wheel covers that do not have to be removed to retorque the bolts.
  • J J on Jun 13, 2024
    Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.
  • Varezhka Saving sedans in US or globally? Right now around half of the global sedan sales is in China, just under a quarter in North America, and the remaining quarter distributed around the rest of the world. So for a sedan to stay around they must sell well in both China and North America (BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda) or just extremely well in China (VW/Audi and Nissan). For everyone else, the writing is on the wall. There’s also a niche of subcompact sedans in SE Asia and India but I believe those are being replaced by SUVs too.
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