We quite like the first-generation Hyundai Kona. While it's not the most attractive compact crossover, it does look distinct and a bit aggressive. What's most important about it is the way it drives... kinda like a little sports car. The steering is sharp, and it handles way better than most in the segment. The new one for 2024 just bowed, and we have to admit we didn't see it coming.
The new Kona doesn't completely ditch the current car's look because the shape is largely the same, as are the proportions, but the front and rear fascias are completely fresh with linear headlights and taillights, and a solid blunt nose and large front intakes. The simplicity of the lighting design is what gets us the most, and it looks like nothing else on the road. The contrasting fenders are still there, and the body creases carry over but with a less complex look. It's more like the current Elantra than the current Kona.
We think it makes the new Kona look far more upscale and crisp than most of the other competitors. It borrows looks from the new Hyundai IONIQ concept line, and we have to say they pulled it off rather nicely. The pixelated lights are particularly nice and come straight from the current IONIQ5.
Some of that linear theme carries over to the cabin of the new Kona with a long dashboard, LED lighting, and what appears to be a dual-screen infotainment/instrumentation layout. We can't see much detail in this media shot, but the cabin looks more in line with the most recent interiors like the Tucson, Sonata, and Elantra. We're guessing it's as easy to use and as pleasant to sit in, as well.
What might be of even more interest is the size increase. The 2024 Kona is 6 inches longer and an inch wider than the current model. The place where it needed a size bump the most was row two, and the 2024 Kona gets a wheelbase increase of 2 inches, which should help rear passengers tremendously.
There will be three Konas, a gasoline-only version, a hybrid, and dedicated EV. The EV, rather than an afterthought, was the basis of the new Kona design. There will also be an N Line model, but we're not sure if the changes will mostly be cosmetic or if it will get a power bump and suspension upgrades. More details are sure to come in terms of power, efficiency, etc., but we love what we see so far.
We enjoyed our time behind the wheel of the Hyundai Kona N. Read our full review.