The Hyundai Kona line-up has received a facelift in 2021 and even more tech now available as standard across the model range. With two petrol engines and an electric powered option available to choose from now, and the hot all-new Kona N on its way, you will be sure to find a Kona to suit your lifestyle.
I recently drove the current top of the line Kona N Line Premium variant in the very vibrant Ignite Flame colour and found that the Kona had a nice ride quality and was easy to live with. The N Line Premium is powered by an all-new 1.6-litre, turbo petrol four-cylinder engine and a DCT automatic transmission that features a rev-matching function and is all-wheel drive with the option of a central diff lock and downhill descent control.
The engine delivers 146kW – up from the previous unit’s 130kW – and 265Nm to make this the most powerful petrol-powered SUV in its class. There are four drive modes to choose from including Comfort, Eco, Smart and Sport with Smart mode employing a learning algorithm that automatically adjusts gearshift intervals based on your recent driving patterns. The official combined fuel consumption is 6.9L/100km and for my week driving the N Line Premium I used 13.6L/100km.
The Kona range has a 5-star ANCAP (2017) safety rating with dual frontal, side and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags fitted. It comes with a standard rear-view camera and the N Line Premium has front and rear parking sensors.
The Kona N Premium Line also comes with a full suite of in-built, interconnected sensors and alerts to help keep you safer. These include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist – Line/Road-edge, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Warning. I felt that the steering assist system on the Kona worked well, but was not quite a good as those systems available on more expensive cars.
2021 Kona N Line and N Line Premium are differentiated with an exclusive black leather sports interior featuring red stitching and highlights. Both front seats have power adjustment for recline, forward/back and height adjustment for the front and back of the seat cushion. The driver’s seat gets additional two-way lumbar support and neither seat has memory positions. The front seats are also heated and cooled and I found that the heating was good, but the cooling was just adequate.
The door trims and dash are plastic-covered but the use of different textures makes them look nice still and I also liked the red highlights around the air vents and the ambient lighting. The leather appointed steering wheel is nice looking as well with two different textured materials used to cover it and it is heated too, something you will really appreciate in winter. In front of the steering wheel is all old-style pop-up screen for the head up display system.
The N Line Premium comes with a 10.25-inch colour driver’s dash offering a fully digital display that can be customised via user-selectable themes or depending on the Drive Mode you are in. The cluster presents a range of trip computer and system status information, as well as alerts from the various safety systems. I really liked that when you changed the wiper or headlight settings that a message came up on the dash to tell you what setting you were in as I find sometimes, I am left guessing whether I have selected the auto function for these or not.
There is a matching 10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia system with wide-screen display and split-screen functionality. All Kona models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard (connected using a cable) and a wireless smartphone charging pad at the front of the centre console; here there are also two 12V outlets and one USB port. As is the case for other Hyundai models the voice control system only operates when the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected and the button on the steering wheel that designates the voice control is the silhouette of a masculine face.
You get a Harmon Kardon premium audio with an external amplifier and eight speakers, including a front centre unit and a woofer. The media source options available include DAB/FM, AM, Bluetooth, USB music, USB video, and Sounds of Nature should you require some relaxation on your commute to work.
The Kona only has single zone climate control only and I would have expected dual zone considering the other interior features that come as standard across the model range. There is good sized drink bottle storage in the front door cubbies and you get two different sized rigid cup holders in the centre console.
There is not a great deal of room in the rear seats for adult passengers and I found the leg room to be particularly tight. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two rigid drink bottle holders at the front of it. There is also drink bottle storage in the door cubbies for a 600ml sized water bottle. My older children were happy that they had heated outer seats in the back, but unhappy that there are still no central air vents in the new Kona, something they found to be lacking in the previous model as well.
For younger children there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but the width of the rear seat would most likely limit their use to just two car seats. There is one central rear USB port, but no mat to protect the transmission tunnel from wear and tear.
The boot has a power assisted boot lid, but is not power operated and the boot size is not all that big. I think it would fit a small weekly shop or a stroller and a quick shop. It has four tie down points, a cargo net, one hook and a light. The parcel shelf is solid so you could store items on top of it or it can be completely removed so you can fit you dog in the boot. There is a temporary use spare tyre under the boot floor and the rear seats have a 60:40 split folding mechanism is extra storage length is required.
The Hyundai iCare program offers owner benefits including Lifetime Service Plan, 5 Year Unlimited Km Warranty, complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on new vehicles, 1,500km complimentary first service, a dedicated Customer Care Centre, and myHyundai – an exclusive owner website.
When servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years, a 10 Year Sat Nav Update Plan, and more. The Kona N Line Premium requires a service every 10,000km or once a year, whichever comes first. Using the Hyundai Australia website, I calculated that a 5-year service plan would cost $1,595 if paid for upfront.
The Hyundai Kona N Line Premium starts at $42,400 excluding dealer delivery and on road costs. Premium paint costs an extra $595 and you can option a two-tone roof in Phantom Black as a no cost option (deletes sunroof when selected). Visit your preferred Hyundai dealer for more information about the new Kona range or configure your Kona online now.
|The safety features fitted||Only has single zone climate control|
|Attractive looking interior||No rear central air vents|
|Nice ride quality||Old style head up display|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.