Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Kona is pricier like-for-like than the Seat Arona. We'd recommend sticking with the smaller engine and SE trim, although official CO2 emissions and fuel economy still aren't as impressive as you might hope – this configuration returns 44.1mpg and emits 127g/km of CO2. The larger engine, with its four-wheel drive and automatic gearbox, returns just 34mpg and emits 158g/km of CO2.
The Hybrid is, unsurprisingly, a much more appealing prospect when it comes to running costs. On the SE’s 16in alloy wheels, it can return 56.5mpg and emits just 90g/km of CO2. This puts it in a much lower benefit-in-kind tax bracket, making it an enticing company car proposition. What about the fossil fuel-shunning Kona Electric, though? To find out, take a look at our separate review.
Equipment, options and extras
Stick to entry-level S trim and Hyundai throws in plenty of features such as 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control plus electric front and rear windows but you miss out on a proper infotainment system.
We’d recommend paying a bit extra for Play, which gets you the previously mentioned 7.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system, as well as 18in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and automatic headlights. It is followed by SE, which costs a tiny bit more and gets a chrome finish to the interior door handles but reverts to smaller 17in wheels. Premium, meanwhile gets a much larger kit list; the bigger 8.0in infotainment screen, climate control, keyless start and entry plus electric lumbar support for the front seats, but this starts to make the Kona look quite pricey.
Finally, Premium SE and Premium GT (the latter is available only with the turbocharged 1.6 petrol engine) get a head-up display, power-folding door mirrors, and a heated steering wheel, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, but these trims are too expensive to recommend.
The Hybrid engine is available with SE, Premium and Premium SE trims.
Hyundai did very well in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing seventh out of 31 manufacturers. That’s above both Seat and Volkswagen, and even premium marques such as Audi and Mercedes.
The Kona also comes with Hyundai’s impressive five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty as standard.
Safety and security
The entry-level Kona S gets front, front side and curtain airbags as standard, along with lane-keeping assistance, while blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on Premium SE trim and above.
Only the range-topping Premium GT version comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard – a critical safety feature that many rival manufacturers fit as standard across their ranges. This can be added on all trim levels, though, as part of Hyundai’s Safety Pack.
The Kona still managed a five-star Euro NCAP safety score. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that although it scored slightly higher than a Seat Arona for child occupant safety, the Arona fared better at protecting adult occupants and pedestrians.
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