Hyundai Kona review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:electric, hybrid, petrol
Available colours:
Hyundai Kona 2021 infotainment
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  • Hyundai Kona 2021 head-up display (HUD)
RRP £21,265What Car? Target Price from£19,563
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

In simple terms, as a cash buy, the Kona is bit more expensive than an equivalent Skoda Kamiq but cheaper than a Ford Puma. The same usually holds true if you're buying on PCP finance, although this does vary month to month according to manufacturer special offers.

The official fuel economy and CO2 emissions of the 1.0 T-GDi Kona are nothing to write home about but the Hybrid model is seriously frugal. It delivers its best fuel economy in urban environments, although it is still respectably efficient on a motorway. Low CO2 emissions make this the Kona to go for if you're a company car driver paying benefit in kind (BIK) tax.

If you're looking for even cheaper tax bills, don't forget there's a fully electric version of the Kona as well. 

Equipment, options and extras

Stick to entry-level SE Connect trim because, as well as keeping the price down, you get relatively small alloy wheels to stop the ride from becoming too uncomfortable. You also get air conditioning (climate control with the Hybrid), dusk-sensing headlights, cruise control and a function that can automatically keep you steering along the centre of your lane on the motorway. That's on top of the parking aids and infotainment goodies we mentioned earlier. 

In fact, the only important thing you miss out on with SE Connect is rain-sensing wipers, something you need to upgrade to Premium trim to get. The price hike is a big one, though, and if you're spending that much money there are bigger and better SUVs to choose from.

The case for range-topping Ultimate trim is even harder to make, despite the fact that it comes with loads of creature comforts as standard. The regular petrol model (not the Hybrid) is available in sporty N Line, but unless you've fallen in love with the more aggressive looks, it is hard to recommend.

Hyundai Kona 2021 infotainment

Reliability

Hyundai did very well in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing in sixth place (out of 31 brands) in the overall league table. That was one position below Skoda, but above Ford, Kia and Volkswagen. 

For peace of mind if something does go wrong, all versions comes with Hyundai’s impressive five-year unlimited mileage warranty as standard. The battery in the Hybrid model is covered for a further three years.

Safety and security

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) comes as standard on all versions of the Hyundai Kona, and it can recognise and respond to pedestrians as well as cars. If you go for the Hybrid version in Premium trim or Ultimate trim, the system can react to cyclists, too.

Lane-keeping assistance is standard across the range, as is a driver fatigue monitor. However, the only way to get rear cross traffic alert or blindspot monitoring is by going for range-topping Ultimate trim – these features aren't available as options on cheaper models.

The Kona was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety score in 2017. That was relatively impressive at the time, but it's important to note that the testing criteria are a lot more stringent these days. 

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Overview

The hybrid version has low CO2 emissions on its side, but otherwise the Kona is outclassed by the many other small SUVs available to choose from at this price. The Ford Puma is more fun, the T-Roc more comfortable and the Skoda Kamiq more practical.

  • Low CO2 emissions (Hybrid)
  • Generous standard kit
  • Good infotainment system
  • Bumpy ride
  • Not very practical
  • So-so performance of the 1.0 T-GDi

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