This week, we are reviewing the 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line. Our vehicle was assembled at the Ulsan plant in South Korea and has an MSRP of 30,650.00 USD.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line has been the biggest surprise this year. Hyundai has enhanced the vehicle enough to transform an unmemorable, performance-oriented SUV into something extraordinary. We are left to ponder why manufacturers like Volkswagen and Audi, who have a reputation for delivering high-performing vehicles, have yet to produce a comparable offering for the North American market. The Kona kept all the good and improved on the irritating items. The first annoyance on the menu was the dual-clutch, replaced by a traditional 8-speed automatic. The 1.6L turbo produces 190hp, down 5hp from the 2023 model, while keeping the same torque at 195 lb-ft. At 130 mph, the maximum speed would upset most vehicles or cause some rattling inside, which wasn't the case.
Fun Factor: 8
Despite the lower horsepower and increased weight, the new Kona is still able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, which is only 0.3 seconds slower than the outgoing model. The difference is negligible, and this is the only downgrade over the previous model, as cornering and driving enjoyment are fully present. During our 1386-mile road trip, we could experience how it is handled in different environments. We took it to the desert, into the freezing Salt Flats and the Los Angeles urban jungle. The Kona performed excellently in all of these environments. We first saw its pedigree driving through the curvy roads of Angles Crest Hwy. We never expected a compact SUV to drive this well; it gave us vibes of German engineering. The 19-inch tires on our vehicle provided a firm yet comfortable ride. The base version with the 17-18-inch wheels should soften the ride for more comfort. Hyundai didn't just slap the N-line badge; the aesthetics and performance followed.
Can it Family: 8
The Kona feels more like a raised-up hatchback than a true SUV, which is fine by us. It will satisfy those who want a raised-up view of the road while keeping the practicality of a hatchback, which includes folding the rear seats. They can be folded in a 60-40 fashion, increasing cargo capacity. The suede and leather-covered seats are another strong point. Giving good support, which we were glad for on such a long road trip. The front passengers also get a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated seats. Another plus is the improved legroom for rear passengers, which is a plus compared to the outgoing model.
During our road trip of over 1300 miles, we observed an average fuel economy of 25.5 miles per gallon (9.2 litres per 100 kilometres) despite driving aggressively and pushing the Kona to its limits. The average fuel economy on the highway was 33 miles per gallon (7.1 litres per 100 kilometres). According to Hyundai, the fuel economy ratings for the city, highway, and combined driving are 9.7 litres per 100 kilometres, 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres, and 9.1 litres per 100 kilometres, respectively.
Karaoke Friendly: 9
Okay, usually, we start here with how the sound system sounds. However, Hyundai has gotten so many things right in this interior that I need to praise them for not having piano blacks, physical buttons, and user-friendly infotainment. Believe it or not, the interior of the Kona was one of the most user-friendly ones we tested in 2023, enhancing ride enjoyment and the ability to concentrate on essential things like driving! Now, the sound system includes a Bose 8-speaker setup, which sounds excellent and satisfies our audiophile ears. The only strange thing, and the Kona is not the only model with this little quirk, is that you need a cable for Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The base version of the Kona offers both wirelessly.
You can still fit only two car seats even with the additional space. The rear doors open wide enough, making entering the car easy with a car seat. We found some difficulty latching the car seats to the ISOFIX/latch ports since they were slightly pushed inward. Any rear-facing seat will mean the front passenger must adjust their seat either by taking off the front headrest or pushing the seat forward, pushing it back. We found that kids using the belt buckles themselves can be tricky due to their placement. It's especially true for the middle seat, which will require adult help as it has no support to stay upright. On the flip side, the wide opening in the rear makes it easy to get a larger stroller into the trunk.
City Cruising: 10
Engine idle stop & go only available on base model? This is the biggest head-scratcher if you want technology to save fuel for city driving the base version; Essential or SE in the US will give you access to it, but not any other model. However, Hyundai does have an exciting offering for city dwellers: the Hyundai Kona EV, which we are excited to test soon.
Why would we buy the Hyundai Kona N-Line, or what did we like about it?
The Kona is a good value overall; it offers everything buyers in this segment want. Hyundai really did their homework and listened to their clients with this model. Hyundai also released an EV version of the refreshed Kona.
Why would we not buy the Hyundai Kona N-Line, or what did we not like about it?
Start-stop is currently not offered on the 1.6 Turbo engine, and hybrid versions are not offered in North America; only an EV version is offered.
Hyundai has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Hyundai USA. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred to above.