Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec…
The bad news? We won’t get an all-electric version of the new Hyundai Kona until next year. The good news? The development that went into the all-new Kona was based on it being an electric vehicle.
That means an exceptionally-quiet new Kona!
Manufacturers have learned that electric vehicles require much more attention to eliminating or, at least, dealing with wind and road noise. The sound and vibration of the engine in a conventional vehicle, masks much of this. But as anyone who has driven an electric vehicle can tell you – the first impression is of how quiet it is.
That was my first thought while driving the all-new 2024 Kona on less-than-perfect secondary Quebec roads here during the new Kona’s Canadian introduction.
Noise is the enemy when it comes to designing electric vehicles
When I commented on how smooth and quiet it was, Ricardo Chan, senior manager of products and strategy at Hyundai Canada, said “That’s because during the early development process we knew there would be an electric version, and we had to attack the sources of road and wind noise masked by an engine.”
The 2024 Kona is not only quieter than the outgoing model, it thus feels like a much more refined vehicle. It certainly stands out in the compact SUV class!
That development team didn’t stop there. They looked at the list of things current owners wish for and those that turned away prospective buyers. Cargo and rear seat space both lists. The outgoing Kona was among the smallest in a class of competitors that includes the Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, Subaru Crosstrek, and Toyota Corolla Cross.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona is 145-mm longer than its predecessor, 25-mm wider, 45-mm taller and the wheelbase has grown by 60 millimetres. It is not class-leading in any of these areas but now, it’s in the same ballpark as the others.
Cargo space increase and more legroom in the 2024 Hyundai Kona
The resultant increase in ‘practical space’ includes a 33% increase in the cargo area, 77-mm more legroom for second row occupants, and a large multi-use centre console.
One of the neat touches found throughout, is a nifty way to stow the cargo cover when height for taller items is required. Instead of having to toss it into garage or back seat, it fits vertically in a slot behind the rear seat.
There are two heights for the cargo floor itself.
In addition to the bump up in size, the new Kona gets a fresh and distinctive new look.
The added width gives it a more planted stance.
A unique seamless LED daytime running light runs the full width at the front and a similar single strip of LED lights spans stretches across the rear.
The N-line trim gets unique body-side cladding, front and rear bumpers, 19-in alloy wheels, and numerous trim details.
The new Kona bristles with technology.
All but the base model come with twin 31-cm integrated displays, one for the instrument cluster and the second for a Connected Car Navigation Cockpit. The big screen hides a much faster processor and other heavily upgraded items that allow over-the-air updates.
You can even use your smart watch to lock or unlock the vehicle. Other smart watch features include the ability to start or stop the engine, check fuel range and even locate the vehicle in a crowded parking lot!
Under the hood of the 2024 Hyundai Kona
The powertrains are carried over. Base models get a normally-aspirated 2.0-litre four producing 147-horsepower and 132-lb.ft of torque, about mid-point in the competitor set. The N-Line comes with a turbocharged 1.6 litre engine with 190-horses in the corral and 195-lb.ft of torque – class-leading in both respects.
The seven-speed double-clutch automatic used previously has been replaced by a new eight-speed conventional gearbox because, as Chan says: “North Americans prefer smoother shifting”.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona comes to Canada in four trim levels
As you’d expect the standard equipment list grows with each step up the trim ladder.
- Essential, $25,999
- Preferred, $32,499
- N-Line, $35,499
- N-Line Ultimate, $38,499
The first two come with the 2.0-litre engine and front -wheel drive. AWD is an option and standard on the N-Line models.
In typical Hyundai fashion, value is a key player. Even the least expensive version gets the upgraded infotainment system, alloy wheels, LED headlights, proximity key with push button start, and the full slate of safety features.
Kona’s SmartSense brings a full suite of driver-assistance features, including automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist.
The Kona was the best-selling compact SUV in the country from 2019 to 2022. Hyundai has sold more than 135,000 of them. The second generation of Hyundai’s smallest crossover – redesigned, larger, and more refined – should allow it to build on those numbers.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line
As tested: $35,499, plus freight
31-cm infotainment screen, Bluelink telematics, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functions, wireless charging
Forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keep and following assist, automatic high beams, blind spot avoidance assist, rear cross traffic alert, active-cornering LED headlights, rear park distance warning, rear cross traffic alert, safe exit warning, rear occupant alert, automatic high beams
19-in alloy wheels, digital key, adaptive cruise control with stop-n-go, dual-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, heated steering wheel, power mirrors and front seats; tilt/telescope steering wheel
Turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder. 190-horsepower, 195 lb.ft. of torque, eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. NRCan ratings litres/100 km, city/highway 8.8/8.1
Length, 4,350-mm; wheelbase, 1,825-mm; wheelbase, 2,660-mm