2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Hyundai Kona
2020 Hyundai Kona Rear With Right Side View
2020 Hyundai Kona Infotainment System 1
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2020 Hyundai Kona Review: A Winning Formula

by Michael Butler

We've come to accept that the age of awkward-looking crossover SUVs is truly and firmly upon us. Gone are the days when you simply had to choose between a four-door sedan, a two-door sports car, and a truck. Well, if you can't beat them, join them, right? The Hyundai Kona has been at the head of the compact crossover crusade since 2018 and has become so good at what it does that it is making us forget what we used to do before cars like these were around. The Kona drives superbly, it's as safe as a nuclear bunker and when selected with the 175-horsepower 1.6T engine, goes like a bat out of hell. Pair all of this with a class-leading warranty and highly competitive pricing, and you've got yourself a clear winner. The Kona goes up against the likes of Honda's HR-V, and the Subaru Crosstrek.

Read in this review:

8.4
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2020 Hyundai Kona Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Kona?

The Hyundai Kona is a relatively new car in the USA, having been first introduced in 2018, but that doesn't mean that Hyundai has rested on its laurels; for 2020, the Kona's standard features list gets a remix while 2019's Iron Man Edition model has been discontinued. SEL models now come with a 4.2-inch color display and include a wireless charging pad while Limited and Ultimate models get a standard auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink. Adaptive cruise control now comes standard on all Ultimate models. If you like orange, there's also a new interior theme in this color to go with your Limited trim when specced in Sunset Orange exterior paint.

Pros and Cons

  • Edgy exterior design
  • Powerful available force-fed engines
  • Good road manners
  • Feature-rich interior
  • Some competitors offer more cargo space
  • It lacks steering feedback
  • Some cheap-feeling interior bits

What's the Price of the 2020 Hyundai Kona?

The Kona manages to use the all-important cost-factor to its advantage: it's competitively priced and offers a great deal of car for a relatively small amount of money. The base model Hyundai Kona costs $20,100, which includes destination charges but excludes tax, title, and license fees. One step up from the SE is the SEL, which sells for $21,900, followed by the SEL Plus, which will set you back $23,750. The Limited with its leather seats and upgraded Infinity sound system goes for $25,900, and finally, the Ultimate goes for $27,750. There's $7,650 and a big basket of features separating the base model from the top, so finding one that suits your needs should be simple enough. Fully kitted, the Ultimate can reach upwards of $31,500.

Best Deals on 2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Hyundai Kona Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$20,300
SEL
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$22,100
SEL Plus
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,950
Limited
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$26,100
Ultimate
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,950
See All 2020 Hyundai Kona Trims and Specs

2020 Kona Exterior

2020 Hyundai Kona Front View Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Rear View Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Three-Quarter Front Left View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Kona Front View
2020 Hyundai Kona Rear View
2020 Hyundai Kona Three-Quarter Front Left View
See All 2020 Hyundai Kona Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 164.0 in
  • Wheelbase 102.4 in
  • Height 61.0 in
  • Max Width 70.9 in
  • Front Width 62.0 in
  • Rear Width 62.4 in
  • Curb Weight 2,890.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Chalk White +$300
  • Lime Twist +$300
  • Surf Blue w/Dark Gray Roof +$400
  • Sonic Silver w/Black Roof +$400
  • Pulse Red w/Black Roof +$400
  • Sonic Silver
  • Thunder Gray
  • Sunset Orange
  • Ultra Black
  • Pulse Red
  • Surf Blue

2020 Kona Performance

2020 Hyundai Kona Three-Quarter Front Left View In Motion Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Rear View In Motion Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Engine Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Kona Three-Quarter Front Left View In Motion
2020 Hyundai Kona Rear View In Motion
2020 Hyundai Kona Engine

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Hyundai has hit the nail on the head with the Kona's handling and overall driving experience; this small crossover SUV feels agile and light-footed around town and on quiet backroads, and loves to dart its nose in the direction ordered by the driver. Its short wheelbase could make some think that they're in for a choppy ride, but quite the opposite is true; the independent MacPherson strut with coil springs in the front and independent multi-link design with coupled torsion beam axle in the rear soaks up bumps and road imperfections without breaking a sweat and inspires confidence when driving at higher speeds. The only notable fault we could find regarding the Kona's handling characteristics was a painfully numb steering feel that did little to let the driver know about the temperament of the front tires and, despite its weighted steering, still required constant adjustment when driving on the highway.

2020 Kona Interior

2020 Hyundai Kona Dashboard Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Infotainment System Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Driver Seat Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Kona Dashboard
2020 Hyundai Kona Infotainment System
2020 Hyundai Kona Driver Seat
See All 2020 Hyundai Kona Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.5 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.8 in

2020 Kona Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Hyundai Kona Trunk Space with Seat Folded Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Trunk Floor Storage Hyundai 2020 Hyundai Kona Floor Storage Opened Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Kona Trunk Space with Seat Folded
2020 Hyundai Kona Trunk Floor Storage
2020 Hyundai Kona Floor Storage Opened

2020 Kona Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Hyundai Kona A Good car?

It's getting harder to tell the difference between a good crossover and a so-so crossover; automakers have stepped up their game in a big way, especially in the highly competitive subcompact crossover SUV segment where the Kona battles it out with the likes of the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek. Luckily for Hyundai, they knew exactly what they were doing when they released the Kona back in 2018. A fresh exterior design matched with good interior space, a long list of standard features, an excellent reliability record, and an award-winning safety rating are but a few of the Kona's significant achievements. We can also mention the punchy 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, good fuel economy and stunning road-holding. With the Kona's price starting at a touch over $20,000, it represents excellent value for money and offers a good balance of looks, practicality, and performance in a market filled with cars that deliver either one or the other, but not all.

What New 2020 Hyundai Kona should I buy?

It should be clear to you by now that we're big fans of the Hyundai Kona. From the outside, it looks cutting edge despite being three years old already, and should keep looking good for quite some time. The interior might not be as visually stimulating, but everything feels sturdy and sits in the right place. Out on the road, the Kona delivers a sublime driving experience that compares to SUV's higher up in the size and price class. Which one would we go for then? With five trim levels on offer, it could get confusing to some, but we would skip straight to the top of the range to the Ultimate. With such a good little chassis and well-balanced ride, the Kona deserves nothing less than the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-pot engine - forget about the 2.0-liter unit. And if you're going straight for the more powerful engine, you might as well dole out the extra $1,850 for adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, a head-up display, and more.

Check out other Hyundai Kona Styles

2020 Hyundai Kona Comparisons

Hyundai Tucson Hyundai
Subaru Crosstrek Subaru
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Kona147 hp30/35 mpg$24,250
Hyundai Tucson 187 hp25/32 mpg$27,500
Subaru Crosstrek 152 hp27/34 mpg$25,195

2020 Hyundai Kona vs Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson sits above the Kona in the Hyundai SUV lineup and starts off with an MSRP of $23,350, a premium of $3,250 over the smaller Kona. The Tucson is powered by a pair of naturally aspirated inline-four-cylinder engines: the 2.0-liter unit produces 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and will return 23/28/25 mpg city/highway/combined in FWD configuration. The larger 2.4-liter engine produces 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque and will get 22/28/25 mpg. Power is sent to the front or all four corners via a six-speed auto transmission. The turbocharged 1.6-liter four-pot in the Kona is a far superior engine and makes the Tucson feel dated and sluggish in comparison. In terms of dimensions, the Tucson is the larger car, and is over 12 inches longer than the Kona, but sits lower to the ground with a clearance of 6.4 inches. Inside the Tucson offers the same amount of front-seat legroom, but offers 38.2 inches in the rear, significantly more than what you get in the Kona. Trunk space and overall cargo space is also superior. The Tucson, being a larger and heavier car, misses out on the nimbleness of the Kona, but still drives beautifully, and could really do with the extra grunt a turbocharger provides. Both cars are stocked with similar features and share more or less the same trim levels as well. We would only suggest the Tucson if you're desperate for the extra passenger and cargo space, other than that, the Kona is the better car.

See Hyundai Tucson Review

2020 Hyundai Kona vs Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru's Crosstrek is basically an Impreza covered in camo face-paint and is Subarus' take on the subcompact "whatever, it kinda looks like an SUV" class. It sure looks the part thanks to a slathering of bulky plastic trim pieces and a lifted ride height and flared fenders, but it has a few drawbacks that are hard to ignore. Power is supplied by a tepid 2.0-liter flat-four engine producing 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and is possibly the Crosstrek's biggest weak point - that, and the coma-inducing CVT auto transmission (the manual isn't great either). The Crosstrek makes up for lukewarm performance with a gas mileage figure of 27/33/30 mpg city/highway/combined. The Crosstrek is a larger vehicle than the 2020 Kona and offers more passenger and trunk space, and its interior is arguably more attractive than the Kona's. Standard features include a touch screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as well as safety features such as lane-departure warning. On the road, the Crosstrek offers a good driving experience, but it is off-road where its 8.7 inches of ground clearance and X-Mode AWD system makes it shine. The Crosstrek is the one to get if you're serious about going off the beaten track, but for everything else, the Kona is best.

See Subaru Crosstrek Review
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