The most noticeable change to the company’s Nissan Juke rival is its new face. Hyundai has fitted a reshaped bumper, slimmer LED headlamps and fresh low-mounted headlamps. These updates are mirrored at the SUV’s rear, with some new tail lamps and a slightly redesigned bumper.
Changes to the Kona’s interior are limited to the centre console. There’s a new electronic parking brake, some new trim and a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system for the range-topping model, lifted from the new i20 supermini. The standard car’s touchscreen also increases in size from seven to eight inches.
Buyers have their choice of four trim-levels. The base-model SE Connect variant comes as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors, electric windows, roof rails and a rear spoiler with an integrated brake light. There’s also a rear view camera and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
The sporty Kona N-Line is priced from £23,590. It builds on the base-model’s specification with more aggressive front and rear bumpers, 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and painted body cladding, in place of the standard car’s black plastic units. The cabin gets metal pedals, contrasting red stitching and N Line branding for the seats and gear shifter.
N Line models also get some extra technology, such as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic windscreen wipers, electrically folding door mirrors, an interior ambient lighting system and rear parking sensors. It also gets the larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen as part of the package.
Prices for the comfort-focussed Kona Premium start from £23,660. Upgrades over the N Line model include a unique set of 18-inch alloy wheels, anthracite coloured body cladding and a host of extra technology, including heated front seats, front parking sensors and an intelligent speed limit warning system.
The range topping Kona Ultimate is priced from £25,960 and adds LED headlamps, electric front seats and an electrically operated sunroof. Safety kit is also improved, with buyers receiving blind spot collision warning, rear cross traffic collision warning and a new safe exit warning system, which prevents passengers from exiting the vehicle into oncoming traffic.
Hyundai also offers a new version of the Kona Hybrid. It’s priced from £23,570 and is only available with the firm’s SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate trim-levels, each of which come with dedicated, hybrid-only alloy wheel designs.
Facelifted Hyundai Kona: engine and drivetrains
As part of the mid-cycle update, Hyundai has given the Kona’s engine range a rethink. For now, the Kona is only available with a 118bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine or a petrol-hybrid powertrain, but more options are coming.
The new range-topping petrol model will use a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit, which develops 195bhp. It’ll be available with either front- or four-wheel-drive, although every unit will be mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Buyers will also be offered turbocharged 1.6-litre diesel engine, which features 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance. The unit produces 134bhp and will be offered with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
The Kona Hybrid will also soon follow, sporting an updated version of the current car’s powertrain. The outgoing model featured a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 32kW electric motor and a 1.56kWh battery. After that, the Kona Electric will make a return, too.
Hot Hyundai Kona N to follow
However, the new N Line version won’t become the peak of the Kona’s performance potential, as a fully fledged Kona N is set for launch in 2021. It’ll use the same 247bhp 2.0 four-cylinder petrol engine as the Hyundai i30 N, providing competition for the likes of the Audi SQ2 and BMW X2 M35i.