Hyundai KONA—the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year—is back with a bold design update that retains the model’s winning personality. The B-SUV’s exterior design is upgraded with various enhancements that make it even more appealing to customers who lead active lifestyles.
At the same time, Hyundai is expanding its B-SUV lineup by launching the sporty all-new KONA N Line. This attractive entry point to Hyundai’s high-performance N brand is distinguished by signature fascia, body color claddings and large rear spoiler as well as N Line specific design accents.
“Interestingly, there’s a happy vibe that I feel is common with many Kona drivers.” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. “Our design inspiration stems from this positive spirit, and this is a dedication to all the adventurers out there who explore life with a smile.”
KONA N Line features a sporty and progressive design
With the latest product enhancement, KONA will be available for the first time as an N Line version, combining fun to drive with a sporty appearance. The KONA N Line stands out through its motorsports-inspired front and rear end, body color claddings, and diamond-cut wheel design.
KONA N Line’s front is characterized by the dynamic features of the front bumper, harmoniously connected and unified with the body color treatment of the wheel arch claddings. Instead of the rugged skid plate of the new KONA, the N Line version features a characteristic N-style aerodynamic lip with low-lying corner fins for a road-hugging appearance. Larger, more technical air intake features are further distinguished by a unique mesh design and surface treatment.
On the sides, the body color claddings and new rocker panels are complemented by the dedicated 18-inch alloy wheel design.
KONA N Line’s rear design reinforces the model’s dynamic image. The rear bumper incorporates a large central aerodynamic diffusor in a contrast color to the body as well as a one-side double muffler. The bumper fascia is formed with sharply creased corners and N-style fins for better air flow.
The interior is now available with a dedicated N Line color package in one-tone black with cloth, leather or suede seats. In addition, the distinctive red stitching, metal pedals and N logo on the gear shift and seats all contribute to a sportier look and feel.
Sleek and sophisticated design upgrades for the new KONA
With a bold, progressive design and adventurous personality, Hyundai KONA has become an icon in its segment. Design updates, front and rear, give the new KONA a sleek, sophisticated look while keeping its robust signature style.
The striking new front-end design stands out with eye-catching, protective cladding panels. At the top, the stretched bonnet ends sharply over the center grille with a wide, distinctive shape that gives KONA a powerful look. This effect is further enhanced by the wide, thin LED DRLs. Lower down, the main bumper fascia connects smoothly to the wheel arch claddings, forming a unique and robust armor in a contrasting material to the main body.
On the lower bumper, the robust skid plate appears to embrace the lower air intake, and visually complements the shape of the main upper grille. Integrated into the bumper corners are vertically oriented aerodynamic inlets that improve air flow.
The side body retains the muscular and sculpted shape of the previous KONA, but the sporty wedge-shaped silhouette is further accentuated by the visual connection between the shoulder creases and the sharper, cleaner, more harmonious front end.
At the rear, the new taillights feature horizontally stretched graphics. These reflect the unique identity of the front-end light design. The new rear bumper, which also follows the protective armor concept of the front and sides, also uses a contrasting material.
In addition, the latest model comes with updated 17- or 18-inch wheel designs, in addition to 16-inch wheels carried over from its predecessor. KONA Hybrid will be available with the same 16- or 18-inch wheels as before.
The new KONA is 40mm longer than the previous model, giving it a sleeker and more dynamic look that complements its wide, strong visual stance.
The new KONA comes with five new exterior colors, including Surfy Blue, Dive in Jeju, Ignite Flame, Cyber Grey, and Misty Jungle. These are in addition to five existing colors, including Phantom Black, Chalk White, Dark Knight, Pulse Red and Galactic Grey. Every color can be combined with the Phantom Black two-tone roof. The two-tone roof also comes with matching mirror housings. This contributes to its sporty and sleek appearance and gives customers more options for personalization and self-expression.
Interior design updates
The redesigned interior of the new KONA expresses a more upscale and progressive look than its predecessor. It features a rugged yet refined style that matches the exterior’s boldness, designed to appeal to customers who lead an active lifestyle. Extra cargo capacity and rear seat legroom offer more accommodation and comfort. This is in addition to a significant technology upgrade that contributes to the interior’s comprehensive update.
The new console area is disconnected from the instrument panel to emphasize the horizontal layout. The dashboard appears wide and airy to create a generously spacious atmosphere. An electric parking brake is added as a new convenience feature in response to customer demand.
Other enhancements that contribute to the interior’s higher level of quality and refinement include new ambient light technology that illuminates the center cup holders as well as in the passenger and driver side footwells, and new aluminium finish rings around the speakers and air vents.
The new KONA interior is completed by new colors and materials. New seat cover options include a black woven houndstooth design, cloth seats with black and grey embossing, and perforated leather seats in black, beige, or khaki.
With the black woven houndstooth seats, industrial-inspired and modern grains accentuate the fine-spun linear seat trim with its three-dimensional pattern. With the black and grey cloth seats, sophisticated visuals are created by shadows and dark nuances in several anthracite grey tones. Optional leather seats show a classy tartan texture that is also reflected in the material perforation. Both the texture and the colors of the leather seats harmonize the dynamic-looking interior.
As an alternative to the dark interior, KONA is also available with a light beige interior trim, accentuating the fresh look seen in the door panels and seats. With the optional khaki leather seats and the khaki center console, Hyundai is also offering a natural and premium look as an alternative to the black and beige versions.
The new KONA’s interior packages include changes in color to the dashboard as well as the seats and other surfaces.
- – Two-tone light beige (leather) [NEW]
- – Khaki (leather) [NEW]
Basic color operations:
- – One-tone black (woven cloth or leather)
Connectivity & Technology
The new KONA is equipped with the latest in-car connectivity and technology.
New to this model is a 10.25-inch digital cluster, first seen in the all-new i20. In addition, the new KONA also comes with an optional 10.25-inch AVN screen, providing new connectivity features. The new AVN screen also comes with a split-screen function and multiple Bluetooth connections.
In addition, KONA comes with the latest Blue Link upgrade, which includes User profile, Last Mile Navigation, Connected Routing, Live Parking Information, and more. Customers can have a personalized User profile that can be transferred to other Hyundai vehicles providing the same feature. Last Mile Navigation helps customers continue the journey to their destination even after the car is parked, using either Augmented Reality or Google Maps. Connected Routing is Hyundai’s cloud-based navigation system. Live Parking Information gives users real-time information on the location and price of nearby available parking spaces. In addition, the latest Blue Link upgrade features Free Text Search for users to enter addresses or points of interest.
As standard, the new KONA is equipped with Display Audio that is increased from seven to eight inches, and DAB radio. It’s also upgraded with wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play for convenient wireless connectivity of their phones to the Display Audio system.
Advanced safety and driver assistance features
The new KONA is equipped with a range of safety and driver assistance features.
Smart Cruise Control (SCC) is upgraded to include the stop-and-go function. Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), available in combination with the DCT, is enhanced too, engaging the vehicle’s differential brakes to prevent a collision if another vehicle is detected near the rear corner (blind spot) and the driver attempts to change lanes.
New to this model is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), which alerts the driver if they do not react fast enough when the vehicle ahead of them starts moving. Another is Lane Following Assist (LFA), which automatically adjusts steering to assist the driver to keep in the center of the lane.
Another upgraded feature is Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian and new, optional cyclist detection. The optional FCA uses a sensor in addition to a camera to better detect potential collisions. This increases the detection range and types of targets that can be detected, and ensures the system works even in bad weather conditions. If the system senses a potential collision and the driver fails to react in time, it automatically applies the brakes. As another enhancement, FCA now comes as standard (camera based), including pedestrian detection-
Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), also a first for the new KONA with the DCT, works to avoid a collision when backing up by applying the brakes if another vehicle is detected. This is an upgrade from the previously available Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, which only provided a warning.
Another unique feature is Rear Seat Alert (RSA), which alerts the driver if someone or something is in the back seat when they prepare to exit the vehicle. Another safety feature primarily intended for the protection of children, Safe Exit Warning (SEW) is intended to prevent passengers from exiting the vehicle if it is not yet safe to do so. If the vehicle has come to a stop, but the radar detects an oncoming vehicle coming from the rear, it will display a visual and audio warning to alert the passenger of the danger.
Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW) uses the vehicle’s navigation or the front camera to determine the current speed limit and displays it in the cluster and AVN. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, a visual warning is shown.
In addition, the new KONA is now available with eCall, a feature that automatically alerts emergency services if the airbags are deployed or the e-Call button is being pushed.
Hyundai SmartSense Active Safety Features
- – Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) [NEW]
- – Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist [NEW]
- – Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop and go [NEW]
- – Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA) [NEW]
- – Lane Following Assist (LFA) [NEW]
- – Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW) [NEW]
- – Safe Exit Warning (SEW) [NEW]
- – Rear Seat Alert (RSA) [NEW]
- – Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) (now with [NEW] optional cyclist detection)
Other Safety Features:
- – e-call [NEW]
Comfort & Roominess
Several new convenience features allow for a more comfortable and convenient experience, including second-row heated seats and a second-row USB port. The new KONA with manual seats has also been improved. Passengers in the front row can also now adjust their seat height for an optimized seating position while they ride.
New powertrain options for both sporty and eco-conscious consumers
The new KONA’s powertrain lineup reaches new heights in terms of performance and sustainability. At the top of the lineup is an enhanced 1.6-liter T-GDI Smartstream engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission that delivers 198 PS. This powerful, sporty powertrain is available in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variations.
For increased fuel efficiency, the new KONA will be equipped with 48-volt mild hybrid technology. This technology is applied to the 1.6-liter Smartstream diesel engine with 136 PS as standard and is available with a seven-speed DCT (7DCT) or six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (6iMT) as well as optional four-wheel drive. The 1.0-liter T-GDI Smartstream petrol engine with 120 PS can be equipped with 48-volt mild hybrid technology and 6iMT as an option.
First seen in the new i30 and the all-new i20, the iMT’s clutch operates purely electronically instead of using a mechanical linkage. The iMT decouples the engine from the transmission after the driver releases the accelerator, saving fuel as the engine can switch off and the car enters coasting mode. The engine restarts in the same gear as soon as the driver presses either the brake or the accelerator pedals, thanks to the power provided by the Mild Hybrid Starter Generator.
When chosen without mild hybrid technology, the 1.0-liter T-GDI Smartstream engine can be combined with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission and optional four-wheel drive.
KONA Hybrid system
The new KONA is also available as a hybrid option, which was added to the KONA lineup in 2019. This powertrain features a 1.6-liter GDI engine and electric motor with a combined output of 141 PS, paired with a 6-speed dual clutch transmission and with two-wheel drive. The 32kW electric motor draws its energy from a 1.56 kWh lithium polymer battery.
Ride and handling enhancements for more comfort
The new KONA is retuned for a smoother ride compared to its predecessor in order to improve driving comfort, without degrading the KONA’s sporty character. Next to springs and dampers, the stabilizer bars were modified for better ride comfort and isolation. The rear bump stop was also modified, bringing benefits for primary ride and lateral body control.
The new KONA also comes with improved tires on all sizes of wheels, resulting in less rolling resistance and more efficient driving. The 18-inch tires are upgraded from Conti Sport Contact 5 to Conti Premium Contact 6 to improve the ride comfort. This also means drivers can expect better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions while hearing less road noise than before. This creates an excellent balance between eco-friendly driving and sportiness. In addition, several parts of the vehicle have been updated to improve Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH), further increasing cabin comfort.
The steering is fine-tuned to match the new suspension character as well as to fit the new tires. The new KONA delivers comfortable yet connected steering that is more linear and well-balanced across the complete speed range.
This set up is applied to the whole KONA range, including the KONA N Line. The only exception is the KONA N Line paired with the 1.6 T-GDI powertrain and four-wheel drive, which received a specific steering tuning to match the character of the vehicle.
The all-new KONA N Line and new KONA will arrive to showrooms towards the end of the year, while the new KONA Hybrid will follow beginning of 2021. The new KONA Electric, which will carry over the powertrain and electric driving range of the current version, will be revealed soon.
* The vehicle specification and features is for European markets and they may vary depending on country/region.