2024 Hyundai Kona details revealed, interior greatly improved

  • The new Hyundai Kona 2024 is larger and more luxurious than its predecessor.
  • Its spectacular “Seamless Horizon” front light bar will be standard.
  • Gasoline and EV versions will arrive in the United States by the end of the year.

Owners of the previous generation Hyundai Kona had only two substantive complaints according to the company’s vice president of design, Sangyup Lee. It was a lack of space in the rear seats of the subcompact SUV and also its limited cargo volume. You won’t be surprised that both of these areas have been addressed with the new version.

It’s a gentle evolution of a successful formula rather than a drastic transformation. The new Kona 2024 is up to 6.9 inches longer than the previous version and rides on a 2.4-inch stretched wheelbase. Inside, it features a new design of lightweight front seats which are meant to offer both the same level of comfort and support as the old car, but, being 30% slimmer, they also improve space for the legs at the back. After sitting in an early version of the 2024 car, we can confirm that it looks a lot roomier in the back. On Hyundai’s numbers, trunk capacity has increased from 13 cubic feet to 17 cubic feet with the rear seats in place.

New intergalactic face

The most obvious design difference for the new generation is the arrival of a single full-width light bar at the front of the car – Hyundai calls it the ‘seamless horizon’ – and a similar red taillight graphic. in back. Sangyup Lee said this new element was the car’s most complex feature. It certainly gives the front a very futuristic look, one that we feel like we’ve seen on a character in at least one star wars movie. The actual headlights are much smaller units lower down and mounted on either side of the bumper.

As before, Kona gasoline and electric versions will be offered. Other parts of the world will also get a hybrid, but we’re told there’s no chance of this version coming to the United States. The most obvious visual distinction between the EV and the regular combustion version will be that the gasoline cars get a gray body cladding while the Kona Electric is body colored. This rule isn’t hard and fast, however: the top-end N line, which is a trim level rather than a glitzy performance derivative, will also get body-color protection as well as a cute (but slightly absurd) two-piece rear spoiler and a larger opening in its front bumper.

Nicer interior

The interior design also feels significantly improved over the outgoing car. The new Kona has two 12.3-inch display screens, the one in front of the driver displaying the instrumentation and the central touchscreen managing the infotainment functions. Despite this, Hyundai hasn’t followed the herd in digital-only control architecture, with the Kona keeping both a row of function shortcut buttons and physical climate controls below these. We’re told the company doesn’t plan to replace conventional buttons in any of its upcoming models either, which is a plus in our book. The Kona Electric also benefits from a flat floor in the cabin, although the combustion versions continue to have a compact tunnel.

We haven’t finalized the US specs yet, but we’re planning plenty of optional equipment in the more expensive versions. The European-spec cars we saw had power front seats with heating and cooling as well as a 360-degree camera system. All versions will support over-the-air software updates, and Hyundai also plans to allow it to be locked and unlocked via the NFC Near Field Communication feature on smartphones and smartwatches. All versions of the new Kona are equipped with a compact gear selector on the side of the steering column, with paddles on the steering wheel to allow selection of gears in the combustion versions and variable levels of regeneration in the electric vehicle .

Kona was more keen on talking about the new Kona Electric than its gas-powered siblings. Indeed, the combustion versions will be substantially similar to the outgoing version, with the choice of a base 2.0-liter engine and a more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter above. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive will continue to be offered, but we’ll have to wait until after the car’s official unveiling at the New York Auto Show in April is complete to find out the final performance figures.

Kona EV Details

We do, however, have more numbers for the Kona Electric. In some markets, Hyundai plans to offer two different versions of the EV, but we’re told to expect only the more powerful version to reach the US with its 65.4kWh battery and single front motor that produces 214 horsepower.

In Europe, Hyundai is aiming for a WLTP range of over 305 miles, which would likely translate to an EPA rating of around 260 miles (the current car has a slightly smaller battery and is rated at 258 miles on the test of EPA). The Electric’s charging port is up front and while it won’t be able to charge as quickly as the Ioniq 5’s super-fast 800-volt architecture, Hyundai says it will be possible to go from 10% to 80% charge. in 41 minutes at the highest pace. This equates to a peak output of approximately 77 kW from a DC charger. The Kona Electric will also support “vehicle-to-charge” charging, essentially allowing it to act as a giant power bank.

While there are no immediate plans to directly replace the Kona N, Hyundai admits it could produce a more powerful EV version with all-wheel drive from a second motor in the rear. The company’s engineers admit that this car would seem perfectly suited to wear the N brand. Let’s hope that happens, because the prospect of a 430-hp Kona is intriguing.

The new Kona will launch in the US in the third quarter of the year, with pricing details to follow.

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European editor

Mike Duff has been writing about the automotive industry for two decades and lives in the UK, although he normally lives on the road. He enjoys old cars and adventure in unlikely places, with career highlights including driving through Chernobyl in a Lada.

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