2019 Hyundai Kona SUV

City mpg:
Highway mpg:

Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.

2019 Hyundai Kona SUV Overview

The standard features of the Hyundai Kona SE include Nu 2.0L I-4 147hp engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 16" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.

2019 Hyundai
Kona SUV

Starting at: $19,990

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  • Air conditioning
  • Speed control
  • Power windows
  • 1-touch down
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated entry
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Driver vanity mirror
  • Passenger vanity mirror
  • Front beverage holders
  • Rear beverage holders
  • Overhead console
  • Driver door bin
  • Passenger door bin
  • Rear door bins
  • Ground clearance (min) - 170mm (6.7")
  • AM/FM radio
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Speakers - 6
  • Wireless phone connectivity - Bluetooth
  • 1st row LCD monitors - 1
  • Primary LCD size - 7.0"
  • Smart device integration - Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Basic warranty - 60 months/60,000miles
  • Powertrain warranty - 120 months/100,000miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty - 84 months/ unlimited distance
  • Roadside assistance coverage - 60 months/ unlimited distance
  • Max seating capacity - 5
  • Front seats - bucket
  • Front center armrest
  • Rear seats - bench
  • Split folding rear seat
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • Engine displacement - 2.0 L
  • Engine horsepower - 147hp @ 6,200RPM
  • Engine torque - 132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500RPM
  • Engine bore x stroke - 81.0mm x 97.0mm (3.19" x 3.82")
  • Compression ratio - 12.50 to 1
  • Curb weight - 1,311kg (2,890lbs)
  • GVWR - 1,805kg (3,979lbs)
  • Exterior length - 4,166mm (164.0")
  • Exterior body width - 1,801mm (70.9")
  • Exterior height - 1,549mm (61.0")
  • Wheelbase - 2,601mm (102.4")
  • Turning radius - 5.3m (17.4')
  • Front legroom - 1,054mm (41.5")
  • Rear legroom - 879mm (34.6")
  • Front headroom - 1,006mm (39.6")
  • Rear headroom - 960mm (37.8")
  • Front hiproom - 1,354mm (53.3")
  • Rear hiproom - 1,326mm (52.2")
  • Front shoulder room - 1,410mm (55.5")
  • Rear shoulder room - 1,384mm (54.5")
  • Passenger volume - 2,665L (94.1 cu.ft.)
  • Interior cargo volume - 544 L (19 cu.ft.)
  • Interior maximum cargo volume - 1,297 L (46 cu.ft.)
  • Rear cargo - liftgate
  • Power door mirrors
  • Spoiler
  • Door mirrors - body-color
  • Bumpers - body-color
  • Engine liters - 2.0
  • Cylinder configuration - I-4
  • Horsepower - 147hp @ 6,200RPM
  • Torque - 132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500RPM
  • Number of valves - 16
  • Variable valve control
  • Variable intake manifold
  • Sequential multi-point fuel injection
  • Engine location - front
  • Recommended fuel - Regular Unleaded
  • Transmission - 6 speed automatic
  • Mode select transmission
  • Manual-shift auto - SHIFTRONIC
  • Drive type - front-wheel
  • Limited slip differential
  • Fuel economy combined - 30mpg
  • Fuel tank capacity - 13.2gal.
  • Fuel economy city - 27mpg
  • Fuel economy highway - 33mpg
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • ABS brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Dual front side impact airbags
  • Overhead airbag
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Panic alarm
  • Security system
  • Electronic stability
  • Traction control
  • Front wheel independent suspension
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Power steering
  • Speed-sensing steering
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front tires - 205/60HR16.0
  • Rear tires - 205/60HR16.0
  • Wheel size - 16"
  • Fully automatic headlights
  • Delay-off headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Rear window defroster
  • Front reading lights
  • Display - analog
  • Tachometer
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Trip computer
  • Lane departure - Lane Keep Assist (LKA) active
  • Forward collision - Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) mitigation
  • Exterior parking camera rear


  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
SE 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV SE Search New $19,990   147-hp 2.0L 4-cyl  6-spd auto  27 / 33  
SE 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV SE Search New $21,390   147-hp 2.0L 4-cyl  6-spd auto  25 / 30  
SEL 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV SEL Search New $21,800   147-hp 2.0L 4-cyl  6-spd auto  27 / 33  
SEL 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV SEL Search New $23,200   147-hp 2.0L 4-cyl  6-spd auto  25 / 30  
Limited 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV Limited Search New $25,550   175-hp 1.6L 4-cyl  7-spd auto with auto-shift  28 / 32  
Limited 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV Limited Search New $26,950   175-hp 1.6L 4-cyl  7-spd auto with auto-shift  26 / 29  
Ultimate 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV Ultimate Search New $27,500   175-hp 1.6L 4-cyl  7-spd auto with auto-shift  28 / 32  
Ultimate 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV Ultimate Search New $28,900   175-hp 1.6L 4-cyl  7-spd auto with auto-shift  26 / 29  


Driving Impression

Tony Swan

When a vehicle’s development starts with a rigid chassis, the rest of the program gets to be a matter of what the carmaker wants it to do, what kind of responses are appropriate to the character the product development people want to project.

In the Kona’s case this comes across as very sporty indeed, and a pleasant surprise. Body motions are nicely controlled, not much rock and roll in enthusiastic cornering, confidence-inspiring tire adhesion, confidence that’s augmented by the braking.

The Kona preview drive took across the middle of the big island of Hawaii, from northwest to southeast, and included some entertaining roads with lots of elevation change, decreasing radius corners (i.e., turns that tightened up, often at the top of a rise), fast turns, zig-zag sections where each zig and zag had its own profile.

Through it all, on a day that included moderate rain, the Kona attacked corners eagerly, never putting a wheel wrong. Put of this can be ascribed to the Kona’s torque vectoring, which uses selective braking to increase power to the wheel, or wheels, with optimum traction.

Keeping a vehicle level in hard cornering requires firm suspension tuning, and the Kona falls into that category, but not to the extent of harsh ride quality. Credit well chosen shock absorber damping.

Transmission performance is smooth, with either of the automatics. Neither engine is likely to provoke acceleration brownouts, but both provide adequate power, with the obvious edge going to the 1.6 turbo. Given the sporty character of the chassis, a manual transmission would be an appropriate option, or paddle shifting, but neither are offered.

The interior is reasonably quiet at speed, almost no sound generated by wind, very little noise coming up through the suspension on gnarly surfaces.

But the most immediately engaging element in the Kona’s dynamic resume is its steering. As with almost all new vehicles today, it’s an electric rack-and-pinion system, and like many its motor is mounted on the column, rather than the rack.

This bears mention, because rack-mounted systems are generally more tactile and accurate. But the Kona setup is nothing short of exemplary, quick at 2.5 turns lock to lock, giving the driver a strong sense of connection with the vehicle.

Walk Around

Tony Swan

It’s hard for a vehicle to stand out in a segment chock-a-block with small crossovers that all answer, in varying degrees, to the same stylistic ethos: the basic two-box school of design. One box up front, housing the engine and, for front-drive designs (such as this one), the transmission. The bigger box dedicated to passengers and cargo.

Nevertheless, the Kona manages to be distinctive. Part of this is due to its proportions, limited overhangs (the portions of the vehicle extending beyond the axles), particularly at the rear. Wide track, Gray wraparound vinyl cladding around the wheel wells, reminiscent of the old Honda Element.

With its squinty LED lights, big Hyundai hex grille, and swooshy character line sweeping up from the front fenders to the squinty LED taillights (the design team says it was inspired by lava flow, hence the name), the Kona manages to look different from its many rivals. Like the Kia Soul, it projects a sense of cheeky impudence that should please the urban adventurers targeted by Hyundai marketing.

Presumably, urban adventures do not include anything approaching serious off-roading. As noted, the Kona can be equipped with all-wheel drive, and wheel choices range from 16 to 18 inches. But with 6.7 inches of clearance between vulnerable chassis elements and mother Earth, tackling anything beyond a well graded gravel road is not recommended. There are sedans with more ground clearance.

If you’re looking for real off-road capabilities in this class, check the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

Interior Overview

Tony Swan

The inner Kona is comfortable, attractive, and well appointed, with instruments and controls that don’t require reference to the owner’s to operate. Consistent with current trends, a center dash touch screen (7.0-inch SE, SEL, 8.0-inch in Ultimate trim, or SEL with the optional tech package) takes care of some secondary control functions. But Hyundai hasn’t entirely abandoned knobs and switches.

Consistent with Hyundai practice, even the basic SE is well equipped, including power everything, a tilt-telescope steering column, decent audio, Apple Car Play and/or Android Auto, and the company’s Blue Link telematics. At the top of the line the Ultimate model includes niceties like navigation and a head-up display.

Hyundai calls some of the Kona’s interior surfaces soft touch, but soft compared to what? Maple, maybe. There are also some plastic pieces that look a little, let’s say, inexpensive.

The uplevel upholstery (Limited and Ultimate models) is leather, while the SE and SEL trims have a cloth material with a houndstooth check pattern that’s quite attractive and looks to be durable. Limited and Ultimate models include the option of lime green dashboard highlights around the HVAC vents and upholstery piping in the same color on the leather seats. Whether this touch is appealing is up to you.

Regardless of trim, the front seats are roomy, reasonably supportive and comfortable, with one asterisk. Only the driver’s seat offers up and down adjustability, and that only in the Ultimate model. The front passenger seat doesn’t adjust upward at all, regardless of trim.

Also, making a couple of adult-size people comfortable in the rear seat requires considerable cooperation from those up front. It’s snug back there. But this is a criticism that applies, in varying degrees, to every vehicle in this class.


Tony Swan

The Kona gives Hyundai an entry in a vehicle class where it was conspicuous for its absence, with Hyundai’s usual strong value story. There are bigger, more spacious players in the subcompact CUV game. But the Kona seems roomy enough for most urban adventures. And when those adventures go beyond urban boundaries, the Kona’s driving dynamics are at the top of the charts.

The late Tony Swan was founding editor for New Car Test Drive.

Model Lineup

Tony Swan

Hyundai Kona is offered in four trim levels. The MSRP ladder starts with the SE ($19,500), followed by the SEL ($21,150), the Limited ($24,700), and the Ultimate ($27,400).

A Tech Package is available for the SEL trim ($1500), elevating it close to the Limited model in terms of features. And all-wheel drive is available for all trim levels ($1300). Based on its experience with other models, Hyundai anticipates that half of Kona customers with want AWD. (The destination and delivery charge for all models is $950.)

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