2018 Hyundai Kona

MSRP $19,500 - $28,700

Ranked #19 in Suv

5.7

Overall Rating

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2018 Hyundai Kona Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 25, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2018 Hyundai Kona marks the entry of Hyundai into the sub-compact SUV segment, and that too with a bang. The all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona is not any compromise of any sorts, as its performance and driving dynamics can give the competition a run for their money. The Kona also captivates the market with its robust interior that is packed with a ton of standard features, making even the base Kona a desirable option.

2018 Hyundai Kona

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is priced at $19,500 for the base trim and is offered in four trim levels. The standard Kona is powered by a 2.0L I-4 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive configuration. The Kona's exterior will not be liked by everybody, but it's got more underneath than just the looks.

See detailed review »

Pros

High value for money

Rich feature-list

Excellent crash-safety scores

Comfortable ride quality

Optional turbo engine has good acceleration

Cons

Underpowered standard engine

Low cargo capacity for the segment

Polarizing exterior

Optional dual-clutch automatic transmission has slow shift speeds

What's New?

The Kona is an all-new offering from Hyundai


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$27400

bodystyle

dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

97 cu.in.

horsepower

175 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

195 lb.-ft. @ 1500 rpm

transmission

7 speed Automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

capacity

passenger volume

94.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

45.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

2755 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

28/30/32 mpg

highway range

422.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

7 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SE$19,500 onwards

SEL$21,150 onwards

Limited$24,700 onwards

Ultimate$27,400 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Hyundai Kona in Chalk White color
Chalk White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

4.0

Exterior

4.0

5.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

5.7

Overall Rating


The brand new Kona from Hyundai is the newest addition to the Hyundai line-up in a new segment. The Kona, styled in line with Hyundai's new design language is offered in four trim levels. Priced at $19,500 for the base trim, the car is powered by a 2.0L I-4 engine that makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This engine is available on the first and second trim, whereas a turbocharged 1.6L I-4 engine with an output of 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque is standard on the third and fourth trim. The car gets excellent safety scores, with a very durable and feature-packed interior, and also offers a smooth ride quality.

2018 Hyundai Kona Lime Green

This does not mean the Kona does not have issues. For starters, the base engine is underpowered and lacks a punch. The car has one of the least cargo capacities in this segment, and also the active safety features cost more to be equipped. Most of its rivals are better in a few aspects and talking about rivals the Kona goes up against the 2018 Mazda CX-3, the 2018 Honda HR-V, and the 2018 Chevrolet Trax.


7.0/10
Features

4.0/10
Engine and Performance

4.0/10
Exterior


2018 Hyundai Kona Features

7.0/10

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is offered in a total of four trim levels: the SE, SEL, Limited, and the Ultimate. Either trim is available with either FWD or AWD configuration. The SE and the SEL trims use a different gearbox combination from the Limited and Ultimate trim. Pricing for the trims starts at $19,500 and goes up to $28,700 for the top trim. The Limited and Ultimate trims also get a special edition that colors the exterior with a lime green shade and costs the same as the standard version. Even on the base trim, the Kona is very well equipped. All trims get features such as automatic LED headlights, remote keyless entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a split-level cargo area, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Trim SE SEL Limited Ultimate
MSRP (FWD) $19,500 $21,150 $24,700 $27,400
MSRP (AWD) $20,800 $22,600 $26,000 $28,700
Key Features 16-inch alloy wheels Adds/Replaces features on the SE trim Adds/Replaces features on the SEL trim Adds/Replaces features on the Limited trim
  Air conditioning 17-inch alloy wheels Sunroof Automatic wipers
  Telescopic steering wheel Keyless entry and ignition Power-adjustable driver's seat Heads-up Display
  Cruise Control Leather-wrapped steering wheel Leather upholstery Navigation system
  60/40 split-folding rear seats Heated front seats LED taillights Hyundai's Blue Link communications
  7-inch touchscreen Satellite radio 18-inch alloy wheels  

The AWD configuration is actually a bundle and comes with a lockable center differential and a different rear suspension design. The Kona also gets the Hyundai Smart Sense suite (which is standard on the Ultimate trim). This suite adds active safety features and is available as an option only on the SEL trim. A few basic accessories are available, with their pricing ranging from $70 to $125. 

We Recommend

According to us, the 2018 Hyundai Kona SEL trim is the one to go for. At $22,600 for the AWD configuration, this trim also gets a better suspension setup, a few more added mechanicals, and a lively interior as well. The pricing is very competitive, and the base engine though underpowered will work just fine in the city. Also, the SEL is the only trim that gets the Hyundai Smart Sense suite with all the additional safety features, hence that is a must-have.

2018 Hyundai Kona Engine and Performance

4.0/10

"The 2018 Hyundai Kona is ace when it's base; the top-sheld engine carries too much baggage." - TheCarConnection

2018 Hyundai Kona Engine and Transmission 

The 2018 Hyundai Kona comes with two engine options. The SE and SEL trim levels get a 2.0L I-4 engine that outputs 147 hp @ 6200 rpm, and has a torque output of 132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm. The Limited and Ultimate trims get a turbocharged 1.6L I-4 engine that outputs 175 hp @ 5500 rpm and torque output stands at 195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm. The 2.0L engine gets a 6-speed automatic transmission, whereas the 1.6L engine gets a 7-speed automated dual-clutch transmission. Both these engines come with FWD, whereas AWD is optional with a center locking differential and a unique suspension setup.

2018 Hyundai Kona 2.0L engine

The base 2.0L engine is underpowered and does not have enough grunt. However, with the smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, the engine feels at home and is pretty refined as well. Most Konas will be powered by this engine itself and it gets most of the job done and is suited for city use with its decent fuel economy. The turbocharged 1.6L engine does come with a bigger output, but the engine is let down by the 7-speed automated dual-clutch transmission. This transmission has mixed gear shifting timings, and most of the time the down-shifts are mistimed. Even the low-speed acceleration is sluggish, and with the turbo lag, it feels even slower. This engine is not as fuel-efficient as well.

Models 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
MSRP $19,500 $21,000 $20,110 $19,670
Engine 2.0L l-4 1.4L l-4 2.0L l-4 1.8L l-4
Transmission 6-speed automatic CVT 6-speed automatic continuously variable-speed automatic
Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD  FWD
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6200 rpm 138 hp @ 4900 rpm 146 hp @ 6000 rpm 141 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm 148 hp @ 1850 rpm 146 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm 127 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm

The Kona has the most power output and also is the most affordable car among these four. The Trax is the most expensive car and has the most torque output which also kicks in lower down the rpm range giving it a stronger low-end. The CX-3 has the same power and torque output. All the cars use an FWD configuration. The HR-V has the least torque-producing engine of all.

2018 Hyundai Kona acceleraion

The 2018 Hyundai Kona with the 2.0L engine and AWD setup takes 9.2 seconds to hit the 0-60 mph mark. The quarter-mile comes up in 17 seconds and the top speed stands at 120 mph. The turbo 1.6L powered Kona with the AWD setup takes a quick 6.6 seconds to hit the 0-60 mph mark, and the quarter-mile comes up in a very fast 14.7 seconds. The top speed is rated at 135 mph. 

Models 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
0-60 mph (sec) 9.2 9.6 8.6 9.3
Quarter mile 17 17.1 16.6 16.8
Engine 2.0 L I-4 1.4 L I-4 2.0 L I-4 1.8 L I-4

Top Speed (mph)

120 116 118 119

The CX-3 is the quickest car of the lot, taking around 8.6 seconds for the 0-60 sprint. The Kona is the second quickest at 9.2 seconds, with the HR-V just behind at 9.3 seconds and the Trax taking a slow 9.6 seconds. The CX-3 benefits from its lower weight and a much responsive gearbox compared to the others. In the quarter-mile run, the CX-3 comes on top, but the HR-V comes second and the Kona is third. The Trax is the slowest.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ride and Handling

The 2018 Hyundai Kona handles well and has a composed ride over most surfaces. Around turns, the tall Kona has expected body roll but stays in control all the time. The strut and multilink suspension setup works well, but it has a tendency of bouncing around over taller bumps. Some trims get a torsion beam suspension setup at the rear to save costs.

2018 Hyundai Kona in motion

The steering on the Kona is an easy task, as the light steering turns with minimum effort but turns where pointed at. The tires offer good feedback, and the overall system is responsive. The different riding modes on offer do modulate the steering effort and the overall handling characteristics slightly.

2018 Hyundai Kona Braking

The 2018 Hyundai Kona's braking duties are taken care of by an 11-inch front brake rotor and a 10.3-inch rear brake rotor setup. The Kona is not a very light car, and the 2890 lbs car is stopped from 60-0 mph in a distance of 118 feet, which is quite quick. The 70-0 mph braking takes 175 feet.

2018 Hyundai Kona brakes

The brake pedal on the Kona is smooth to modulate and does not lack feel even when lightly pressed. Under hard braking, the Kona keeps its own weight at bay and has little nose-diving.

Model 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
Brake Front (in.) 11.0 N/A 11.0 11.5
Brake Rear (in.) 10.3 N/A 11.1 11.1
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2,890 2,805 2,809 2,902
60-0 mph braking distance (ft) 118 121 117 127

The Mazda CX-3 has the least braking distance at 117 feet, whereas the Trax takes 121 feet and the HR-V takes 127 feet. The largest front brake rotor is seen on the HR-V at 11.5 inches, and the CX-3 and the HR-V get the largest rear brake rotor at 11.1 inches. The HR-V's weight and less brake force lead to more braking distance.

2018 Hyundai Kona Fuel Economy

The 2018 Hyundai Kona FWD with the 2.0L engine returns 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. With AWD, this mileage sees a big drop, at 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. The Koa powered by the turbo 1.6L engine returns 28 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. With AWD, this car returns 26 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. The gets a fuel tank with a capacity of 13.2 gallons, and the range on the 2.0L FWD Kona stands at 356.4 city miles and 435.6 highway miles. These are decent numbers in this segment.

Model 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
MPG (city) 27 25 29 25
MPG (highway) 33 33 34 33
MPG (combined) 30 28 31 28
Fuel Capacity (gallons 13.2 14 12.7 13.2
Range (city/highway) (miles) 356.4/435.6 350/462 369.3/431.8 330/435.6

Among the four cars, the CX-3 is the most fuel-efficient car with a combined mileage of 31 mpg. The Kona is just behind. The Honda HR-V and the Trax have the same combined mileage at 28 mpg. Except for the CX-3, all three cars have the same highway mileage of 33 mpg with an FWD setup. The most city range is on the CX-3, at 369.3 miles. The Trax has the most highway range at 462 miles. The HR-V has the least city range at 330 miles, whereas the CX-3 has the least highway range at 431 miles. The CX-3's range is limited by its less fuel capacity.

2018 Hyundai Kona Interior

“The 2018 Hyundai Kona outruns its tight budget with decent materials, but legroom will be cramped for rear passengers." -TheCarConnection

2018 Hyundai Kona Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Hyundai Kona's interiors are not going to appeal to all when there's physical interaction. From far, they look superb, but closer inspection shows the heavy usage of hard plastic for many surfaces. Don't get us wrong - the interior does not feel inferior in any way, but there's a very plasticky feeling to the interior. There are a few places where soft plastics are implemented, but it's not much. Controls and buttons have a robust feeling, with a very practical and logical arrangement for easy reach and modulation. The interior is roomy, with good usage of interior space.

2018 Hyundai Kona interior

The Kona is a five-seater car. The front of the Kona is very spacious and there's ample legroom. The cushioning and support are excellent, making long drives an easy task. The rear, however, is cramped and not very suitable. the seats have a flat base, and are broad but lack cushioning and support. Visibility all around the cabin is excellent thanks to the thin pillars and wide windows. Ingress and egress are easy through the doors which open wide and are short making access easy even in tight spots. There is wind noise, but at city speeds, it is not very bad. 

Model 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V 2018
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger volume (cu-ft) 94.1 N/A 87.6 100.1
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.6/55.5/41.5 39.6/54.1/40.8 38.4/53.5/41.7 39.5/56.8/41.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.8/54.5/34.6 38.8/52.8/35.7 37.2/50.4/35.0 38.3/54.5/39.3

All four cars have the same passenger capacity of five passengers. The Kona and Chevy have the most front headroom at 39.6 inches. The front legroom is excellent in all, but the CX-3 has the most front legroom at 41.7 inches. In the rear, the Trax has the most headroom at 38.8 inches. The HR-V has the most rear legroom at 39.3 inches. The Kona has the tightest rear legroom and it's quite tight. The HR-V has the most interior space at 100.1 cu-ft. Some interior features on the Kona are:

  • Remote keyless entry and ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery

2018 Hyundai Kona Infotainment

The Kona offers a lot of standard technology even in the base trim. The 7-inch infotainment system is standard, whereas an 8-inch touchscreen comes on the Ultimate. The system is very user-friendly, and navigating through the menu is simple due to the straightforward layout. Touch responses are quick, with no lag. Standard features on the Kona include Bluetooth, USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system.

2018 Hyundai Kona Lime Green dash and infotainment

Some other features include:

  • Satellite radio
  • Hyundai's Blue Link communications
  • Navigation system
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Infinity premium audio system
  • Heads-up display

2018 Hyundai Kona Cargo Capacity

Standard cargo capacity on the Hyundai Kona stands at 19.2 cu-ft, and with the seats folded the maximum cargo space stands at 45.8 cu-ft. The cargo loading floor is low, with a wide rear hatch opening.

2018 Hyundai Kona cargo space

The Kona has a split-level cargo floor.

Model 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
Standard cargo capacity (cu-ft) 19.2 18.7 12.4 24.3
Maximum cargo capacity (cu-ft) 45.8 48.4 44.5 58.8

The Honda HR-C has the most standard cargo space at 24.3 cu-ft. The CX-3 has the least cargo space at 12.4 cu-ft. The Trax has a standard cargo capacity of 18.7 cu-ft. The HR-V also boasts of the most cargo space at 58.8 cu-ft. The remaining cars offer a maximum cargo capacity which is in the 40 cu-ft to 50 cu-ft range.

2018 Hyundai Kona Exterior

4.0/10

“The baby crossover in Hyundai's line-up skips cute and heads right towards awkward adolesence." - TheCarConnection

2018 Hyundai Kona Dimensions and Weights

The 2018 Hyundai Kona's exterior styling is one of the most unique but polarizing designs we've come across this year. It will turn heads but in both awe and disgust. Everything about the exterior seems a mix of a variety of designs, all pieces trying to come together as one single car.

2018 Hyundai Kona front three quarters view

The front of the Kona features a unique headlamp position with a split DRL and headlamps setup. The grille is mounted slightly lower, and the sharp design cuts on the front bumper seem unnatural. Along the side, the doors get a thick line running across the entire length, trying to figure out its purpose. The roofline has a sleek curvature, and we really like the way it gets the front and rear together. The best part about the side view is the sleek DRLs and taillight which looks absolutely stunning, especially in the darker colors.

2018 Hyundai Kona rear three quarters view

The rear of the Kona just has too many things going on and looks very busy. The disconnected taillights don't have enough appeal, and the indicators are mounted quite low. Although they do get the job done. Spend some more time with the Kona, and the design still might not appeal much, but it will grow on you. Also, the Limited and Ultimate trims come in a special Lime accent color. The Kona dimensions convey its subcompact proportions well, with a length of 164 inches. The width and height stand at 70.9 inches and 61 inches, and the car's wheelbase is 102.4 inches long. The Kona weighs 2,890 lbs.

Model 2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Chevrolet Trax 2018 Mazda CX-3 2018 Honda HR-V
Curb weight (lbs.) 2,890 2,805 2,809 2,902
Length(in) 164.0 167.2 168.3 169.1
Width(in) 70.9 69.9 69.6 69.8
Height(in) 61.0 64.9 60.7 63.2
Ground clearance (in) 6.7 6.2 6.2 7.3
Wheelbase (in) 102.4 100.6 101.2 102.8
Track width (in) F/R 61.9/62.3 60.6/60.6 60.0/59.9 60.4/60.6

All four cars have very similar proportions. The cars are quite light, but the Trax has the least weight at 2,805 lbs. The Kona is the heaviest car. The HR-V has the most length at nearly 170 inches, whereas the Kona has the most width among these four cars. The Trax has the most height, whereas the HR-V sits tall from the ground. The wheelbase of the HR-V is the longest, and the Trax has the tightest wheelbase. With all of them lined up close to each other, these differences are not seen to the naked eye. Some exterior features on the Kona are:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Sunroof
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Automatic LED headlamps
  • LED taillights 
  • Lime green exterior color

2018 Hyundai Kona Safety

The 2018 Hyundai Kona has not been crash-tested by the NHTSA. The IIHS on the other hand, rated the Kona 'Good' in most tests, but some trims got a 'Poor' rating in the headlights. The IIHS also awarded the Kona with a Top Safety Pick + award as well. Standard features on the Kona include front head and knee airbags, side-impact airbags, traction control, stability control, a rearview camera, and an engine immobilizer. SEL trims and up get Blind-spot monitoring as standard. The Hyundai Smart Sense suite which costs $1,500 adds a few more advanced driver assistance systems. Some other safety features are:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Active lane control
  • Automatic high beams
  • Drowsy driver alert
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Forward collision warning and mitigation

2018 Hyundai Kona Competition

2018 Hyundai Kona vs 2018 Honda HR-V

The 2018 Honda HR-V is a standard all-rounder offering from Honda, but the Kona excels in most ways. The Kona has better performance than the HR-V even with the base engine, and both cars have great driving dynamics. The Kona has a stronger braking performance compared to the HR-V. It also has better fuel economy than the HR-V and a longer range as well.

2018 Honda HR-V

The Kona's interiors are spacious and quite well-finished, even compared to the Honda. The Honda however has a more roomy rear seating space and also a larger cargo capacity. The Kona also excels with better safety ratings from IIHS, and more safety equipment on offer than the Honda. The Honda however has more reliability compared to the Kona. The Kona affordable pricing makes it a great option over the Honda HR-V.

2018 Hyundai Kona vs 2018 Mazda CX-3

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is a powerful alternative to the Kona as a daily driver's car. It has a refined engine that outputs a better performance, very sporty handling that the Kona's relaxed dynamics don't match up to, and the CX-3 also stops quicker than the Kona. The CX-3 is a very fuel-efficient car with its high mileage, but the limited fuel capacity restricts the range it can offer in one go. The entire interior layout of the CX-3 is very driver-centric.

2018 Mazda CX-3

The front room is immense, while the rear can seem a little tight for a few. The rear in the Kona is roomier, and the Kona offers more standard tech than the CX-3 with loads of recent features. In the safety section, the CX-3 with its high safety scores and a load of optional advanced safety features just like the Kona makes both the cars excellent choices as a family car. For more sporty driving with a priority for better front-row seating, the CX-3  is a clear choice. The Kona's affordable pricing however makes it very irresistible.

2018 Hyundai Kona Final Verdict

This new baby Hyundai has all the ammunition to challenge the existing subcompact segment with all its flair and power. The Kona has a very unique styling, unseen on most subcompact cars. The car also offers a very useful infotainment system and has many standard features on offer. The car drives well, has good brakes, and also provides a decent fuel economy. The Kona makes the best of its wonderful safety ratings, and a list of safety features. Despite its underpowered and tight rear space with limited cargo capacity, the Kona makes a wonderful proposition thanks to its nimble handling and that affordable price tag, and we surely recommend checking out the new Kona before making the final decision. 


2018 Hyundai Kona FAQs

Is the 2018 Hyundai Kona worth buying?

With its quirky design, spacious interior, decent fuel economy, and excellent driving dynamics the Kona is a worthy car in all aspects.

Does the 2018 Kona get a CVT?

The 2018 Kona gets a 7-speed automated dual-clutch transmission and not a CVT.

Does the 2018 Hyundai Kona get higher maintenance costs?

With a maintenance cost of around $450, the Kona has average yearly maintenance costs.

How much does the 2018 Hyundai Kona cost?

The 2018 Hyundai Kona pricing starts at $19,500.

What range does the 2018 Kona offer?

The 2.0L powered FWD Kona has a city range of 356 miles and a highway range of 435 miles.

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