2018 Hyundai Kona Problems and Complaints

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Ranked #6 in Subcompact Suv

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$20,800 - $28,700

2018 Hyundai Kona SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 6, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Hyundai Kona arrives for the 2018 model year as an all-new offering from the South Korean carmaker and fills the void between the Venue and the Tucson. As a newly-launched vehicle, the Kona is impressively reliable with zero recalls and just 22 complaints so far. Despite the low number of complaints, the Kona did encounter a few serious and life-threatening incidents of engine fire where the owners were able to evacuate the vehicles just in time. Surprisingly, no recalls were issued from the brand. Apart from that, the other areas of the Kona seem to be free from trouble. In the segment, the Chevrolet Trax, the Mazda CX-3, and the Honda HR-V rival the Hyundai Kona.

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Hyundai Kona user complaints and problems

Engine problems

  • Engine fire: Two 2018 Hyundai Konas faced engine fire suddenly. In one instance, the owner and her husband were driving and stopped at a gas station for refueling. After the refueling was completed, the engine started to smoke and rapidly caught fire. In another instance, while the owner was driving on the highway, there was a burning smell and the check engine light came on. Briefly after that, the engine caught fire.
  • Smoke from engine: An user complained about blue smoke and misfiring on the affected vehicle. The report said that while the owner started to drive one day, the vehicle started to give out blue smoke and misfired. Upon taking it to the dealership, a couple of spark plugs were replaced but the issue recurred.
  • Engine stall: One owner reported this issue. He complained that the engine stalled about four times. After the dealership kept the vehicle for one month it was returned back to the owner. Despite that, the issue recurred. In a few instances even if the vehicle started it refused to go above 10mph.

Safety problems

  • Forward collision warning and blind-spot warning malfunction: A few models of the Kona equipped with these two driver-assist techs ran into snags. In some cases, the FCW system activated randomly despite the absence of any obstruction on the path. The blind-spot warning system also engaged randomly even though there was nothing to be notified about.

Electrical problems

  • Headlight flickering: One owner reported that after starting the vehicle and stepping on the gas, the headlights would flicker on and off. The issue would continue till the vehicle has been driven for a mile. The dealership couldn’t identify the problem.
  • Lighting failure: In one instance, the owner reported that the interior lights and the exterior lights failed.
  • Infotainment system malfunction: In this case, the infotainment system developed some issues. The issues were that while the navigation system was being operated, the maps would get enlarged automatically and the audio volume would increase on its own.
  • Faulty headlamp setting: A report about the faulty headlamp was lodged by one of the owners. The owner said in the report that while driving, despite not engaging the high beam the headlamp’s default level was set almost equal to the high beam and caused unnecessary glare on the oncoming vehicles. 

2018 Hyundai Kona recalls

The 2018 Hyundai Kona has not faced any recalls yet.

Should you buy a used Hyundai Kona?

The Hyundai Kona is a great option considering its excellent value for the money. Despite all the strengths, the vehicle has turned out to be fatal for a couple of owners due to engine fires hence, going for a used example wouldn’t be recommended by us. On the contrary, you can look for other alternatives such as the Mazda CX-3 which is more stylish, and sportier, and boasts an excellent reliability department too.

Important 2018 Hyundai Kona Links:

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Used 2018 Hyundai Kona For Sale

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2019 Hyundai Kona33

2019 Hyundai Kona SE

SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$17,991
Est. $244/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,556 Below market
RMV: $20,547
Lake Worth, FL
Check Availability
2019 Hyundai Kona21

2019 Hyundai Kona SEL

SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$23,325
Est. $316/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,264 Below market
RMV: $26,589
Morgantown, WV
Check Availability
2019 Hyundai Kona36
Price Drop, $1000
Previous Price: $2300011 Dec 2021

2019 Hyundai Kona SEL

SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$22,000
Est. $298/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,026 Below market
RMV: $25,026
Cornelius, NC
Check Availability
2019 Hyundai Kona27
Price Drop, $500
Previous Price: $2349024 May 2022

2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Ultimate 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$22,990
Est. $312/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,140 Below market
RMV: $26,130
Akron, OH
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2019 Hyundai Kona31
Price Drop, $1
Previous Price: $1776225 Jun 2022

2019 Hyundai Kona SE

SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$17,761
Est. $241/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,385 Below market
RMV: $20,146
Cheyenne, WY
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2019 Hyundai Kona43
Price Drop, $204
Previous Price: $2399922 Jun 2022

2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Ultimate 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$23,795
Est. $323/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,184 Below market
RMV: $26,979
Cincinnati, OH
Check Availability
2019 Hyundai Kona6
Price Rise, $431
Previous Price: $2178426 May 2022

2019 Hyundai Kona SEL

SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$22,215
Est. $301/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,906 Below market
RMV: $25,121
Cincinnati, OH
Check Availability
2018 Hyundai Kona24
Price Drop, $670
Previous Price: $1965516 Jun 2022

2018 Hyundai Kona SEL

SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

$18,985
Est. $257/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,436 Below market
RMV: $21,421
Mandeville, LA
Check Availability
2019 Hyundai Kona40
Price Drop, $500
Previous Price: $2749016 Jun 2022

2019 Hyundai Kona Iron Man

Iron Man 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

$26,990
Est. $366/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,482 Below market
RMV: $30,472
Madison, WI
Check Availability

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