2018 Hyundai Kona Problems and Complaints


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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:


What is the price of the 2018 Hyundai Kona?

Posted On: November 5, 2022

The price of the 2018 Hyundai Kona starts at $19,500 and goes up to $27,400.

What is the fuel efficiency of the 2018 Hyundai Kona?

Posted On: November 5, 2022

The standard 2018 Kona is EPA-estimated to deliver 27/33/30 mpg in the city/highway/combined driving conditions.

What are the engine options with the 2018 Hyundai Kona?

Posted On: November 5, 2022

A 2.0-liter inline-four engine with 147 hp and a 1.6-liter turbo engine with 175 hp are offered with the 2018 Kona.

Which cars compete with the 2018 Hyundai Kona?

Posted On: November 5, 2022

Some compact SUVs like Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 compete with the 2018 Kona.

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