2020 Hyundai Kona

MSRP $20,100

Ranked #6 in Subcompact Suv

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2020 Hyundai Kona Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 8, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Hyundai Kona which was released last year was quite a polarizing subcompact SUV. It looked striking and promised a whole new zing in this very competitive compact crossover segment. The compact crossover segment is populated with cars from every manufacturer and it's going to be quite some job for the Kona to make a mark for itself.

2020 Hyundai Kona

The Kona is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine or a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine with the former being mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox while the latter gets a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Kona costs $20,300 with the base engine and the turbocharged engine can be had from the Limited trim for a starting price of $26,100.

See detailed review »

Pros

Funky looks

Lots of standard features available

Turbocharged engine in higher trim provides good acceleration

Cons

Functional interior with hard plastics

Base engine is not punchy enough

Suspension is a bit jittery

What's New?

Some previously optional features have been made standard with shuffling of features across the trims.

The 2020 Kona gets adaptive cruise control on the Ultimate trim.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$20100

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

132 ft-lb. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

11/10.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

102.4 in.

length

164 in.

width

70.9 in.

height

61 in.

curb weight

2890 lbs.

ground clearance

6.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

94.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

45.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1089 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.4 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.1 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27/29/33 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

powertrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

7 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SE$20,100 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 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

Pricing and Feature

9.0

Features

8.6

Engine and Performance

5.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

5.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

9.0

7.5

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.5

Overall Rating


If you need the size and room of a small crossover SUV, but want something as sporty and well-equipped plus fun to drive ride, the 2020 Hyundai Kona covers all the bases. It’s apparently the most outrageously styled Hyundai the world has ever seen trying to play as a competent subcompact SUV.

2020 Hyundai Kona Top View

With numerous options for competition in this segment, we have brought the competition to a final three from the many - the Honda HR-V, the Mazda CX-3, and the Subaru Crosstrek. Let's see how the competition rolls for the Hyundai Kona.

2020 Hyundai Kona basic SUV front view
2020 Hyundai Kona basic SUV rear view

8.6/10
Features

5.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

5.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

9.0/10
Competition


2020 Hyundai Kona Features

8.6/10

The 2020 Hyundai Kona is now available in five trims compared to four trim levels from last year. The SEL Plus trim has been a new addition to the trim lineup slotting between SEL and Limited trim while the – SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate have been carried as it is with minor features shuffling where a couple of optional parts have been added to the standard features list and a few features have trickled down the trim ladder.

2020 Hyundai Kona Front Three-Quarter View

The SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trims are powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. While the Limited and Ultimate trims are powered by a more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. All trims can be had in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive drivetrain configuration.

Trim

SE

SEL

SEL Plus

Limited

Ultimate

MSRP (FWD)

$20,300

$22,100

$23,950

$26,100

$27,950

MSRP (AWD) $21,700 $23,500 $25,350 $27,500 $29,350

Key Features

147 hp, 2.0-liter inline-4 engine Adds or upgrades to 'SE' Adds or upgrades to 'SEL' Adds or upgrades to 'SEL Plus' Adds or upgrades to 'Limited'
 

16-inch alloy wheels

17-inch alloy wheels

Foglights

175 hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine

Adaptive cruise control

 

Automatic headlights

Roof rails

8-way power-adjustable driver's seat

18-inch alloy wheels

Automatic wipers

 

Remote keyless entry

Keyless entry and ignition

Sunroof

Upgraded exterior trim

Head-up display

 

Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Hyundai's Blue Link 

LED headlights and taillights

Automatic high beams

 

Rearview camera

Heated front seats

Eight-speaker Infinity audio system

Automatic climate control

Pedestrian detection

 

7-inch infotainment touchscreen w/ Six-speaker audio system

Blind-spot monitoring

Wireless smartphone charging pad

Leather upholstery

8-inch touchscreen w/ navigation

 

Forward collision warning w/ automatic emergency brake

Satellite Radio

 

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Forward collision mitigation system

 

Lane-keeping assist

 

 

 

Rear parking sensors

We Recommend

The Limited trim with the 1.6-liter turbo-four engine is the trim that gives the most value for its money and the best drive experience. It is well loaded with equipment and should suffice for most buyers. The Limited trim's turbo-four engine adds more power and a central locking differential with a different rear suspension design over the lower trims with the naturally aspirated engine which is a welcome move. Also, having an all-wheel-drive system is advisable for some extra traction.

2020 Hyundai Kona Engine and Performance

5.0/10

“The Kona delivers agile handling and a surprising amount of fun.” – Car and Driver

2020 Hyundai Kona Engine and Transmission

The 2020 Hyundai Kona offers two engine options. The base one is a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine producing 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The engine is available on SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trim. This engine is good enough for city driving and is refined most of the time. However, it really feels out of breath out on highways when you need to do a quick overtaking maneuver. Peak torque is produced quite high in the range and the engine feels strained even when you push it moderately. While the there engine option is the 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine available on the Limited and Ultimate trim is the real deal in the Kona. It better complements the capable Kona and is brisk and lively to drive. The turbo-four does not feel strained like the naturally aspirated unit and would be the choice of engine for most buyers.

2020 Hyundai Kona Engine

The 2.0-liter motor comes paired to a six-speed automatic transmission which is decent at best. At high speeds, the shifts are smooth at all speeds. But the lethargic engine is the one that plays the spoilsport here. To be in the powerband put the car in sport mode and the gearbox holds the rev for a little longer before shifting up. Moving on you have the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with the 1.6-liter turbo-four engine that is lightning quick with shifts and really shines on the highway but in bumper-to-bumper traffic, it starts getting jerky with shifts.

Models

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

MSRP

$20,300

$20,820

$20,640

$22,145

Engine

2.0-Liter Inline-4

1.8-Liter Inline-4 2.0-Liter Inline-4 2.0-Liter Flat-4

Transmission

6-speed automatic CVT 6-speed automatic 6-speed manual

Power

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

141 hp @ 6500 rpm

148 hp @ 6000 rpm

152 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque

132 lb. ft. @ 4500 rpm

127 lb. ft. @ 4300 rpm

146 lb. ft. @ 2800 rpm

145 lb. ft. @ 4000 rpm

Most cars in this segment here have quite a similar powertrain – 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engines producing relatively the same power. The Honda HR-V uses a smaller 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder motor to produce the least power and torque figures. The gearboxes used in each car in quite varied from 6-speed automatics to CVTs to 6-speed manual. That said, the Subaru Crosstrek is the most expensive subcompact SUV but is also the one with the most powerful and torquey engine. 

2020 Hyundai Kona Acceleration

The 2020 Hyundai Kona powered by the 2.0-liter inline-4 motor does 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds and covers a quarter-mile in 16.3 seconds. The same Kona when powered by the 1.6-liter turbo-four engine drops the 0-60 mph time to 6.4 seconds while the quarter-mile comes at 15.1 seconds.

Models

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.3

8.4

8.6

9.0

Quarter-mile (sec)

16.3

16.2

16.3

16.9

Engine

2.0-Liter Inline-4

1.8-Liter Inline-4 2.0-Liter Inline-4 2.0-Liter Flat-4

The 2020 Hyundai Kona being the lightest car here remains the fastest to hit the 60 mph mark. The least powerful HR-V is one-tenth of a second slower than the Kona while the most powerful Crosstrek took almost 0.7 seconds more than the Kona to hit the 60 mph mark.

2020 Hyundai Kona Ride and Handling

Among the subcompact SUVs, the 2020 Kona does not have the best ride quality. Hyundai intended to make this a sporty SUV for which the suspension is on a stiffer side. What it does is it makes the ride quite jittery.  The available multilink suspension soaks up most road imperfections and would soak up bumps and potholes relatively well but they easily unsettle the Kona if going at over them at slow speed. The Kona handles well on the smooth tarmac and surprisingly well on mild off-road.

2020 Hyundai Kona Driving

The stiffer suspension does reward with better handling. There is a moderate amount of body roll but it remains fairly composed otherwise through the corners. The steering has some artificial heft to it even at slow speeds. It’s fairly precise otherwise and it will go where you point it to. The available standard tires provide a decent amount of grip levels but pushing hard around the corner makes them squeal in protest. The overall feel is one of confidence, but the driving characteristics fall short of the standard set by the Mazda CX-3.

2020 Hyundai Kona Braking

The 2020 Hyundai Kona stopped from 60-0 mph in just 129 feet which isn't the best for its class. It seems like the 11-inch front rotors and 10.3-inch rear rotors are not sufficient to stop Kona early even though it weighs just 2,890 lbs. 

 

2020 Hyundai Kona Wheel Design & Brake

That said, the pedals feel smooth and the braking is progressive, the car remains predictable. It holds its composure well under hard braking and being a light vehicle also helps it.

Model

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Brake Front (in.)

11.0

11.5

11.0

11.6

Brake Rear (in.)

10.3

11.1

11.1

10.8

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2890

2906 2851 3117

60-0 MPH (ft.)

129

121

127

118

In comparison to the Kona, the heaviest Crosstrek took the least 118 feet to stop from 60-0 mph while the next in line was the HR-V taking 8 feet less than the Kona to stop dead from 60 mph.

2020 Hyundai Kona Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2020 Hyundai Kona with the base engine has an EPA estimated gas mileage of 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. The AWD version of the same sees a drop of 1 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway. The turbo-four powered Kona has an EPA estimated gas mileage of 28 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway while the turbo-four with AWD returns 2 mpg less in the city and 3 mpg less on the highway.

Model

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

MPG (City)

27 28 29 22

MPG (Highway)

33 34 34 29

MPG (Combined)

30 30 31 25
Fuel Capacity (gallons) 13.2 13.2 12.7 16.6
Range (City / Highway) (mi.) 356 / 436 370 / 449 368 / 432 365 / 481

In this comparison, the Mazda CX-3 beats all returning the highest gas mileage of 29 mpg in the city, 2 mpg more than Kona, while on the highway both he HR-V and CX-3 offer a class-leading 34 mpg which is 1 mpg more than what Kona returns on the highway.

2020 Hyundai Kona Interior

8.0/10

“Hyundai's designers managed the tough task of bringing the charm of the Kona's exterior design to the cabin while maintaining comfort and convenience.” – Car and Driver

2020 Hyundai Kona Seating and Comfort

The interiors of the 2020 Kona in the first two trims are essentially functional. There are hard scratchy plastics all around and the interiors are all black. There is however a 7-inch floating touch screen on the dashboard with physical shortcut buttons around it with the climate controls being manually operated. There are lots of storage spaces in and around the cabin which allows for better practicality. On the whole, the interiors in the base trims are quite basic but still get all the job done. On the upper trims, the interiors get some zing, thankfully.

2020 Hyundai Kona Front Cabin

You get a bigger screen, the climate controls are automatic and there are colored accents around the AC vents and gear shifter. You can also get leather upholstery along with heated seats. The interiors in the upper trims feel well-appointed and premium. The seats in the Kona are quite comfortable. The SEL and above trims get leather-trimmed and heated seats. The rear bench is nice and wide and can seat three people in fair comfort. The rear legroom is not the best in class but there is sufficient space still. Thus long hours can be spent easily inside the Kona without tiring out.

Model

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.6/ 55.5/ 41.5

39.5/ 56.8/ 41.2

38.4/ 53.5/ 41.7

39.8/ 56.7/ 43.1

Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

37.8/ 54.5/ 34.6

38.3/ 54.5/ 39.3

37.2/ 50.4/ 35.0

38.0/ 55.6/ 36.5

When it comes to cabin space the Honda cars have always been among the most spacious in the segment. The HR-V is no different with the best amount of space on offer in both rows. Even though the Crosstrek has the most spacious front row seats it comes a close second because it offers lesser rear legroom and headroom.

Interior Features:

  • Remote keyless entry
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Rearview camera
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Available heated front seats
  • Available power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Available automatic climate control

2020 Hyundai Kona Infotainment System

The infotainment system on the 2020 Kona is a 7-inch touchscreen as standard on all except the top trim. The base unit is pretty good and easy to use with a fairly intuitive interface. There are physical short cuts buttons around the screen for easy access to important functions. There is also Android Auto and Apple Car Play for smartphone integration. Overall, the system is convenient and will get most things done for you quite easily.

2020 Hyundai Kona Infotainment

Those looking for a bigger screen will have to shell out the top dollars as the 8-inch unit is exclusive to the top-end Ultimate trim which also features navigation. As standard, you get a six-speaker sound system while the SEL Plus and above trims get an eight-speaker Infinity sound system.

Some of the features include :

  • HD Radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Hyundai's Blue Link
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Head-up display

2020 Hyundai Kona Cargo Capacity

The 2020 Hyundai Kona offers 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. While folding down the rear seats liberate 45.8 cubic feet of space.

2020 Hyundai Kona Cargo

The cargo capacity of the Kona is on the lower side but the low floor height with a wide opening makes putting and taking out luggage very easy. 

Model

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Cargo Capacity (ft³.)

19.2 24.3 17.8 20.8

Compared to the rivals, the Kona offers the second-lowest cargo space while the HR-V offers the best cargo capacity among all.

2020 Hyundai Kona Exterior

5.0/10

“Hyundai puts some keen ideas to paper—and metal and glass—at the front of the 2020 Kona.” – The Car Connection

2020 Hyundai Kona Dimensions and Weight

The styling of the 2020 Hyundai Kona has divided opinions. For some, it may be too busy trying too hard to be cool while others will actually find it funky. It’s unique for sure and it will turn heads. What meets your eyes first are the multiple headlamps. There are LED DRLs on the top, then the main headlamp cluster within the bumper with black cladding, and then the fog lamps in the lower lip. You’d be confused as to which are the main lamps. The spindle grille and black claddings all around give it a sporty and rugged look.

2020 Hyundai Kona Front View

From the busy front, when you move to the sides, it’s rather plain and simple except for a contrast panel on the C-pillar. There is a pronounced kink on the rear fender. Also, the body claddings look good and the wheels are stylish. At the rear, the story is the same as the front. Split lamp clusters have not been designed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. While the front still manages to look cool, the rear does not. The claddings dominate at the back as well. The rear spoiler protrudes quite some and the sloping rear window looks sporty. It is still a smart and contemporary-looking compact SUV.

Model

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2890

2906 2851 3117

Length (in)

164.0

170.4

168.3

175.8

Width (in)

70.9

69.8

69.6

71.0

Height (in)

61.0

63.2

60.7

63.6

Ground clearance (in)

6.7

7.3

6.1

8.7

Wheelbase (in)

102.4

102.8

101.2

104.9

Track width (in) F/R

62.0 / 62.4

60.4 / 60.6

60.0 / 59.9

61.0 / 61.2

The Hyundai Kona is quite balanced when it comes to dimensions. It has compact proportions for a crossover and sits quite low as well. It has the least length but despite that, it has a longer wheelbase than the Mazda CX-3  and is 0.4-inches smaller than the Honda HR-V. The compact proportions and less ground clearance really help the handling of the car. While those looking for higher ground clearance and a longer SUV then the Subaru Crosstrek is the one written all over your needs.

2020 Hyundai Kona Rear View

Exterior Features:

  • LED headlamps and tail lamps
  • 16- and 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Roof Rails
  • Body Claddings
  • Body-colored side mirrors with turn-signal indicators
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Available sunroof

2020 Hyundai Kona Safety

8.0/10

The 2020 Hyundai Kona has been tested by both the NHTSA and IIHS. The NHTSA gave a perfect score of five stars in overall safety ratings while the IIHS gave the 2020 Kona the highest rating of 'Good' in all its six parameters. Owing to that the 2020 Kona bagged the 'Top Safety Pick' from IIHS. All this was possible because the Hyundai Kona is well loaded with a lot of safety features. Even the base trim comes with standard features such as Forward collision warning, Lane-keeping Assist, and Driver attention monitor.

2020 Hyundai Kona NHTSA Crash Test

Safety Features:

  • Blind-spot warning
  • Lane change assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning w/ automatic emergency brake
  • Available adaptive cruise control

2020 Hyundai Kona Competition

9.0/10

2020 Hyundai Kona vs 2020 Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is one of the best SUVs in the segment. It has very good handling and is actually a fun car to drive. While it does not look as polarizing as the Kona rather it’s a smart-looking urban SUV. It has good interiors but Android Auto and Apple CarPlay do not come as standard. Also, the rear seats are quite cramped in the CX-3.

2020 Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 also packs some good performance and it’s only a little more expensive than the Kona. Thus we can safely say the CX-3 is easily the better car than the Kona.

2020 Hyundai Kona vs 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek is a much larger SUV than any of these compact SUVs. It has good off-road capabilities for a sub-compact SUV and it has good ride quality as well. It has very roomy interiors, something that is not so generous in this class. It looks very generic though and could easily blend in the crowd. The interior feel special and is quite well loaded.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

On the downside, the acceleration isn’t very good and handling is not so good either coupled that with the poor gas mileage makes it a very unappealing SUV in the segment. Also, it commands a $2,000 premium over the Kona but it seems worth it because of the extra practicality it comes with.

2020 Hyundai Kona Final Verdict

The 2020 Hyundai Kona isn’t the best car that money could buy within the $20,000 bracket. The base engine feels underpowered, handling isn’t the best, the ride is a little firm and the interiors are dull. However, move up the trim levels and the Kona becomes a whole different car. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine feels punchy and the Kona really comes into character then.

The interiors in the upper trim also feel much more upmarket and feature-rich. It’s still not the most perfect car even at the upper trims but it seems much more worth the money. Of course, it costs significantly more and breaches the $20,000 price bracket. If you have to buy the Kona, buy the upper trims or else pick one from the rivals if you want to stick around the $20,000 bracket.


FAQs on the 2020 Hyundai Kona:

How Much Does the 2020 Hyundai Kona Cost?

The suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2020 Kona SE starts at $20,300 which goes up to $29,350 for the top-end Ultimate trim with AWD.

Does the 2020 Hyundai Kona have a manual transmission?

No, the 2020 Kona model only offers an automatic transmission. 

Where is the 2020 Hyundai Kona built?

The 2020 Hyundai Kona is manufactured by Hyundai in South Korea.

Is the 2020 Hyundai Kona reliable?

The 2020 Hyundai Kona got a reliability score of 79 out of 100 and was placed at the tenth position in the top ten reliable SUVs by the J.D.Powers.

Is the 2020 Hyundai Kona AWD?

All the trims of the 2020 Hyundai Kona can be had with AWD for a slight premium over the FWD version of the same.

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