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New York 2023: North American 2024 Hyundai Kona Unveiled

2024 Hyundai Kona | Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Daniel Rufiange
The electric version will offer a range of 418 km.
2024 Hyundai Kona N Line
2024 Hyundai Kona N Line | Photo: D.Rufiange

•    Hyundai unveils the Kona N Line and Kona Electric at the New York Auto Show.

•    Unlike the first Kona, the new generation was first developed on an electric platform, and then adapted for gasoline engines.

•    Hyundai gives a range of 418 km for the 2024 Kona Electric.

New York, NY - A little over a month ago, Hyundai unveiled the electric version of its Kona 2024 in Europe. The regular model coming to market next year had already been shown, so we had an idea of what the battery-powered version would look like.

This morning at the New York Auto Show, the company unveiled the North American version of the Kona Electric and of the sportier N variant.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, front
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, front | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Kona Electric
From an aesthetic standpoint, the 2024 Kona retains the charming face that contributed to the model’s early success. Hyundai has, however, made a few improvements to address owners' complaints about rear seat space and trunk space.

The new model is thus slightly bigger, with an extra 145 mm in length (for 4350 mm) and a wheelbase stretched by 60 mm (for 2600 mm) compared to the current version. In width, the new Kona gains an inch, or about 2.5 cm.

The front seats have also been reworked, as they’re now slimmer by 30 percent to help increase space in the back, without compromising comfort and support. Specifically, rear seat clearance has been increased by 77 mm.

When it comes to cargo space, there are some interesting gains. With the second-row seats in place, the trunk offers 723 litres. With the seats folded down, the capacity climbs to 1,803 litres, which is excellent for the subcompact SUV category.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, trunk
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, trunk | Photo: D.Rufiange

As for the battery, the Kona benefits from a 64.8-kWh unit. The 160-kW electric motor will offer 201 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. The power for charging will be 100 kW and it will take 43 minutes to see the energy go from 10% to 80% at a fast-charging station.

It's interesting to note that this generation of the Kona was developed with a platform designed first for an electric powertrain, with the platform then being adapted for the ICE variant – the complete reverse of the development of the first Kona.

Range is announced at 418 km, close to the 425 km prediction we made a few weeks ago in relation to the 500 km expected with the European WLTP cycle.

The model also offers a bi-directional capacity (V2L), which means the vehicle can be used to power appliances in the home, if needed.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, badging
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, badging | Photo: Hyundai

Exterior design
The new Kona retains its visual signature, but the changes made will be easily noticeable. The most obvious change is the addition of an unbroken strip of light at the front, which Hyundai calls the “seamless horizon”. This strip is also present in back for the rear lighting, which is worth noting. The overall design is not all that radically new, but it does feel more modern. The 2024 Kona is pleasing to the eye.

The design differences between the electric and gasoline versions will be subtle, but noticeable. Besides the fact that the electric variant doesn't have a grille for cooling, it will benefit from fender flares that match the body colour. With the gasoline version, they will be black. Note, however, that with the N trim, they will also be body-coloured.

The headlights have been placed lower and are now on each side of the bumper, which is noteworthy.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, wheel
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, wheel | Photo: D.Rufiange

With the N Line trim, there are elements specific to the variant, such as 19-inch N Line alloy wheels, an N Line rear spoiler, dual exhaust, an optional upgraded Bose audio system and sport seats with red accents, as well as aluminum pedals, skid plates and black mirrors. Also, the front and rear fascia have a more aggressive design for an even sportier appearance.

The 2024 Kona N Line will be powered by a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 190 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The base version of the model will still be served by a naturally aspirated 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, this time good for 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque.

Note that the latter model uses a CVT to link the mechanics to the front wheels, while the N Line model relies on an 8-speed automatic transmission.

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, interior
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, interior | Photo: Hyundai

The Kona's interior design also takes a step forward with an updated, screen-dominated environment. Instead of a single central unit, the design includes two 12.3-inch screens. The one in front of drivers displays information from the instrument cluster while the other is for the multimedia system features.

Fortunately, the Kona retains several physical buttons for essential commands such as climate control.

When it comes to safety and technology, it's comprehensive, as is starting to be the case for all vehicles across the industry.

Of course, we'll have the opportunity to revisit the Kona, including at the model launch in the coming weeks, as well as during test drives we'll have the opportunity to take with each of the variants.

The model is expected to hit dealerships this summer. Note that in the case of the electric variant, the first units should arrive early next year.

2024 Hyundai Kona N Line, three-quarters rear
2024 Hyundai Kona N Line, three-quarters rear | Photo: Hyundai
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists