Hyundai showed off the design of its 2024 Kona late last year, but today Hyundai is feeding us all the U.S. specs as the new Kona makes its North American debut at the New York Auto Show. This new generation of Kona starts with the Electric model (seen in yellow above), as Hyundai says it developed this new generation with the electric model as the priority. In practice, that means it's rocking a column-mounted shifter to free up center console space and numerous shared design elements with Hyundai's Ioniq models. The Kona's platform isn't radically changed to make the EV significantly different from before — the E-GMP platform cars still rule there — but there are still EV improvements. It’s packing the smallest of increases in battery size to 64.8 kWh, which Hyundai says is good for 260 miles of range — EPA numbers aren’t available yet, but the 2023 Kona Electric is rated for 258 miles. A smaller 48.6 kWh battery pack will be available for this generation of Kona Electric, too, this one allowing for 197 miles of range. This marks the first time Hyundai has offered the Kona Electric with two different packs. Hyundai’s new Kona platform still uses 400-volt architecture, unlike the E-GMP platform’s 800-volt architecture, so charging speeds are similar to the previous model. Hyundai promises a 10%-to--80% charge will take about 43 minutes in ideal conditions, but doesn’t quote a max speed. It’ll also be capable of vehicle-to-load like other Hyundai/Kia EVs, but can only output 1.7 kW of power. No matter the battery pack, the Kona Electric retains its FWD-only layout. The big battery pack version has a single electric motor good for 201 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. That’s the same power as the outgoing model — but it’s down on torque by a massive 103 pound-feet from the 2023 model's 291. The small battery Kona gets a less potent motor that is rated for 133 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. In case you’d rather have a gas-powered Kona (pictured above), Hyundai is offering two different powertrain options for your choosing. The first is a carryover 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission and comes standard. Meanwhile, the N Line and Limited trims get a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 190 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This motor is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that should prove far more enjoyable than the CVT in the base model. We asked Hyundai why it wasn't offering the hybrid powertrain being offered in global markets in America, and the answer is that Hyundai wants folks to turn to the Kona Electric as the green option. Both FWD and AWD will be available, and we suspect the AWD models could be slightly better to drive with their multi-link rear suspension design — FWD models make do with a torsion beam rear axle. However, the Kona Electric is the exception here, as it’s FWD but features a multi-link rear suspension. The N Line won’t enhance performance, but it will look considerably sportier with unique 19-inch wheels, revised front/rear fascias, an aggressive rear spoiler and dual exhaust. The extra sportiness transfers inside, too, as it gets red accidents all over N Line scuff plates and aluminum sport pedals. As for a future Kona N, Hyundai was mum for now, but we wouldn't doubt it if it comes back in the new generation. Inside all Kona models you’ll find a completely new interior that is far more spacious due to the Kona being a larger vehicle than before. In total, the Kona is 5.7 inches longer and an inch wider than the outgoing model, which means more cargo room and more backseat space. Hyundai says the loudest feedback about the previous Kona was a lack of backseat space, so it used most of the extra length to add there. Hyundai even thinned out the front seats and gave the rear bench couch-like curved edges to make it feel like more of a lounge. Of course, it's still a Kona, so don't expect a big lounge-like experience. In the front, Hyundai says the 12.3-inch screens (same size for both the cluster and infotainment system) will run next-gen software that we’ll be eager to try out. Other notable tech enhancements include more charge ports in both front and rear, an available Bose 8-speaker audio system, Hyundai’s Digital Key 2 Touch (allows you to use your smartphone as a key), OTA update-capable infotainment, remote smart parking and lots more driver assistance features like Blind-Spot View Monitor and the always excellent Highway Drive Assist. Pricing isn’t available for the new Kona yet, but Hyundai says the combustion engine version will hit dealers this summer. The Kona Electric will closely follow in late fall. For more visit www.autoblog.com #hyundai #hyundaikona #kona #nyias
ZAC PALMER: Zac Palmer with "Autoblog" here at the New York Auto Show. And right behind me, we have the new Hyundai Kona, specifically the Kona Electric. So this is the North American debut for Hyundai's new Kona. It grows a lot bigger this year. The electric gets a few spec bumps here and there. And the design is so, so different.
Let's just start by walking around the electric here. The obvious, this crazy yellow paint, obviously. New option for 2024. But there's a whole lot else new here. So Hyundai used the Ioniq design language to try and enhance this one, so that means you've got some of the parametric design and LED lights that you get from, like, an Ioniq 5 or Ioniq 6.
As the car is twirling around here, we can actually look at the rear first. It's really classy. You got this full-width tail light right here. And this is where you see that parametric design with these little square LEDs back there and more squares in the lower bumper. It's a really, really neat design, honestly.
But as we move around here, you'll notice this is the Electric, and it has the body-colored cladding. Not all of them have that. Some of the gasoline variants have the big black cladding that you might be used to with the Kona.
And as we transition all the way to the front, I want to point out these new wheels that we have, pretty neat arrow design wheels. But my favorite angle is definitely directly from the front, where you get a full-width DRL and a pretty blank face though, honestly. So this is, like-- it's just plain Jane up here until you get to the bottom.
Again, you got that sort of Ioniq-like design. Those touches really enhance the look of the Kona a lot, I think. But, like I said, this thing grew a lot. And really, there are a lot of different changes between the trims that we should look at because not everybody's going to buy the Electric.
So how about we walk on over to some of the other models that Hyundai has on the show floor here. Specifically, this one is a limited model. So this is a gasoline-powered one. It has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four cylinder.
Notice a lot of design changes here. So this does not have the full body color front end. It has a lot of different trim designs and just ways that they differentiate the Electric to the gasoline model.
Now I also want to point out that we have this body cladding here. It's pretty dramatic, actually. It gives a two-tone look, if that's what you want, that's what you get with this kind of vehicle. Unique wheel design, of course. Down the side, also again, that two-tone with the body cladding.
This one probably isn't my favorite looking one. My favorite looking one is right behind us, actually, the Kona N line. So this is the sporty one. It also has the 1.6-liter, but it has a lot of different design changes that make it look a lot more aggressive.
So it has its own front fascia up here. You see a nice painted black look. You've got almost EV6-like design down here that gives it that sporting character. I really, really love these wheels here too. Nice and aggressive with the N badge inside there.
Now, don't get that confused. It's not a full N. The full Kona N is not out yet. We don't know if it will be for this generation.
But just going further along the side here, N line badge, cool. You get a contrasting color for the mirror. And probably my favorite touch is in back with this gigantic spoiler. It's actually kind of silly for a Kona. This thing isn't a performance vehicle, but, man, look at the size of that spoiler.
And then Kia finishes it off nicely. The little faux diffuser and a dual exhaust down here-- Nice. And classy looking but also sporty.
But let's hop inside real quick and show off that larger interior. Welcome inside the Kona now. This one is the N line, but they're similar across the board in their new design and new tech. So right in front of me, we have a new steering wheel that actually eschews the Hyundai logo. It's just a straight line here.
But in front of you, you get the two big screens. So this is a huge upgrade versus the previous Kona. It's a lot more high-tech. It has a new generation of infotainment in it. And right below it, we have a totally new center stack with different-looking climate control. A lot of buttons-- I really appreciate that there's buttons all over for that, for the heated and cooled seats, a big drive mode knob.
You've got a really easily placed wireless phone charger there. And overall, this place just feels a lot airier than before. You have a really, really large center console for a ton of storage here. And because this is the N line, I will point out that you get some cool red accents that really sportify the experience. But we should hop in the back real quick because that is why Kona enlarged this vehicle so much, to give the rear passengers a little space from the previously cramped Kona.
So here we are in the back now. And honestly, the Kona feels like it's an entirely different class larger than it was before. Previously, we would classify it as a subcompact. This feels more like a mid-compact or even just a compact, like a smaller compact SUV.
This seat is where it's comfortable for me. I'm 5'10". Like, there's so much space back here. It is legitimately large and comfortable to sit two adults back here now, which is great. I think that that'll solve a lot of people's problems with the smaller previous Kona. So definitely A+ on that.
And, yeah, that's the new Hyundai Kona. A lot of new tech, mostly new powertrains, and a great new interior with a lot more space.