2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid Review – The Affordable And Flexible Family Car

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Small SUVs are very much in fashion and UK drivers can’t seem to get enough of their abilities to balance practicality with a fun drive. The Hyundai Kona Hybrid confidently nestles itself in this category too.

A stylish, small SUV that comes with bucketloads of flexibility and an easy-to-live-with, fuel-efficient engine, the Kona Hybrid is one of Hyundai’s flagship models.


Want to find out whether the Hyundai Kona is the right family car for you? Read our full review to see how it’s designed, what it drives like and how much you can expect to pay for one.


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2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid design

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid is striking from all angles

Hyundai has always been known for its innovative designs and the Kona Hybrid is no exception. All trim levels get sleek LED headlights on the front, smart 16in alloy wheels and a pronounced, sporty grille that makes the Kona sharply styled when compared to rivals like the Kia Niro.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has a compact body and sporty design that looks refreshingly modern

It’s not only from the front where the Hyundai Kona Hybrid impresses. As you walk round there’s distinct body lines right the way across and a rear spoiler with integrated LED brake lights. Aiding this look is tinted front door glass and a windscreen with a shade band that makes it look sportier than its price tag would suggest.

On a functionality basis, the Kona Hybrid’s standard roof rails let you expand on boot space. Choose from a wide variety of roofbox sizes to transform this car into a camping-friendly car that you can get away in for the weekend.

If you really want to add some pizzazz to the Hyundai Kona Hybrid you can choose the mid-level ‘Premium’ specification. Along with privacy glass for the rear windows and tailgate, larger 18in alloy wheels and upgraded anthracite body garnish that allows the car to glisten.

Top-spec ‘Ultimate’ versions of the Kona don’t add a great deal in the way of external design, but there are loads of comforts that separate it from the rest which may tickle your fancy.


2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid interior

The Hyundai Kona Hybrid 2021 has a tech-savvy interior that is very engaging to interact with

Even the entry-level SE Connect specification comes with an airy, modern cabin that’s very easy to get comfortable in. For starters, the seating position is elevated so that you feel like you’re riding in something more than a regular raised hatch. Capping this off is the sound driving position which is defined by logically aligned pedals, lumbar support for the seats and lots of steering wheel adjustment so that you can find your perfect driving position without the faff.

A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob gives the Hyundai Kona Hybrid a solid premium feel. You wouldn’t always expect this for a base model, but Hyundai has really come up trumps in this category – hiding a lot of the cheaper, harder plastics.

Inside the Hyundai Kona Hybrid gets even better when you look at Premium and Ultimate trim levels. The Premium model gets ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats above the standard specification for greater comfort.


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2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid infotainment and tech

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid infotainment screen has great usability and looks the part

For fantastic tech and infotainment, the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is right up there with the best in class. Standard SE Connect models come with an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen display that can be upgraded to a bigger 10.3in screen on the other models.

The extra size doesn’t really make a great deal of difference from a usability perspective, though it does look more impressive. Either way you’ll get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity so you can easily navigate the car’s entertainment system like it was your mobile.

Where you will benefit from spending a bit more on the Premium model is the sound system. It comes with a brilliant Krell audio system with eight speakers that include an external amplifier and subwoofer. Couple this with the wireless phone charging pad and you can see how easy it is to keep your favourite tunes playing (minus distortion) on longer-distance trips.

How about driver tech, then? Well, the Hyundai Kona achieved the full five-star safety rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP testing. Just like infotainment tech, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you look at Premium and Ultimate versions – namely, adaptive cruise control and front parking sensors on the former, and blind spot monitoring on the latter.

Regardless of which trim you choose there’s still a shed load of convenience tech onboard. Lane keep assist and lane follow assist combine to automatically adjust the steering wheel and keep you centred in the lane. For more urban driving comforts, a parking system with a rear camera and sensors on the back make this car a doddle to park.


2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid practicality

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has a surprisingly roomy interior

Because the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is a small SUV, practicality is never going to be its strong suit. Nevertheless, you’ll still be able to fit a couple of adults in the back and they shouldn’t have too many complaints with the space. But six-footers will probably be disappointed with the amount of knee room.

As for the boot in the Hyundai Kona Hybrid, it’s about average for this class, with 334 litres that is about enough for four carry-on suitcases. As we mentioned before though, you can opt to have a roofbox to really maximise space for your belongings.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has a wide opening, but rivals are bigger

All Kona Hybrid models come with 60/40 split-folding rear seats that allow you to increase the overall boot space by more than three times (1,116 litres) compared to when all seats are upright. Other handy features in the cargo include luggage hooks, a parcel shelf and a luggage light so you can see what you’re doing when loading the car at night.


2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid driving

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid is quicker than the combustion fuel version

The engine range for the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is a very simple one. Every single one has a 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid unit that doesn’t need plugging in.

Combined, the power from the combustion engine and electric motor that pump out a not insignificant 139bhp. By no means can the Kona Hybrid be described as ‘fast’, but there’s certainly a feeling of briskness when you put your foot down, helped by the firm suspension.

By far the most appealing part of the Hyundai Kona Hybrid’s driving experience is the way it cleverly makes use of electric power for shorter distances. When you’re in and around town, you can choose to let the car be propelled by electricity alone, even if just for a few miles. This bumps the combined fuel economy figures to an impressive 58mpg, making it very savvy at the pumps.


2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid cost

The Hyundai Kona Hybrid has an excellent 1.6-litre petrol-electric unit

A brand-new Hyundai Kona Hybrid costs around £22,300 if you were to purchase it outright. However, there are plenty of finance options available for new and used versions of the car that make it very affordable.

At Moneyshake we have lease deals available on the Hyundai Kona Hybrid starting from less than £200 per month*.


*Prices based on a leasing profile of 9 months initial payment, a 36-month contract and 5,000 annual mileage.


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