Review - 2023 Hyundai Kona

By Alexi Falson on 10 May 2023
image for Review - 2023 Hyundai Kona When it first broke the veil, Hyundai’s radical styling package for the Kona compact SUV was quick to turn heads, and has made a lasting impression since.

Hyundai has announced a new generation Kona, complete with a major styling overhaul and added range of battery-electric versions for later in the year, which begs the question of whether it’s worth waiting for the upgrade, or if the current Kona is impressive enough to make the switch now.

Let’s take a closer at the current Hyundai Kona look to find out.

Starting Price: $26,900

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now


  • Charming driving dynamics

  • Charismatic styling

  • Impressive value proposition


  • New generation Kona arriving soon

  • Some safety equipment reserved for high-spec variants

OnlineAuto Rating 8/10

How Much Does It Cost?

The Hyundai Kona range kicks off from $26,900 for the entry-level Kona FWD, with prices rising to $31,900 for the Kona Elite, and up to $37,100 for the Kona N-Line automatic.

From here, the range moves to the Kona Highlander which is priced at $38,300, and then to the Kona N-Line Premium AWD which is priced at $43,200, while the fire-breathing Kona N is priced at $49,200 and its more refined Kona N Premium priced at $52,200.

Prices for Hyundai’s battery-electric Kona range kick off from $54,500 for the entry-level Kona Electric Elite, while the Kona Electric Highlander is priced at $58,000 and at $64,000 for the Kona Electric Highlander long-range.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

You could save money by using one of OnlineAuto’s car agents to assist you in finding the best car for you. As one of the leading car buying services in Australia, our team have access to a range of dealerships across the country to help find you the best deal.

Hyundai Kona - N LINE (AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Model KONA
Series OS.V5 MY23
Variant N LINE (AWD)
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive AWD
Engine TGDi
Engine capacity 1598
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 1600
Cylinders T4
Torque 265
KW 146
Fuel tank size 50.0
Fuel usage specs 6.9 / 0
CO2 156
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Hyundai Kona car page.

What Features Does the Hyundai Kona Have?

The entry-level Kona 2.0 comes riding on 16-inch alloys and receives LED daytime running lamps, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Qi wireless smartphone charging and a six-speaker sound system.

The Kona 2.0 Active adds a set of 17-inch alloys, leather upholstery, power-folding mirrors, and rear parking sensors, while the 2.0 Elite Kona gets a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system climate control, keyless entry and start, and an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system.

The Kona Highlander receives LED head and tail lights, a 10.25-inch digital driving display, a panoramic sunroof, and 18-inch alloys, while the flagship Kona N Line Premium gets a more powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, and an all-wheel drive system.

For a more detailed walk-through of the Hyundai Kona’s features, get in touch with our team specialists who can run you through each variant.

2023 hyundai kona dash

Range Features:

  • 16-inch alloys

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • Reversing camera

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Six-speaker sound system

  • 17-inch alloys (Active)

  • Leather upholstery (Active)

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system (Elite)

  • Harman Kardon sound system (Elite)

  • 18-inch alloys (Highlander)

  • LED head & tail lights (Highlander)

  • 10.25-inch digital driver’s display (Highlander)

  • Sports suspension (N Line Premium)

  • Sports seats (N Line Premium)

Is the Hyundai Kona Comfortable to Drive?

The driving experience in the Hyundai Kona ranges from simple and straightforward in the base model to extremely rapid in the range-topping Kona N, with a heap of variants and even battery-electric models on offer for buyers.

The base Kona receives a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque, which powers the front wheels only via a CVT automatic transmission that provides a particularly smooth driving experience.

Also on offer is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a much more impressive 146kW of power and 265Nm of torque, which is paired with a sophisticated seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an all-wheel drive system.

“The base engine is forgettable, while the 1.6-litre unit with the upgraded DSG is much more enjoyable.” Dan - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

The entry-level unit is perfectly acceptable for a mix of everyday driving and picking up speed off the line, though the added performance on offer from the turbocharged engine makes a considerable difference when it comes to effortless acceleration.

Around town, the Kona is perfectly poised for the urban grind, with its relatively short wheelbase making it perfect for navigating tight quarters and squeezing into car parks, while the added bonus of a lightweight steering rack makes it particularly user-friendly in the urban jungle.

2023 hyundai kona headlights

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Fuel economy figures for Hyundai’s 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine stand at 6.2L per 100km on a combined cycle, making it the most fuel-efficient engine within the range.

Buyers opting for the more powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder will see fuel economy figures rise to 6.9L/100km on a combined cycle, while the range-topping Kona N’s fuel economy figures stand at a hefty 9L/100km.

What Performance Features Does the Kona N Receive?

Over the standard Kona, the Kona N receives a much more powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 206kW/392Nm, which increases to a peak of 213kW with the N Grin Shift mode activated.

The Kona N also receives a bespoke styling kit and interior upgrades, as well as a sports exhaust system, upgraded performance brakes, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system paired with a Harman Kardon sound system.

“The Kona N sprints to 100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.” Craig - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

The range-topping Kona N Premium picks up a head-up display, suede/leather upholstery with heated and ventilated seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

What are the Range Figures for the Kona Electric?

Hyundai offers the Kona Electric with two different battery packs, the smallest of which is a 39.2kWh lithium-ion pack, while the range-topping Kona Electric variants come fitted with a 64kWh battery pack.

Hyundai says that range figures for the entry-level Kona electric stand at 305km per charge, which increases to a claimed 557km driving range in Kona Electric variants fitted with the larger 64kWh battery.

2023 hyundai kona rear

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Hyundai has managed to squeeze almost every millimetre of space inside the Kona’s cabin, which in spite of its limited proportions, remains impressively practical for a compact SUV.

Up front, the driver and front passenger have great forward visibility that makes it more approachable to drive around town, and while headroom is somewhat limited even for taller drivers, it’s on par for the compact SUV segment.

The front cabin is fairly basic in the entry-level Kona, though it remains practical with a healthy amount of storage options for loose items. Step up higher into the range and infotainment screens stretch out, and the seats gain a mix of leather and even suede highlights in the case of the Kona N.

“The entry-level Kona is simple and practical, while higher-spec variants gain a heap of premium features.” Dan - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

Move to the rear and you’ll find a benchseat with a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts, as well as a limited amount of legroom for tall adults, though children and teenagers won’t have any issues getting comfortable in the rear.

2023 hyundai kona interior

Finally, the Kona’s boot is rated at 374L - which matches and even exceeds boot space on offer in some of its key rivals - while this expands to 1156L with the rear seats folded down for bulky cargo.

Is it Safe?

The Hyundai Kona range has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating and comes fitted with Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite as standard.

This means the entry-level Kona picks up autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, driver attention warnings and lane follow assistance, while higher-spec variants pick up blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Kona Worth it?

While the next-generation Kona might be on the way later this year, the current range offers a compelling driving experience and generous features list, even in the base model, that makes it well worth a closer look.

The entry-level Kona provides a heap of value, a fuel-efficient engine and a user-friendly driving experience, while the mid-range variants pick up a more potent turbocharged engine that makes it feel more alive.

Hyundai’s battery-electric line is also an impressive value proposition, however, if you’re keen on an EV variant, we’d suggest hanging around for Hyundai’s next-gen Kona lineup for any potential efficiency and range bonuses.

2023 hyundai kona

If you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. New hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric Konas arriving later in 2023

  2. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty

  3. Fuel economy figures between 6.2L - 9L/100km

  4. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  5. Two battery-electric variants available

Hyundai Kona Competition

Hyundai Kona

Volkswagen T-Roc
Toyota Corolla Cross
Kia Seltos
Nissan Qashqai
Honda HR-V

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice within the compact SUV segment, let one of our car-buying specialists help you out with your shortlist and they’ll help to find you the best possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

car icon
close sticky hub button


Maximum of 3 vehicles