Hyundai’s subcompact Kona will feature a dramatic, futuristic all-new design when it goes on sale sometime next year.
Like the current Kona, the new model will come with an unusually wide array of powertrains, including electric, hybrid electric and internal combustion engine drivelines, as well as a performance-oriented N-Line variant. While each version will share its architecture, styling will be differentiated depending on model, according to the automaker.
“Kona has evolved in every respect to embrace an even wider range of diversity, to become a true lifestyle supporter,” said SangYup Lee, executive vice president and head of Hyundai Design Center, in a statement.
Certainly the Kona remains a popular vehicle in Hyundai’s truck line-up. Through the third quarter of 2022, Hyundai hawked 45,680 units, good enough for fifth place in sales behind the Tucson, Elantra, Santa Fe and Palisade.
A more sophisticated take
At 171.5 inches long, the new Kona is 5.9 inches longer than the model it replaces. Its wheelbase has grown by 2.65 inches and its width by 0.98 inch, lending it a more prominent appearance, one enhanced by its new design.
The new Kona’s design uses the model’s existing design themes in a more sophisticated fashion, concentrating on the EV version first and letting any design considerations find their way into its more conventionally powered siblings.
Certainly, designers have tidied up its proboscis, which was a muddled mess. The narrow DRLs are now a long slim lightbar that runs the width of the front fascia, which has been sorted out, its various openings condensed simplified into a large main opening bracketed by two side shapes that house the headlamps. The side edge of the headlight shape morphs into a side crease that runs the length of the vehicle, which cleans some of the business that cluttered the previous design. Black plastic cladding is still evident, but it’s more artful, seeming less like leftovers from a 1990s Pontiac. In the rear, the Kona’s lighting design mimics the front, with a long thin lightbar just beneath the rear window, and triangular cutouts for the rear tail lamps.
The overall effect is more refined.
The inside story
As you’d expect, the interior has a modern feel, although the shifter is now column-mounted, freeing up center console space. Dual 12.3-inch screens greet the driver, one an instrument cluster, the other a multimedia touchscreen. It’s accented by singular horizontal venting and accent lighting the emphasizes the cabin’s width.
Certainly the interior has an appearance that belies its station, something that Hyundai is adept at doing.
While Hyundai didn’t release any specifications, expect the new model to improve on the current model’s powertrains. Certainly the new model’s extra size should also impart it with a roomier cabin.
And while there any number of small gas-powered competitors, few are EVs. And of those that are, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EUV, none will be as new, making this little Hyundai a tough competitor to beat.
Hyundai is promising to release more details in the coming months.