Hyundai has taken the wraps off their facelifted 2021 Hyundai Kona. The comprehensive facelift dramatically alters the subcompact crossover’s exterior design. On top of this, a number of new tech features have also been added to Hyundai’s popular small SUV.
As mentioned, the exterior of the 2021 Hyundai Kona has been comprehensively redesigned. The two-tiered headlight clusters are still there, but they get a sleeker treatment this time around. The front bumper design is completely new, along with a faux skid plate and a black mesh grille design. The taillights also receive a new design, while the shape of the separate reverse lights and turn signal lights mimic the headlights up front. New for 2021 is a sporty N Line variant, which adds a sportier front and rear bumper, along with more aggressive alloy wheels.
The interior design remains largely unchanged, though Hyundai has added a number of new features. A 10.25-inch touch screen infotainment system is standard on certain markets, while a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster can be added as an optional extra. There is also a new LED ambient lighting system, along with improved interior materials for a more premium feel.
Under the hood of the 2021 Hyundai Kona are a number of new engines. In Europe, the base engine is a 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that produces 118 hp. This engine can be mated to a 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) system and Hyundai Motor Group’s new 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT). Just like in the Kia Sonet, the iMT is basically a manual with no clutch pedal, making this system a semi-automatic transmission by nature.
Also available in Europe is a 1.6-liter Smartstream diesel engine with a 48-volt MHEV system. This engine produces 134 hp and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or a 6-speed iMT. Selecting these engines without the MHEV system deletes the 6-speed iMT option and instead swaps it for a conventional 6-speed manual.
New for 2021 is the Kona Hybrid, which combines a 1.6-liter non-turbo gasoline engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 138 hp. This powertrain is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Sitting at the top of the Kona range is the new 1.6-liter Smartstream turbocharged gasoline engine that produces 194 hp and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. AWD also comes as standard in this powertrain.
As with most modern cars nowadays, the 2021 Hyundai Kona can be equipped with a number of advanced driver-assist features through Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite. This includes blind-spot collision avoidance, rear-cross traffic collision avoidance, full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane following assist, and lead vehicle departure alert. Also new for the 2021 Kona is Safe Exist Assist, which warns occupants of an oncoming vehicle when they attempt to open the car’s doors, and with Rear Seat Alert, which warns drivers if someone is still sitting at the rear seats.
The 2021 Hyundai Kona will go on sale worldwide by the end of 2020, with Europe being the first market to receive the South Korean automaker’s latest small SUV.