It might be known for its all-electric model, but the 2021 Hyundai Kona will also offer a wide range of other drivetrains. Starting with a 1.0-liter displacement in some markets, the crossover also uses larger units, turbocharged and naturally-aspirated. Finally, there is a new Kappa Hybrid system. The biggest refresh for the 2021 season will be the N model. The performance crossover gets a package that will maximize outputs and increase the fun of the drive. Besides Kona N, Hyundai will also deliver Tucson N.
The subcompact model is not too spacious. However, the company uses the room cleverly to provide enough comfort for all occupants. The smaller size means better agility. Of course, you can count on the superb fuel economy. We heard that Hyundai will revisit engines and the most efficient non-electric unit in the USA returns 30 mpg combined. If you choose the Kona EV, the range is 260 miles in a single charge.
2021 Hyundai Kona Petrol Engines
A 1.0-liter engine is not available in the US, but it is the entry-level option for some markets. Turbocharged, this powerplant is capable to create 118 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque through a manual gearbox. Also, a diesel version with 135 hp and 220 lb-ft is one of the popular models.
Well, the base offer in the United States includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. A six-speed automatic transmission forwards 147 horsepower to front wheels. All-wheel drive is optional. However, this option is not so efficient, since the fuel economy on highway drops by 3 mpg.
If you are looking for more power, then a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol mill is adding 28 hp. Also, the torque jumps from 195 lb-ft from 132 lb-ft. The gas mileage is not suffering with the FWD. Hyundai really needs to work on improving the AWD system, since it consumes significantly more fuel. Neither the 7-pace DCT gearbox is not helping.
New Hybrid Configuration
Kona had an electric model, but the company didn’t offer a hybrid version. Experts and fans criticized Hyundai because of it. However, only a couple of years later, engineers developed a configuration called Kappa Hybrid based on a 1.6-liter petrol mill. The system is good for 140 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The company announced that the new Kona Hybrid is going to reach 115 mph, but the fuel economy numbers were not unveiled.
2021 Hyundai Kona EV
The 2021 Hyundai Kona EV is the highlight of the lineup. We don’t expect updates on this electric crossover, although the competition is growing. Recently, we saw the premiere of the Ford Mach E all-electric SUV. So, having this in mind, Kona EV is going to return 260 miles from its 64-kWh battery. It needs 10 hours to recharge plugged to a 240V outlet. Standard 120V needs 60 hours. The quick charge allows you to get 80 percent in just 54 minutes. Outputs of the electric model are 201 hp and 291 lb-ft.
2021 Hyundai Kona N
Another version is being added to the 2021 lineup. Fans were excited when they heard news about Tucson and Kona N. Test mules are already in the Nurburgring circuit, Germany, and the company is not trying to hide it. Some sources claim the 2021 Kona N is going to get a 2.0-liter turbocharged mill that is capable to produce 270 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The configuration is available for the Veloster N coupe. However, the Kona crossover will need slightly more than 6 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint.
Unchanged Styling, Redesign is Coming in 2022
Besides the mechanical update, we won’t see any other big change on the 2021 Hyundai Kona. The company will check out the latest versions of the infotainment features and the color palette will be fresh. Currently, the carmaker offers different painjobs for electric and conventional models. It will be so in the future.
Models and Prices
The vehicle is available in five trim levels. It leaves a lot of options for buyers. The base model is SE and costs just above $20,000. You will have to add around $2,000 for each of the next trims: SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and Ultimate.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard right at the start, as well as the 7-inch touchscreen display. With the SEL you are getting a set of larger wheels (17-inch) and heated front buckets. Blindspot monitor is also there, which makes the SEL pretty attractive. So, what we are getting with other trim levels? Premium audio by Infinity and BlueLink system are notable upgrades for SEL Plus. The Limited model adds leather seats and 18-inch wheels, while the most expensive version uses Smart Cruise Control, heads-up display, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.
If you are planning the purchase of the electric model, the starting price is $37,000 (SEL trim). The crossover is also available in Limited ($42,000) and Ultimate ($45,000) versions. The hybrid version is coming for 2021 season and we expect to see a $30,000 price tag on it.