2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid Premium N Line Review

The 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has FINALLY Arrived in Australia, promising a low-entry price and fantastic fuel economy - but is it worth it?

Matt Brand
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 9, 2024
Saucey score


  • Best in-class technology and refinement
  • Smooth Hybrid performance
  • Extremely practical interior


  • Overly invasive, annoying driver safety tech
  • Worse than expected real-world fuel economy
  • Polarising looks (though I personally love it)
Car specs

104kW + 265Nm


3.9L/100km (Claimed)


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Honestly? The Kona Hybrid is the small SUV I have wanted to drive all year.

3.9L/100km (claimed) fuel economy? Yes, please! Surprisingly punchy engine? Yes, please! Actually kinda affordable? YES, PLEASE!

It’s definitely not perfect, but the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is here to bring the heat on the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Let’s talk about it!

How much does the 2024 Hyundai Kona cost?

In 2024, the Hyundai Kona Hybrid models present a compelling value proposition when compared to its direct competitor, the Toyota Corolla Cross. 

The Kona Hybrid starts at $36,500, offering a blend of efficiency and affordability. Its range extends up to $46,500 for the high-end N Line Premium variant. In contrast, the Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid AWD, the most expensive variant in its range, has a sticker price of $49,050 before on-road costs.

This positions the Kona Hybrid as a more cost-effective option, providing similar hybrid benefits at a lower price point.

2.0 Petrol:

  • Kona: $32,000
  • Kona N Line: $36,000
  • Kona Premium: $39,500
  • Kona N Line Premium: $42,500

1.6 Hybrid:

  • Kona: $36,000
  • Kona N Line: $40,000
  • Kona Premium: $43,500
  • Kona N Line Premium: $46,500

1.6T AWD:

  • Kona N Line: $40,000
  • Kona N Line Premium: $46,500

All prices exclude on-road costs.

What’s the interior and tech like of the Kona Hybrid N-Line?

Let’s get the bad out of the way for the interior, and there are 2 pretty noticeable things.

The first is the extensive use of black, scratchy materials. Of course no one expects you to touch the top of the dash, but the use of these materials reflects road noise which makes the cabin louder.

So while the Kona Hybrid is quite quiet for an economy car, many aspects do feel surprisingly economy. Which is a shame, because the interior design is otherwise great.

In fact, let's hold off for now on the second issue, because it’s going to be somewhat of a rant, and somewhat of a plea to Hyundai Motor Group.

Technology within the Kona Hybrid is really quite wonderful (bar some safety stuff). You get dual 12.3” displays for your infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster, with blind spot cameras appearing when changing lanes (a technology I love!)

Hyundai have moved to a minimalist vibe for their software, using an Android based operating system that is apparently 4x faster processing wise and 15x more graphically capable then the previous gen Kona.

In built navigation works well, digital radio is included but curiously Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both still wired through one of the two USB-C ports up front. Which makes the wireless charger a nice to have, but redundant. You’ve also got a 12v socket up-front, FYI.

The seats in the N-Line Hybrid are fantastic. They are an Alcantara and leather mix, providing plenty of support and adjustment. They’ve also got Hyundai’s signature relaxation mode, which essentially lifts you up and puts you into a reclined position. It’s good, if not a bit gimmicky.

The Kona Hybrid also offers storage galore, with hidden cup holders and removable partitions.

Did I mention the leather steering wheel (which is really well laid out) has two stage heating AND the front seats have heating and cooling?

Sounds and looks pretty phenomenal, right?

Well… let’s talk about the other MAJOR issue for us, which is the overly intrusive driver monitoring system that lives just behind the steering wheel. In fact, it’s the intrusive safety features which really dampen this SUV’s otherwise great experience.

Hyundai has decided to go the route of extra safety, but it means constant binging and bonging when it thinks you’re speeding (it often gets this wrong, school zones in my area are a constant annoyance for me).

The drive monitor system is very quick to kick in and tell you you’re not focusing on the road, when you’re in reality navigating through the infotainment display or changing the easy to use digi-analogue air conditioning controls.

This has been an ongoing issue for both Hyundai and Kia over the past 2 or so years when this technology was introduced to appease strict European safety laws, but they know customers in Australia are frustrated by it.

Hyundai say they have reduced the volume by -3dB, and you can program the shortcut button on the steering wheel or infotainment display to take you to the safety menus. But I’ve found it to be distracting when I’m driving to turn off, which is incredibly counterproductive.

If I’m being totally honest, until this system is remedied in some way to be less intrusive, it would be enough to make me look elsewhere.

Rant over.

What about the back seats of the Hyundai Kona Hybrid?

The back seats of the last Kona were arguably terrible for space, this Kona - which to be fair is dimensionally bigger in every way, has far more room.

The latest version of the Kona has grown in size, now extending to a length of 4385mm, compared to the previous model's starting length of 4205mm. 

Additionally, it has expanded by 25mm in width, reaching 1825mm, and its height has increased by up to 40mm, standing at 1590mm. The vehicle also features broader tracks and an extended wheelbase, which is now 60mm longer at 2660mm.

At 5’11” I have plenty of leg-room, head-room and toe-room behind my driving position.

Amenities are great too, with air conditioning vents and 2 x USB-C ports.

How much can fit in the boot of the Kona Hybrid?

Despite the 1.32kWh electric battery living under the rear seats of the Kona Hybrid, all Kona’s have the same boot space.

The boot now measures up at 407 litres with all rows up, and 1241 litres if you drop the rear seats. That’s up from 374L and 1156L respectively from the last Kona.

That also makes practicality slightly better than the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, which suffers from its battery and subwoofer placement meaning it has 380L of space.

What’s under the bonnet of the Kona Hybrid

The Kona range offers 3 engines, with the Kona EV set to follow soon:

G2.0 MPi 2WD

  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Power: 110 kW
  • Torque: 180 Nm
  • Fuel Consumption: 6.6 L/100km

G1.6 T-GDi AWD

  • Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic Transmission (8 AT)
  • Power: 146 kW
  • Torque: 265 Nm
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.6 L/100km

G1.6 GDi Hybrid 2WD

  • Transmission: 6-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (6 DCT)
  • Power: 104 kW
  • Torque: 265 Nm
  • Fuel Consumption: 3.9 L/100km

A quick disclaimer: this is going to get technical, so if you’d rather get straight to how the Kona Hybrid drives, skip to the next section!

The 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid is equipped with Hyundai's 2nd Generation Hybrid Powertrain, originally seen as a 1st Generation System in the Ioniq Hybrid. 

At its core, the Kona Hybrid features the SmartStream G1.6 GDi Hybrid engine, which is mated to a 6-speed Dry Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) that channels power to the front wheels. The car's structure includes a multi-link rear suspension system, aimed at providing stability and responsiveness. 

The engine and motor together deliver a combined output of 104kW and 265Nm of torque and achieve a fuel consumption rate of 3.9L/100km.

The engine includes a range of technological advancements versus the 1st Generation System. These include an improved cooling system, an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, reduced friction in engine components, and a continuously variable oil pump. 

The engine also uses lower viscosity oil, has an enhanced combustion process, and benefits from increased fuel injection pressure at 350 bar and a raised compression ratio to 14:1.

The drive motor, part of the vehicle's powertrain system, offers an output of 32 kW and 170 Nm of torque. It incorporates a new bobbin concept, thinner electric steel, and enhanced permanent magnet specifications. Additionally, low friction seals have been used, and adjustments have been made to the stator tooth shape.

The vehicle's battery system comprises a 1.32 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, providing a power output of 42 kW. This battery, located beneath the rear seat base, includes an integrated Battery Management System (BMS) and is air-cooled.

The Hybrid Starter/Generator DCT contributes an additional 8 kW and 35 Nm of torque. This component is designed for improved efficiency and includes features like a high-performance permanent magnet and a 2-stage skew application.

The DCT itself has been refined for better efficiency and operation, including changes to its bearings and the use of low viscosity oil.

In terms of handling, the Kona Hybrid incorporates an electric-Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control (e-DTVC) system, which utilizes braking and electric motor control to manage understeer and enhance cornering. 

The regenerative braking system of the vehicle offers a 4-stage operation with an AUTO mode that adjusts based on the driving conditions and road gradient.

How does the Kona Hybrid drive?

The Kona Hybrid drives quite well. But don’t expect Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid levels of fuel economy.

In fact, despite claiming a fuel economy of 3.9L, the long term trip reading of our test car was 5.4L/100km.

In comparison, the Toyota Corolla Cross Atmos Hybrid we reviewed was quite happily sitting at 4.2L/100km when we tested that.

A stab of the throttle reveals very quickly that the Kona Hybrid has a significant amount of instant torque available to it, with all of its power and torque going through to the front wheels alone.

Unfortunately, power at 104kW does feel a little underdone, and when you give the Kona Hybrid sauce at highway speeds, sadly the torque doesn’t help much and the little 1.6L engine begins to run out of puff.

In fact, we timed the 0-100kmh sprint of the Hybrid Kona to a reasonable 10.5 seconds, though again the Corolla Cross Atmos AWD we tested will do the same sprint in around 8.1 seconds.

Where the Kona has the Corolla Cross beat is the ride and handling. The Kona, although using a global suspension tune, has a fantastic multi-link rear setup which accounts for a very comfortable ride.

Expect body roll in corners, however it’s phenomenal for longer highway stints and around town commutes. And giving it some sauce around corners will still leave you pleasantly surprised.

Noise isolation is also quite good, despite the extensive use of hard materials within the cabin, and the surprising refinement of shifts from the 6-speed dry dual-clutch (which uses the electric motor to smoothen gear shifts through torque boosts) leaves for an incredibly pleasant drive.

It is a shame the Kona Hybrid is offered as a front-wheel drive only for now, however, when competitors like the Corolla Cross offer either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Still, the Kona Hybrid provides an incredibly serene and smooth experience from behind the wheel that no other Kona has provided to-date. And it’s pretty efficient, too.

Is the Kona Hybrid safe?

The entire Kona range is yet to receive an ANCAP safety rating. 

However, it does come with a comprehensive suite of safety features in-line with 5 star ANCAP requirements:

Airbags: Seven airbags, including a front centre side airbag to prevent or reduce severity of injuries in side impact collisions.

Standard Safety Features (Across All Grades):

  • Multi Collision-Avoidance Brake (MCB)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Forward Attention Warning (FAW)
  • FCA Direct Oncoming (FCA-DO)
  • FCA Junction Turning (FCA-JT)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/S&G)

Additional Safety Features in KONA Premium:

  • Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM)
  • Parking Collision Avoidance Assist-Reverse (PCA-R)
  • 3D Surround View Monitor (SVM)
  • Parking Distance Warning - Side
  • Remote Smart Parking (RSPA)

What are the specs and features of the Kona Hybrid?


Engine Options:

  • 2.0 MPi CVT 2WD
  • 1.6 GDi Hybrid 6DCT 2WD

Standard Features:

  • Hyundai SmartSense™ including various safety technologies
  • Driver/passenger seat height adjustment
  • Driver seat 2-way lumbar support
  • 7 airbags including front centre airbag
  • 18” alloy wheels with 215/55 tyres
  • Satin chrome beltline/roof spoiler garnish
  • LED MFR headlights with LED DRLs
  • LED taillights
  • Heated & power-folding external mirrors
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear air vents
  • Smart Key system with Remote Start
  • 4.2” instrument cluster display
  • 12.3” multimedia system with DAB+ radio
  • Bluelink® connected car service
  • Leather steering wheel & gear knob
  • LED interior lighting

Additional Hybrid Features:

  • Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS)
  • Smart Regenerative Braking 2.0
  • e-Dynamic Torque Vectoring
  • Shift By Wire (SBW)
  • Paddle shifters
  • Open type centre console

KONA Premium 

Additional Features over KONA:

  • Silver painted skid plates
  • LED dual projector beam headlights
  • 'Seamless Horizon' LED front parking light
  • LED front/rear turn signals
  • Smart power tailgate
  • 12.3” full digital instrument cluster
  • Navigation with Bluelink® live traffic
  • BOSE™ 8 speaker premium audio system
  • Leather-appointed interior
  • 10-way power/memory driver seat
  • 8-way power passenger seat
  • Premium relaxation front seats
  • Heated & ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats & steering wheel
  • Electro-chromatic interior mirror
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Ambient mood lighting
  • Parking Distance Warning - Side
  • Remote Smart Parking (RSPA)
  • Acoustic laminated/solar windshield
  • Solar control front door glass
  • Privacy rear glass
  • Dark grey painted cladding

Optional for KONA Premium:

  • Wide glass sunroof (Power sunshade, Cloth knit headlining)

Optional N Line Pack 

N Line Exclusive Features:

  • N Line exclusive exterior (bumpers, skid plates, side skirts, rear spoiler, badges, wheel centre caps)
  • 19” alloy wheels with 235/45 tyres (18” N Line alloy wheels for Hybrid)
  • Chrome twin tip exhaust
  • Black mirror caps/beltline garnish
  • Body coloured cladding
  • N Line exclusive interior (Leather appointed/Alcantara® interior, steering wheel, Active Red air vent/seat highlights, Dark Metal interior trim, Black headlining, Alloy pedals, Sport scuff plates)

Additional Features for N Line with 2.0 MPi:

  • Shift By Wire
  • Paddle shifters
  • Open type centre console

How much can the Kona Hybrid tow?

The 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has a 1300kg braked towing capacity.

How much does the Kona Hybrid cost to run?

The entire Hyundai Kona range comes with a 5-year, unlimited-kilometer warranty.

All engine types cost the same to service for the Kona, however, the 1.6L Turbo (Non-Hybrid) has shorter servicing intervals:

All Engine Types (2.0 MPi, 1.6 T-GDi AWD, 1.6 GDi Hybrid)

Service Interval Costs (Including GST):

  • 12 months: $399
  • 24 months: $399
  • 36 months: $399
  • 48 months: $399
  • 60 months: $399

Kilometer Intervals:

  • 2.0 MPi & 1.6 GDi Hybrid: Every 15,000 km (15k, 30k, 45k, 60k, 75k)
  • 1.6 T-GDi AWD: Every 10,000 km (10k, 20k, 30k, 40k, 50k)

What’s CarSauce’s take on the Kona Hybrid?

The all-new Hyundai Kona Hybrid is a very welcome addition to the Kona range, building on what was already a great small SUV but now more efficient and at an affordable price.

Safety technology intrusion needs to be addressed by Hyundai, being among the worst offenders for obnoxious sounds which are often uncalled for.

Still, if you can look past that, the efficient Kona Hybrid is an easy recommendation from us and deserves a test drive for those wanting an efficient and premium driving experience.

Share your thoughts down below in our comment section!

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Matt Brand
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

104kW + 265Nm


3.9L/100km (Claimed)


Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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