The proliferation of the SUV in the past decade has seen several SUV sub-genres emerge, including the compact-crossover SUV, or CUV. Although it’s a relatively new segment, the compact-crossover has flourished in the last five years and established itself amongst many consumers as the replacement class for the hatchback. 

In other words, we’re all getting fatter. Consequently, nearly every manufacturer has an offering in this segment. Hyundai has the Kona, which has impressed all of us in the past with its general competence, whether in Petrol, Hybrid or EV form.  

In 2024, the Kona has returned as bigger, supposedly better and certainly shapelier than before. So, how will the new Hybrid Kona stack up in an increasingly competitive segment?

What We Like and Dislike About The 2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid 

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Modern, well-built interior
Fuel efficiency
Ride quality
Technology levels for segment
Polarising looks
Average driving dynamics
4-star safety rating
Polarising looks

What’s In The 2024 Hyundai Kona Range?

There’s a huge range of models of Kona available:

  • Kona 2.0 Active $42,990
  • Kona 2.0 Active N Line $49,990
  • Kona 1.6 Hybrid Active $52,990 (tested)
  • Kona 1.6 Hybrid Active N Line $59,990
  • Kona 1.6 Hybrid Elite $59,990
  • Kona 2.0 Elite $49,990
  • Kona 1.6T Limited N Line AWD – $64,990
  • Kona 1.6 Hybrid Limited N Line $65,990

All 2.0-litre models have a 4-cylinder engine that manages 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque, along with a constantly variable automatic (CVT) transmission. These models are rated at using 7.3 litres of petrol per 100km.

The 1.6 hybrid models have a 1600cc 4-cylinder engine that puts out 77kW of power and 147Nm of torque. The electric motor in the hybrid is 32kW/170Nm, and that means when combined with the petrol motor, this raises to a total of 104kW and 265Nm. Hybrid models have a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and the hybrid Kona is rated at 4.3L/100km.

The 1.6T model is the only turbocharged Kona and manages 146kW of power and 265Nm of torque. This car runs an 8-speed automatic transmission (so not a dual-clutch). The 1.6T Limited N Line is the only all-wheel drive Kona, with the rest of the Kona range being front-wheel drive. This model is rated at 8.5L/100km

How Does The 2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid Compare To Its Competition?

There’s plenty of small crossover SUVs available for all budgets and prices. Below are the Kona’s closest competitors.  

Make/ModelEnginePower/Torque (kW/Nm)SeatsFuel (L/100km)Towing capacityBoot space (litres)Price
Nissan Qashqai e-Power Hybrid1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol hybrid140/33055.8750/750452$60,120
Honda ZR-V Sport Hybrid2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol hybrid104/18255.5700/750370$55,000
Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol hybrid104/26554.3600/1300407$52,990
Subaru Crosstrek Premium e-Boxer Hybrid 2.0-litre 4-boxer cylinder petrol hybrid110/19656.5650/1270315$51,990
Volkswagen T-Roc Life+1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol110/25057.0670/1500445$50,990
Toyota Corolla Cross Limited Hybrid2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol hybrid112/19054.1750/750428$49,990
Kia Niro HEV Earth+ Hybrid1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol hybrid104/26554.4600/1300451$49,990
Mazda CX-30 SP252.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol139/25257.3600/1200317$45,990

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid 

Hyundai have a tendency to reinvent the wheel with each model update and recently they’ve been getting rather brave with their exterior styling. 

If the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 hadn’t convinced you of this, wait till you’ve seen this new Hyundai Kona. 

Seriously, just look at this funky thing. It’s all angles, edges and the light features give it a robotic aesthetic. Even better that it can be optioned in a bunch of wacky colours too. 

From my experience of driving it, some people adored it and some people thought it was grotesque. Me? I admire the bravery, even if you need to be a little brave to be seen in one.  

What’s The Interior Like In The 2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid?

Inside, the Kona is considerably less edgy opting for a more functional design with monochrome hues. It shares the design language with the Hyundai Ioniq range – a funky exterior with modern minimalism on the inside.

Because of this, the Kona’s interior is one of the more modern designs compared with those in its class. Everything from the dual-screen infotainment and cluster, the squared buttons, switches and fonts are all similarly inspired to the Ioniq. Of course, the Kona is down a few price points compared to anything wearing an Ioniq badge, which is reflected in the materials. 

Many of the interior surfaces are hard wearing plastics which are hardly luxurious, but they should age well. Granted, the fit and finish is excellent and the switchgear all feels well damped.  

Like its Ioniq cousin, the interior has some clever storage including deep door pockets, useable shelving in the centre stack (for phones and wallets), and a centre tray with those cleverly designed fold-away cupholders. 

On the technology front, the Kona features a 12’’ infotainment screen, using Hyundai’s standard UI.  Feature wise, it is one of the more basic systems from Hyundai. Although, it remains responsive and the screen resolution and colour levels are high. Sure, it’s not quite as responsive as your smartphone, but it is one of the better offerings in this segment.

The reversing camera also has decent resolution, but for the price, I reckon Hyundai could have included a top-down camera.  

The instrument cluster is a unique design, using a digital clock-font compared with the standard digital dials found in other Hyundai products. The graphics, colours and resolution are all superb.  Although a digital cluster, the speedometer and tachometer are digitally fixed, meaning there’s not a great deal of configurability, short of a few different read-outs from the centre of the screen, including trip meter, tyre pressures and a lane monitoring display.         

From the front seats, there’s good visibility despite the Kona’s tapered rear-end design. The front seats appear fairly ordinary, but are supportive in all the right areas and have enough configurability to accommodate drivers of several shapes and sizes. 

The rear seating space has increased substantially over the predecessor, owing to the Kona’s 2.5-inch longer platform. This should mean fewer complaints from any adults, or lanky teenagers in the back. There are few amenities in the back, which is on par with the competition. 

The larger platform means that cargo capacity has also increased. The boot has grown by 33L to a respectable 407L, increasing to 1241L with the rear seats folded (up from the predecessors 1,156L).   

What’s The 2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid Like To Drive?

The compact crossover segment is one of the most popular and competitive automotive segments in 2024.

Like others, the Kona has the tough job of catering to tall consumer expectations, and to better the competition while being competitive on price. 

As a consumer, you aren’t likely to make bad choice in this segment. In other words, most of these small crossovers are good. Although, every competitor in this segment tends to have at least one quality where it does a little bit better than its peers. 

For example, I’d happily recommend a Toyota Corolla Cross, because of its bomb-proof reliability and frugal powertrain, even if its interior tech isn’t the best in the class. The Honda ZR-V has good driving dynamics and a well-built interior, but a synthetic feeling hybrid powertrain, which isn’t quite as frugal as the Toyota. The Mazda CX-30 is probably the closest stab at a luxury car in this segment, but it is a bit cramped on the inside.  

I’d recommend all of these crossovers, but for their different reasons. Which brings the questions, what is the Kona Hybrid good at? More importantly, would I recommend it?

One of the Kona Hybrid’s strengths is its excellent powertrain. It’s carried over from the previous generation Kona Hybrid with a few tweaks for the latest car, producing a combined 104kW of power and 265Nm of torque – also the same as before.

Of course, nobody is going to accuse the Kona hybrid of being a quick car (nothing in the CUV segment is), but with 265Nm of torque shoving along a 1500kg frame, the Kona isn’t exactly a slouch off the line either. It has enough performance for safe passing maneuvers too, even if top end performance isn’t its strength (again, nothing in this CUV segment is).   

Anyway, the focus of a hybrid is on efficiency. During our test, we averaged a fuel consumption figure of 5.3L per 100kms. Sure, that’s a little margin above Hyundai’s claimed 4.3L per 100kms, but generally a solid standing among its competitors.

Better still, the petrol engine alone is quiet and refined. The transitions between the electric motor and petrol engine are nearly seamless. Additionally, Hyundai’s 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is excellent, enabling a smooth yet snappy upshift for the Kona. This gearbox is a major leg-up for the Kona amongst competitors, which tend to use CVT transmissions. 

Another area where the Kona outshines many of its peers is in its ride quality. The suspension dampening is excellent around town, managing patchy tarmac and road transitions well. State highway driving is also handled well, demonstrating good body control over fast undulations while maintaining solid ride comfort. When traveling at speed, wind noise is well suppressed although tyre noise was higher than expected especially across 3/4 chip roads.

This comfort bias does mean that spirited driving isn’t the Kona’s natural competence, although nothing in this segment is. That said, the Kona isn’t quite as natural and composed as some competitors on faster and twister sections of road. The Kona still feels safe and planted, but a competitor like the Honda ZR-V does feel a bit better connected to the road in these conditions. 

I doubt that anybody is going to corner carving in their Kona, unless they have the Kona N (assuming Hyundai repeats it for this generation). Instead, the majority of owners will enjoy the Kona as a comfortable commuter and open road cruiser – which is what I’d prefer from this type of vehicle. 

On the matter of safety, the new Kona benefits from all of Hyundai’s latest safety assistance software. Although nearly every competitor comes similarly equipped these days, the quality of these systems does vary. The Kona’s adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance software are well-calibrated, and are among the best in its segment.

Hyundai has introduced a driver attention monitor for this generation, which bongs at you if you divert your attention from the road. The system is irritatingly sensitive and is more annoying than useful. Hopefully, this can be improved with updates or in later models.

Interestingly, the new Kona has only achieved a 4-star ANCAP safety rating. This appears to be due to its pedestrian safety score, rather than occupant protection. Regardless, it’s a blow for Hyundai, particularly when the Kia Niro – the Kona’s mechanically identical brother – scored 5 stars.

2024 Hyundai Kona Active Hybrid – Specifications

Vehicle Type5-door compact crossover
Starting Price$52,990
Price as Tested$52,990
Engine1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol hybrid
Power, Torque
104/265 (combined)
Transmission6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Spare WheelSpacesaver
Kerb Weight (Kg)1,410
Length x Width x Height
4350 x 1825 x 1580
Cargo Capacity
Fuel tank capacity
Fuel Economy
Advertised Spec – Combined – 4.3
Real-World Test – Combined – 5.3 

Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
(Kg, unbraked/braked)
Turning circle

Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5-year/150,000km factory warranty
5-year/150,000km roadside assist 
10-year/200,000km anti perforation and corrosion warranty
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 4 stars – 4 Stars – QFL221

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Alistair Weekes
A millennial who prefers driving cars to having avocado on toast.
2024-hyundai-kona-active-hybrid-car-reviewThe small crossover segment is already incredibly competitive, and like I’d mentioned earlier, every competitor has its individual strengths. So, what does the Kona do better? <br><br> The new Kona is a jack-of-all-trades. <br><br> From the inside, the Kona is modern, more practical, offers plenty of technology and the interior is cleverly thought-out and well-constructed. From behind the wheel, the Kona is comfortable, refined, and fuel-efficient. <br><br> It’s almost everything you could want in this segment. Almost, that is. <br><br> Among the Kona’s weaknesses are meagre driving dynamics and, well, polarising looks. Crucially, the Kona only has a 4-star safety rating (note our comments), where its mechanical brother, the Kia Niro scores five stars. This latter part might be the Kona’s Achilles heel. <br><br> Regardless, the new Kona is a solid contender in this category, which I’d happily recommend to others.


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