More weird cars? Yes. More weird cars, please.
The Hyundai Kona is a small crossover that could never really be described as “weird.” But practical and economical? Certainly, even in all-electric form where it undercut the larger Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV by tens of thousands of dollars.
Now, it’s getting some downright cyberpunk looks to go with all of that pragmatism. Hyundai just unveiled the all-new 2024 Kona, and a “futuristic design” is on the menu for this otherwise humble car that currently starts in the low $20,000 range. And it’s yet another design win from Hyundai, which is outdoing a lot of other car companies in that department as of late.
It’s yet another design win from Hyundai
Like the outgoing car, the new Kona comes in four forms: an all-electric version; a hybrid; the performance-focused N Line model; and one with a conventional internal combustion engine. All of them look sharp thanks in large part to what Hyundai calls its “Seamless Horizon Lamp” — that big horizontal LED bar that stretches across the hood. It’s almost like a Rivian in that regard.
Additionally, the front and rear LED bars on the Kona have Parametric Pixels in keeping with Hyundai’s pixelated design ethos for all of its EVs. The new Hyundai Ioniq 6, for example, has more than 700 pixelated LEDs in and around the car. Hyundai didn’t give us a number here, but even without knowing the exact pixel count, it’s still striking for an affordable compact crossover. That segment of cars isn’t exactly known for design excellence. It’s great to see these kinds of risks being taken on more normal, attainable cars.
The new Kona is also a slightly bigger crossover than before, nearly six inches longer overall and 2.4 inches longer in wheelbase. The interior has also been revised to be roomier, Hyundai says, and the car also now boasts a pair of 12.3-inch-wide displays that combine to make a fully digital dashboard. That alone is quite an upgrade from the current Kona, which, as good as it is, still has an interior that screams “airport rental car.”
Like its predecessor, the new Kona is also somewhat unique for the sheer amount of powertrains it offers. Not many other models offer a performance version, a standard ICE engine, a hybrid, and an EV on the same line; BMW’s 4 Series is one of the few others, for example. The hybrid variant wasn’t available in North America before, and Hyundai isn’t yet saying if this new one will be either.
Sadly, Hyundai hasn’t offered any details about those powertrains themselves. But the old Kona had pretty excellent specs, offering 258 miles of range on the EV, excellent fuel economy on the hybrid and gas models, and a fierce turbocharged engine on the N performance version, with more athleticism than just about anything else in this segment.
One can assume those will be improved for the all-new Kona, and Hyundai said more details will be released in the coming months. We can also assume the base price will stay reasonable, so expect pixelated fun for everyone soon.
Update December 20th 1:29PM ET: The Hyundai Kona will be offered as an N Line model. A previous version of this story misstated that fact.