After a few teasers, the 2021 Hyundai Kona has been revealed with a substantial facelift give to modernise Hyundai’s popular small SUV. The styling has been given a considerable update, the interior is now more comfortable, whilst a new sporty N-Line model joins the range as well. 

Despite competing in the small SUV class – where no entrant is boring in design, just look at the Toyota C-HR, Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-3 – the Hyundai Kona always stood out thanks to its array of headlights, body cladding and generally masculine design. The 2021 Hyundai Kona has updated this look with a completely new front end – the headlights are sleeker, the grille is larger and the Hyundai badge has been made larger for an even bolder look. 

At the rear, fresh higher and lower tailights (yes, there’s two sets) have been fitted with a more aggressive design and LED tech. New alloy wheel designs have been fitted too with 16-inch units on entry-level models, and 17- and 18s on higher-end models. 

For the first time, Hyundai has designed a Kona N-Line, which features much sportier stying, body-coloured bumpers, a rear diffuser and twin tailpipes. The N-Line previews the Kona N, which will reportedly share the i30 N’s 202kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, as well as a new eight-speed dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive. 

Drivetrains for Australia are yet to be revealed, though European models come with an 88kW 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol engine (which is also available with mild hybrid tech), a 154kW 1.6-litre turbo petrol and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel. Our Kona is expected to keep its 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine, while the new 1.6L turbo will also likely be available with all-wheel drive. 

Europeans also have access to the Kona hybrid, which pairs a 1.6-litre petrol engine, six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 1.56kWh battery pack to produce 103kW, though this isn’t coming to Australia for the time being – the same drivetrain is available in the Ioniq

Hyundai has also made mechanical changes to the Kona to refine its driving experience. The stabiliser bars have been modified for better ride comfort, while the rear bump stop and steering have also been refined. 

The Kona has also seen changes inside with revised interior trimmings for a higher quality experience. A new 10.25-inch digital driving cluster has been made available, while the 10.25-inch touchscreen has spread from the hybrid to the whole Kona range. New features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other changes include an electric parking brake which has freed up centre console space, new ambient lighting and new interior colour options. 

Finally, the Kona’s active safety tech has seen improvements from other Hyundai models. Now available are features such as blind-spot collision avoidance, rear auto braking, active cruise control with stop and go functionality, leading vehicle departure alert, lane following assist, intelligent speed limit warning, safe exit warning, rear seat alert and forward collision avoidance assist. 

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is due to hit Australia in the first quarter of 2021. Local pricing and spec will be announced before then, as will the Kona N. 

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