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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

More futuristic than ever new Hyundai Kona touches down

A choice of internal combustion, hybrid and electric power will be provided, but exact specification remains unknown for now.

Despite revealing the heavily facelifted Kona two years ago, Hyundai has sprung a surprise by releasing first images and select details of the all-new second generation that will enter production next year.

On sale in its current first-generation guise since 2017, the Kona debuted as not only Hyundai’s first compact crossover, but also the most polarising aesthetically as it sported a controversial split headlight design that went on to became a mainstay of other models.

Styling from the future

The second generation takes this design philosophy a notch further though as it incorporates styling not only from the Staria, but also the European-market Bayon and Stargazer MPV.

Sporting a profile that now comes with added visual traits from the Tucson, especially when viewed from the C-pillar back, the Kona does away with the mentioned headlight arrangement for a Stargazer and Staria-esque LED strip Hyundai calls the Seamless Horizon Lamp.

Integrated below the bonnet line, the setup will be pixelated on electric versions and aside from premiering on the Kona, previews a design element future Hyundai models are likely to receive at some stage as well.

Hyundai reveals all-new Kona
Rear now takes inspiration from the facia of the Creta

In addition to the remodelled, now rectangular lower grille with prominent air inlets on the side, the upper grille also departs while the lower light pods have been redesigned into a much slimmer recess now located on the sides of the front bumper.

Just as new is the rear fascia, which also gets the Seamless Horizon Lamp spread across a more rounded bootlid resembling that of the Creta and Grand Creta/Alcazar.

As a nod to its Indian siblings, the Kona receives a similar lower light pod etched into the wheel arch, a bigger window, number plate cavity moved from the tailgate to the base of the bumper and a more discreet diffuser.

ALSO READ: PICS: Aggressively restyled Hyundai Kona priced

Confirmed to ride on wheel sizes measuring up to 19-inches depending on the trip level, the Kona keeps its trademark wheel arch cladding, but rides on a platform that now measures 4 355 mm in overall length and 2 660 mm on the wheelbase front.

Representing respective gains of 150 mm and 60 mm, Hyundai has also stretched the Kona’s width by 25 mm to 1 825 mm while keeping the claimed height unchanged at 1 575 mm. No details regarding any boot space gains were made public.

All-new Hyundai Kona revealed
Interior a blend of modern and the past

Interior a mix of new and old

What did get previewed though is the interior, which represent a massive departure from the current model as the swoopy dash makes way for a vertical, minimalist setup resplendent with a dual 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment system that mirrors Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX.

Called “the living space” by Hyundai, the lower climate control module appears less high tech in that it features a small display surrounded by a plethora of physical buttons and knobs.

The centre console is also new and while difficult to decipher, lacks a gear lever that has been relocated to the steering column. In effect, this means that the Kona will no longer come with the option of a manual transmission.

Power of three

Hyundai was more tight-lipped on the Kona’s chassis and drivetrain, confirming only a choice of internal combustion power, hybrid and fully electric, plus the return of the sporty N Line.

There was an uncertainty whether or not the performance Kona N could join the i30 N in not being renewed for a second generation due in part to the looming Euro 7 emissions regulations in Europe.

All-new Hyundai Kona revealed
Line-up will consist of three propulsion options with the sporty N Line returning as well.

“Right now, Hyundai Europe is in EV heaven. Having Kona EV, Ioniq 5 EV, they are so happy selling those EVs and they’re not really fighting to get a Kona with a combustion [petrol] engine, to continue into a next-generation (Kona N),” former Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann was quoted by Australia’s drive.com.au as saying earlier this month.

“There could be a stretch of four years or so on a next-generation (Kona N) with a combustion engine, but the EV heaven is just too charming and too enjoyable right now to our salespeople. So, they are really not fighting for it”.


On track to be fully detailed, reportedly in March next year, sales of the new Kona commence soon after with pricing expected at a later stage.

At present, Hyundai South Africa has remained quiet on local market availability, but expect an announcement to be made later in 2023.   

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