The updated car is told apart primarily by its heavily redesigned front end, which incorporates wider LED daytime-running lights, an extended bonnet, a new grille design and a contrasting silver skid plate.
The side profile is more familiar, but the rear end has been updated with new brake light designs and a contrasting lower bumper to match the front. Overall, the new Kona is 40mm longer than the outgoing car, which Hyundai claims gives it “a more sleek and dynamic look”.
Inside, the Kona gains an electronic handbrake, ambient lighting, coloured speaker and vent surrounds, and a raft of new colour and material options.
Alongside the visual tweaks comes a new N Line trim level inspired by the brand’s N performance offshoot. It does away with the standard car’s contrasting cladding in favour of an aerodynamically enhancing bodykit, and gains a distinctive mesh air intake design above the front grille.
As well as bespoke wheel designs, the N Line receives a contrasting rear diffuser and a dual-exit sports exhaust, while the predominantly black interior features contrasting red stitching, metal pedals and N logos throughout.
The Kona retains its range-topping 1.6-litre petrol engine, uprated from 175bhp to 195bhp and available with two- or four-wheel drive, but the same-sized diesel option is now equipped with 48V mild-hybrid functionality as standard for enhanced efficiency. It can be paired with a seven-speed automatic or Hyundai’s new Intelligent Manual Transmission.
The entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine can also be optionally equipped with mild-hybrid technology, while the Kona Hybrid continues to combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a front-mounted electric motor to produce 139bhp.
The model also promises improved ride quality and refinement over its predecessor, gaining a retuned suspension set-up, improved tyres and a recalibrated steering system.
Prices will be announced before the new Kona arrives in showrooms later this year, with the plug-in hybrid option following in 2021. The updated Kona Electric will be revealed “in the near future”, according to the brand.