What is it?
If you haven’t been keeping count, this is now the fourth powertrain option to make its way into Hyundai’s popular compact crossover. Petrol, electric and since-retired diesel only provided so much choice - so you can now have your Kona as a hybrid as well.
It’s a familiar setup, with the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 32kW electric motor as the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid. Both work in parallel via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to drive the front wheels only, and the small 1.56kWh battery pack recharges itself entirely through braking and coasting.
Multi-link rear suspension is borrowed from the Hyundai Kona Premium GT, with little else changed mechanically from the petrol car. Only minor exterior tweaks go with the vibrant palette of new colour options.
It’s a similar story inside the cabin, which was already well appointed in petrol guise. The Kona Hybrid does gain Bluelink, Hyundai’s connected car software, for remote unlocking through a smartphone app, along with live traffic, speed camera warnings and fuel prices.
What's it like?
The Kona is as roomy as ever in hybrid guise, with plenty of room for a pair of 6ft-tall adults on the rear bench even with another two up front. However, that should hardly come as a surprise, given that its platform was designed from the start to accommodate battery packs.
The interior is largely unchanged from that of the petrol car, with cheaper plastics mostly placed below your line of sight and softer materials within easy reach. A colour pack unique to the hybrid adds white accents around the air vents and gear selector that are less in your face than the orange, red or lime trim available on the standard car.
The 10.3in infotainment system fitted to our Premium SE test car initially appeared simple, but look beyond the basic icons and there’s a whole host of information to be found on the hybrid system. It also plays nicely with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
A heads-up display is just as comprehensive, with an eco-driving assist function highlighting when to lift off and coast towards junctions. It’s largely accurate, too, never leaving us too far away from our stopping point.
The available technology largely tallies with the Kona Hybrid’s asking price, although you get a more basic instrument binnacle than the Kona Electric’s digital cluster here, and the blue backlighting illuminating every button and control is starting to feel a little dated; white might have added a touch more sophistication.