2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD: Review

I’ll start this review with some trivia, did you know that the Hyundai Kona is called the Hyundai Kauai in Portugal? Isn’t that interesting, makes you wonder what Kona means in Portuguese? Oh, I’ve just googled it and now know that it means…lady parts! Wow, this is off to a strange start. With all that in, ahem…on my mind, I’ll get started. Let’s find out if the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD should make its way onto your test drive list.

2024 Hyundai Kona Overview

The subcompact crossover Kona (missed opportunity for a “Kia Kona” in my opinion) represents the all new 2nd generation. I’ve driven the previous version, but only in EV form I believe. For 2024 it sits near the bottom of the Hyundai lineup with only the Venue slots in below it on the list of petrol-powered SUVs for 2024. Prices for the Kona starts at just over $24,000 for the base SE model. The lineup is pretty intuitive, SEL bests the base SE, N Line is sportier, and the Limited is the top spec. That’s almost 1990s Honda levels of simplicity, and it makes a lot more sense than most automakers trim levels.

Sadly there is no Kona N for 2024, at least yet.

Naturally Hyundai shipped us a crisp clean Limited trim model to check out for the week. Painted in a nice Denim Blue Pearl, our tester was pretty loaded with standard stuff. You can read through them below, the only optional extra was some floor mats for $210 bucks. Technically AWD is optional, and adds $1,500 but it’s shown in the base price for our loaner.

All in you’re at $34,695 out the door. Let’s see if this unique looking little crossover is worth it’s weight in money. Or something.

2024 Hyundai Kona Inside & Out

First of all, I’d like to congratulate Hyundai for taking yet another design chance. The 2024 Kona looks like nothing else on the road and the new generation is a cool update over the 1st gen Kona. My last review of the new Mazda CX-50 noted that it was quite obviously an attractive thing, and…well it’s harder to make such a bold claim about the Kona. The looks will likely be subjective for most buyers. I mean, that’s always the case, but the Kona’s bold front end won’t be for everyone. Personally, I think I dig it, it’s weird and funky, like a lot of recent Hyundai and Kia designs. The light bar across the front looks very sci-fi, with a 2nd set of LED lamps flanking the grille for additional (actual) light. it’s got a great overall shape with perhaps a few too many slats and swooshes, but overall it delivers a ton of personality for a small vehicle.

The Kona Limited is quite well-equipped for the price. Some quick highlights include:

  • H-Tex Leatherette-trimmed seats (heated and ventilated)
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen with Navigation (and matching 12.3-inch driver’s screen)
  • Bose Premium Audio with external amp and 8 speakers
  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay (wired)
  • Power-tilt-and-slide sunroof with sunshade
  • Surround View Monitor (SVM) camera system
  • Wireless device charging (for Qi-supported devices)

It’s a lot of car for just under $35,700 and I didn’t come up with a lot to dislike about my time in the Kona’s interior. It’s well laid out with actual physical buttons for most functions. The touchscreen and driver’s screen are technically separate but look like one nicely integrated unit. The cupholders can retract, giving you a spot for larger items.

Speaking of larger items, the 25.5 cubic feet of space won’t tackle items like, for instance, a Christmas tree. I likely could have fiddled with the rear seats to reveal some of that maximum 63.7 cubes of space, but I just tossed it on the back seat and went on about my day. Still, you’re buying a subcompact, buyer beware it’s going to be relatively small. However, the 38.2 inches of rear legroom wasn’t small and allowed me to haul multiple kids of mine, large and small, pretty easily.

Other criticisms were minor, the interior shows every speck of dust and dirt across it’s dark surfaces. Also, the touchscreen went blank on me once. Spotify kept playing, but I just couldn’t see anything on the screen. A quick turn-it-off and turn-it-back-on reboot and it was fine and I didn’t have the issue again.

Out on the road, the Kona makes fairly good use of it’s 190-hp 1.6L turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine. It’s not fast, but it’s not slow, EPA-estimates are around 26 mpg combined for the AWD version.


I dig it. It’s fun and funky, but pretty practical and reasonably priced. I would have no issue recommend it as a small crossover option for someone, which is great because I get asked all. the. time. (I enjoy it though). So there you have it, it’s a “recommend”. This then ends the review of the Hyundai Vagina…I mean Kona. Sorry Portugal.

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One response to “2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD: Review”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    The Kona is very popular in Norway, even though it translates to “the wife” here.