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Why Lease The Kona?

Photo of Donna Kelly by: Donna Kelly

Donna Kelly has over 12 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.

Hyundai Kona Review 2021

Recently refreshed for 2021, the Hyundai Kona offers everything you need in a small SUV - funky styling, great onboard tech and a range of economical engines, including a hybrid and pure electric version. The Kona is a popular lease alternative to the Ford Puma, Seat Arona, and Volkswagen T-Roc.

Our Hyundai Kona review covers:

Hyundai Kona Key Features

  • Refreshed exterior design with new bumpers, bonnet and LED headlights
  • Good range of economical engines in petrol, hybrid or pure electric form 
  • 374-litre boot with 60/40 split-folding rear seats as standard
  • Generous standard specification including air conditioning, cruise control and a rear-view camera
  • Four trim levels available, including SE Connect, N Line, Premium and Ultimate

Design and Practicality

With its funky, eye-catching design, the Hyundai Kona certainly stands out on the road, the 2021 facelifted model boasting new bumpers, a new bonnet, slimmer LED headlights and an increase in overall length by 40mm. A more refined choice of exterior colours is also available, along with the arrival of a sporty N Line trim, making the Kona look more chunky and aggressive.


Inside, there's plenty of room in the front but not quite as much leg or headroom in the rear as you'll find rivals such as Ford Puma, Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc. Storage space includes a large hidden cubby below the front centre armrest and a couple of cupholders between the seats.

60/40 split-folding rear seats are offered as standard and lie almost flat when folded down, but the Kona's boot is smaller than average for this class, at just 374-litre boot or 332-litres in the all-electric model. There is also no variable-height floor or boot dividers, like other cars in its class. 

Interior and Trims

The Kona's interior cabin feels sturdy and well assembled but is a step behind the Citroen C3 for quality. Some new materials have been added throughout the cabin, but the dark ambience inside may not be to everyone's taste. However, you can specify some bright coloured trims on higher-spec models. 

There are four trim levels to choose from, including SE Connect, N Line, Premium and Ultimate. The entry-level SE Connect model comes with a generous specification as standard, including an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, air-conditioning, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, a rear-view camera and 17-inch wheels. 

The N-Line model adds a sporty feel, along with rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, climate control, ambient lighting, a larger touchscreen with sat and an upgraded sound system.

The mid-range Premium adds heated front seats, a speed limit warning and an electric handbrake. The top-of-the-range, the Kona Ultimate has an opening sunroof, LED headlights, electric front seats and an additional safety kit.

Power and Performance

The Kona comes with a choice of engines in petrol, hybrid or pure electric form. The entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine will suit most customers, with its three-cylinder motor producing a respectable 118bhp and 172Nm of torque.


The full-hybrid model is quicker with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor delivering 139bhp for nippy acceleration. You can also drive on electric power alone at low speeds for short distances. The mild-hybrid Kona has a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while the full hybrid has a six-speed DCT auto transmission. 

In terms of ride, the Kona has a relatively firm suspension for a small SUV. Its small footprint and a reasonably tall body mean you can feel the bumps in the road more than you can in rivals such as the SEAT Arona but avoiding the 18-inch alloy wheels on the Premium, N Line, and Ultimate trims helps matters. 

Leasing vs Buying

Prices for the new Hyundai Kona start from £20,766.00 OTR* or to lease from £175.88 per month.

Interested in the new Hyundai Kona? Car leasing offers many benefits over buying with flexible mileage, initial rental and contract terms to suit your needs and budget. All cars leased with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts also come with inclusive road tax and breakdown cover, as well as free delivery direct to your door, provided your address is situated on the GB mainland (exclusions apply). 

*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and typically includes one year’s road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Always check with the manufacturer. 

Customer Reviews

Hyundai Kona
Average Rating Based on 39 reviews
4.2 out of 5

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2.7 out of 5
Melanie Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

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4.3 out of 5
Julie Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

First Hybrid vehicle I have had so would definitely consider one again

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5.0 out of 5
Andrew Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

All good. Probably will go for electric option next year.

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4.9 out of 5
Mike Hyundai Kona 150kW Premium 64kWh Auto (10.5kW Charger)

Using a battery car takes some getting use to, the torque is awesome for those that like fast acceleration but be aware at most speeds if you put you foot down you will get torque steering, it makes driving rather fun, caution must be taken on slippery road conditions. I tend to get best economy from battery by not using the regen modes and allow it to freewheel a lot I use the regen as a form of braking as you would use a petrol engine to slow the vehicle. Two annoyances for me are each time you start the car the lane assist is activated, the driver should be able to activate it as every time I have to turn it off. Also the drivers seat seems to be slightly offset and I find that the right hand side seat then digs in a little when in a better driving alignment of peddles and steering wheel. First service cost £110.00 inc vat If a car like this is a handful then I want to try a battery sports car next with four wheel drive. As for energy consumption I use it mostly for shorter journeys with some back lane driving each day around trip of 30 miles. In the warmer weather it has been returning 295 miles a charge but this is now dropping back as now using the heater. I took 1 long journey of 285 miles from Somerset to Barnsley, motorway top ups are a big issue and the better infrastructure seems to be nearer cities. The South West is appalling. I also have solar on the roof of my home so charge from this as much as possible and have an Octopus go power supply account allowing 5p a unit each night for four hours. If I owned the car rather than leasing I would sort the driver seat position as their is room on the right to move it over. and find a way of altering the lane assist to not come on at start up each time. But in all a fantastic car and the bonus is as a company car it has only 1% benefit in kind WOW!

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4.3 out of 5
Richard Hyundai Kona 150kW Premium 64kWh Auto (10.5kW Charger)

Road noise is sometimes a little high. Electronics and driver assist features are very good. Range is pretty good at 280M, but I would like to see significantly higher range capabilities.

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4.4 out of 5
Martin Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium SE DCT

Quiet, nippy for its size and economical, but a little underwhelming in the 'ooomph' factor, which is noticeable when you switch to the 'Sport' mode - which really is only viable on motorways.

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4.7 out of 5
Fiona Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

I love it, people have copied and brought the same! I put less for the price because i would love to pay less but really it is good value for money.

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5.0 out of 5
Colin Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

Very happy with this car after downsizing from the Tuscan which we also liked. £36 of petrol lasts 6 weeks now as we mostly use electric. Great interior and really like the wireless phone charger.

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4.4 out of 5
Christopher Hyundai Kona 150kW Premium 64kWh Auto (10.5kW Charger)

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4.1 out of 5
Catherine Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

poor power when you put your foot down don't like the lane assist

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4.9 out of 5
Carlene Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

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5.0 out of 5
Elaine Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium SE DCT

Just a fantastic car.

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4.0 out of 5
Geoffrey Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

Breakdown service should be a choice for the leasing trrm and nit have to keep renewing. Or just send an additional offer. Often there are alarms chiming when trying to lock it and have to workout what hasn't been done.. Car matts should be standard even having your logo would be acceptable. Door sill kicking strips too

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4.4 out of 5
John Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium SE DCT

Very high specification, nice to drive and reasonably economical to run

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4.3 out of 5
Keith Hyundai Kona 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium DCT *Incl. Metallic Paint*

Very good value for the money, it’s well equipped and the hybrid system works seamlessly. Rear seat space is cramped so not great for a family and it often needs to drop a gear on an incline at motorway speeds so engine is slightly underpowered for motorway cruising. It’s a very easy car to drive, front seats are comfortable and equipment is very good for a car of this price and I would go for it again.

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