2019 Hyundai Kona Hybrid: prices, specs and release date

Let the hybrid see the Hyundai Kona… Everything you need to know about the new 2019 Hyundai Kona Hybrid

James Wilson
Mar 26, 2020

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Hybrid has officially joined the mushrooming number of electrified cars rolling off Hyundai production lines. On sale since September 2019, it joins what fast becoming a hotly contested hybrid SUV market with prices starting from £22,495.

Being a self-charging hybrid, rather than a plug-in hybrid model, the Kona Hybrid comes with a modest battery pack and electric motor to help boost fuel economy and reduce emissions, without the capability for electric-only driving or the substantial additional cost.

This new model joins the current Kona range which already includes standard petrol or diesel powered models and the Hyundai Kona Electric. In terms of appearance, you'd do well to tell the difference between the combustion engined versions and the hybrid model.

Among its competition, the standard Kona sits very much in the middle of the pack, which is partly due to the underwhelming 1.0-litre petrol engine which is used in the majority of the range. The hybrid model, however, uses the same engine, battery and electric motor combination as the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, which help to make this an altogether more impressive car.

Quick facts

  • Hybrid model joins the Kona range
  • Prices start from £22,295
  • On sale now
  • Three trim levels available
  • Most frugal models claim 56.5mpg
  • Total power output of 139hp

Hyundai Kona Hybrid trims and models

Hyundai has kept the number of trims available for the Kona Hybrid refreshingly simple with just three options – and all of which are well equipped. At the entry-level we have the SE option, Premium models sit in the middle and Premium SE spec cars are at the top of the tree. 

As for what each trim level offers in terms of equipment, SE treats buyers to climate control, a seven-inch media display (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability), parking sensors, 16-inch wheels and an electronic handbrake.

Stepping up to Premium models means you will be treated to an uprated KRELL sound system, larger 10.3-inch media system, keyless entry with push-button start, wireless charging for compatible smartphones, automatic wipers and larger 18-inch alloy wheels. If after all that you are wondering who the heck KRELL is, we are too.

If you want an all-singing, all-dancing Kona Hybrid you need to go for Premium SE spec, which rewards you for your efforts by featuring the best bits of lower trims plus LED headlights (which will automatically turn to high-beam when the road ahead is clear), leather seats (which in the front are electrically adjustable as well as being heated and ventilated) and a head-up display.

To accompany your choice of trim, there is a choice of eight exterior colours. The only free option is a grey (Galatic Grey, to give it its proper name) with the remaining seven options offering either, white, reddy-orange, blue, red, silver, black or greeny-yellow liveries at a cost of £565.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid prices

For the trims mentioned above the prices are as follows. Entry-level SE Kona Hybrids start at £22,495, middle of the range Premium models cost from £24,295 and well-endowed range-topping Premium SE models start at £27,195.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid economy and performance

The Hyundai Kona Hybrid’s party piece is undoubtedly its hybrid format. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, battery pack and electric motor to produce a total of 139hp and 265Nm of torque. Power and torque are fed to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox on all models, meaning if you want a manual, you are out of luck.

There are small differences in economy and emission figures for the Hyundai Kona Hybrid depending on the trim level you select – due to the different size wheels used. Kona Hybrid SE models are the most frugal and release the least amount of CO2. They claim a combined economy of 56.5mpg and 90g of CO2 being emitted per kilometre of driving.

As Premium and Premium SE models both come with the same 18-inch wheels, their economy and emission figures are the same. Economy comes in at 52.3mpg and emissions sit at 99g/km of CO2.

It is worth reiterating that as the Hyundai Kona Hybrid is not a plug-in hybrid it doesn’t come with a quoted all-electric range. This is due to the fact the electronics are there to assist the petrol engine at times it most needs it (such as setting off) and capture energy that would have otherwise been lost under braking (to recharge the battery), rather than allowing all-electric journeys.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid as a company car

What the above economy and emission figures mean for company car buyers is if they want the lowest company car tax bill, they need to opt for the entry-level model. Not in the least because it has the lowest P11D value, but because the emissions are less it sits in a lower company car tax band.

If you can’t live without some of the technology available on the higher specced trims, it could well be worth looking at the difference in company car tax between ticking an option box or two on an SE model rather than jumping up to a Premium specced Kona.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid interior

The interior of the Kona Hybrid is basically the same as the standard car, which if you’ve been in any other newish Hyundai the design and look will feel very similar. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as after all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Entry-level models are the least inspiring on the inside, but Premium and Premium SE models equipped with the larger 10.3-inch media system and head-up display help make the cabin feel a more exciting place to be. The ergonomics of the Kona are good, with the controls for things motorists will be using every day (such as ventilation) easy to reach.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid safety

Hyundai is keen to show buyers that the Kona Hybrid comes with a raft of modern safety equipment, chiefly its SmartSense suite of technology. There are three packs of SmartSense available, aptly named 1, 2 and 3. The cost for each is £550, £950 and £400 respectively.

SmartSense 1 consists of autonomous emergency braking and smart cruise control with stop/go functionality. SmartSense 2 builds on SmartSense 1 adding a system which informs and warns the driver of a road’s speed limit, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert – the latter helping make reversing out of parking spaces and driveways safer.

The final pack, SmartSense 3, offers smart cruise control with stop/go capability, lane follow assist and the same speed limit warning system as in SmartSense 2 albeit with the added functionality of being able to be shown on a head-up display. Check our explainers on driverless cars for more details on this type of tech.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid technology

One area the Hyundai Kona Hybrid excels is technology. On top of all that has been mentioned already, all buyers are treated to air-conditioning, automatic headlights, cruise control with a speed limiter, heated door mirrors, Bluetooth, DAB radio and a single USB port.

On top of this, there is something Hyundai is calling Bluelink, which utilises a data connection in your car to provide a suite of features – such as real-time parking information, fuel prices and your car’s location.

Hyundai is not alone in providing this kind of technology in its vehicles, with other manufacturers offering similar technology. One thing to keep in mind though is that while these are normally free for the first few years of a car’s life, they normally require a subscription afterwards.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid dimensions

Good news for those who don’t like driving huge cars, the Kona Hybrid is relatively modest in its dimensions. It measures in at 4,165mm long, 2,070mm wide (including door mirrors) and 1,565mm tall.

As for cargo space, the Kona Hybrid offers 361 litres with the rear seats up or 1,143 litres with the rear seats (which split 60/40) down. For a bit of context, a Volkswagen Golf comes with 380 litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,270 litres with the seats down.

If you are planning on using a Hyundai Kona Hybrid for towing then whatever you are going to pull down the road needs to weigh less than 1,300kg and have its own brakes. The maximum weight for unbraked towing is a low 600kg.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid standard warranty

All Hyundai Kona Hybrid models are offered with a standard five-year unlimited mileage warranty, as well as roadside assistance, five-year annual health check and a 12-year warranty against rust.

Hyundai Kona Hybrid review

One area the petrol-only Hyundai Kona falls short of its best rivals is the driving experience. Mostly levelled at 1.0-litre variants, the combination of numb steering and uninspiring engine really held the car back - especially for keen drivers who want to have a strong feel of connection with the car.

We are yet to get behind the wheel of the new Kona Hybrid, to see how an electrified powertrain adds to the driving experience. Naturally, we will be expecting the same impressive economy the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid comes with, but how does the crossover format affect the way it drives and feels? Keep checking back on BuyaCar for our latest news and buying guides.


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