2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium (car review)

It’s never fun when someone tells you that you’ve gotten larger since they last saw you, but in the case of the second-generation Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium, being bigger is definitely a good thing.

Hyundai’s fun and small SUV has grown in all dimensions and in doing so, has become a whole lot more usable. Designed as an electric vehicle first, it features modern and eye-catching styling.

This writer has often thought that the new Kona, particularly in grey hues, looks like Robocop’s helmet on wheels. But, after spending some time with this Atlas White N-Line version, yours truly is much more appreciative of the design elements throughout.

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While lower spec Kona’s feature plenty of black plastic, particularly over the wheel arches, the N-Line keeps those all body-coloured, while adding some sportier bumpers. A twin-exhaust outlet sticks out the rear and a black dual/split spoiler offers a hint of boy-racer.

In our opinion though, it balances the car quite nicely. From the side, the Kona features Hyundai’s new, distinctive ‘Z’ pattern and creases, all while sitting on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels. The front and rear now feature the distinctive horizon LED light strips.

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2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium

Inside, front row occupants are treated to heated and ventilated leather seats with N logos and red pinstriping, with the added (and interesting) ability to fully recline to allow you to have a sleep.

The second row is also more spacious, featuring heating and ventilation on the outer seats and, most notably, enough room to fit a reverse facing child seat without having to amputate the person sitting in front.

Boot space is now a handy 407-litres with the N-Line featuring a powered tailgate. Lower the rear seats and you get 1,241-litres back there. Hyundai have introduced shift-by-wire which moves the standard gear lever to a rocker-switch.

That’s been relocated to the right-hand side of the steering wheel, freeing up a lot of space in the centre console where you will now find various multi-purpose storage areas for your phone, drinks and the kitchen sink.

For the N-Line trim, there’s a lot of grey in the HVAC control area and some very ordinary looking buttons. They are all functional so perhaps we’re being a little picky. The plastic cover for the 12V power outlet triggered our OCD slightly as it didn’t want to close properly.

2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium
2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium

Two 12.3-inch displays take centre stage for the instrument cluster and multimedia, showcasing some neat and clear graphics and easy-to-navigate menus. There’s also wireless charging, with the recess wide enough for large phones.

You will need to plug your phone in for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto though, and we found that you then won’t be able to fit your phone in the charging bay, which is a bit of a pain. There are USB-C ports throughout, two up front and two in the rear.

Audio comes through a decent Bose 8-speaker premium sound system and Hyundai offer “over the air” updates and Smart Sense features. Our test vehicle also featured a neat party trick aside from remote start from the key fob.

You see, you can also move the car forwards and backwards with the key. We assume this is handy for tighter parking spots, or just scaring the hell out of people in a car park. The vast sensor suite around the Kona prevents the car from running into anyone, or anything.

Priced at $52,547 driveaway (with the optional sunroof), the Premium N-Line gets a punchy 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that outputs 146kW and 265Nm, with power delivered to an all-wheel drive system.

dash
Inside the 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium

It features three driving modes, including Eco, Normal and Sport, each of which adjusts the digital display when selected. Only Sport offers a notable difference to the driving experience, with a bit more up and go from the right pedal.

Hyundai’s latest cars come filled to the brim with safety tech and this is both good, and slightly frustrating. The usual systems include blind-spot monitoring, parking collision avoidance assist, and forward collision avoidance assist with junction turning.

High beam assist, lane follow and lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic collision avoidance also feature, but the speed sign monitor and speed warning alert, along with the driver attention alert, sound warnings every chance they get.

There’s no way to control the tolerance, meaning that doing 51 in a 50 zone will cause an alert. We also experienced the car reading incorrect speeds; most notably on motorways where exit ramp speed signs can be detected from the main carriageway.

There was a long section of a posted 110 zone where the Kona was alerting us that we should instead be doing 70. It genuinely takes away from the driving experience. The driver attention monitor has similar issues.

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Inside the 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium

More than a few times while checking blind spots, or looking to see if the road is clear at a junction, the system activated. Ultimately, the systems are there to deliver safer driving, but their imperfect execution tends to make you numb to the noises.

The new Kona scored 4-stars (out of five) in the latest round of ANCAP safety testing, but it would be remiss not to acknowledge the fact it managed an impressive 80 per cent score for adult occupant protection, and 84 per cent for child occupant protection.

All-in-all, it’s a fun and practical little SUV that stands out from the crowd, offering plenty of tech, and a punchy engine that makes driving more enjoyable than tedious, even with the safety alerts.

The 2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and a range of pre-paid servicing packages. It’s available in Atlas White, Neoteric Yellow, Abyss Black, Cyber Grey, Soultronic Orange and Ultimate Red.

You can find out more on the Hyundai Australia website, or by talking to your local dealership. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

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2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium

Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7.5
Exterior styling
7.5
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
8
Value for money
9

SUMMARY

Pros - practical; improves on previous generation; plenty of tech; spacious interior.
Cons - styling is a little over the top; alerts and warnings are annoying; 4-star ANCAP safety rating.
Daniel Collins
Daniel Collins
Daniel has had a keen interest in cars since getting his first Matchbox toy as a young kid. If he's not car spotting while out on the roads, he'll be plane spotting watching the sky, or diving into one of his many favourite sci-fi universes.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> practical; improves on previous generation; plenty of tech; spacious interior.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> styling is a little over the top; alerts and warnings are annoying; 4-star ANCAP safety rating.2024 Hyundai Kona N-Line Premium (car review)