It makes perfect sense – Kona has clearly matured between generations. It has retained the same familiar round contour, but the proportions have changed noticeably, the new Kona is longer (by a significant 175 mm), wider (by 25 mm) and higher (by 20 mm).

Also, its design, starting with the front LED strip, through the elaborate side moldings, extended fenders and modified shape of the C-pillar (if it reminds you of a mini-Tucson from the side, then you’re on the right track) to the rear LED strip looks significantly more sophisticated (and also quite sci-fi ). But even more radical changes took place inside.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Kona’s design with light bars on both ends is a nice sci-fi feel.

Hyundai boasts that it built the second Kona on an electric platform (although it also puts combustion engines in it). In reality, this means a 60 mm longer wheelbase and thus a noticeably more spacious interior – it’s easier to get comfortable in the front, an adult can fit in the back, and the trunk has swelled by a third to 466 liters. The spacious storage box in the more compact central tunnel, which in the last generation oppressed you uncomfortably, is also handy.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The new Kona has grown, so passengers have more living space and the trunk has also grown significantly.

The architecture of the dashboard is now also much clearer, especially thanks to a pair of 12.3-inch displays integrating most of the control elements, yet there remains a separate navigation panel and a number of other physical buttons on the center console and on the steering wheel, which significantly facilitate coexistence with the car.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Notice the missing brand logo on the steering wheel. Hyundai claims: “Our customers know what kind of car they are driving.” Sympathetic…

Perhaps because you have to switch off a number of assistance systems immediately after the start, which can be quite annoying in Hyundai. And each switch-off is hidden a little elsewhere – stop-start on the left under the steering wheel, driving in a lane again on the steering wheel, and the speed warning and inattention warning are hidden in the infotainment (the shortcut on the star helps a lot). We expect this in all new cars, but here you have to look harder or get used to more aggressive digital bullying.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Despite the more sophisticated digitization, there are still handy buttons. Don’t sow, you’ll need them.

However, if you automate these activities, you will have a lot of fun driving the Kona. You have a wide range of power units to choose from: From classic petrol engines (1.0 T-GDI 120 hp and 1.6 T-GDI 198 hp) to economical hybrids recharged by driving (HEV 1.6 GDI 141 hp) to a purely electric version in two variants – “city” with a smaller battery (48.6 kWh with a range of up to 380 km) and lower power (134 hp) and multi-purpose with a longer range (up to 510 km thanks to a capacity of 64.8 kWh) and a more powerful electric motor (203 hp).

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The base was an electric platform, yet the Kona can have internal combustion engines.

At the first opportunity, we reached for the top-of-the-line combustion variant with a turbocharged four-cylinder, automatic dual-clutch transmission and four-wheel drive. It probably won’t be a bestseller in our area (this particular version starts with a price of up to 730,000), but those who reach for it will be delighted, because its powerful, yet refined engine fits perfectly with the more mature concept of the whole car.

It’s not a sports car, but it can look like one

The N Line trim gives the Kona (and other Hyundai models) a sporty touch, which you can see on the outside in an elaborate bodykit (modified front and rear bumpers with visible chrome exhaust tips) and 18-inch alloy wheels with polished elements. In the cabin you will find a sports steering wheel, gear lever and metal pedals, as well as upholstery in a combination of Alcantara/leather (this is Eco Alcantara with 65 percent recycled PET) with contrasting stitching.

You pay an extra 30,000 for the N Line equipment compared to the average Smart equipment.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The N Line package from Kona doesn’t make it a sports car, but it looks a bit more attractive with it.

The Kona is able to sail calmly and quietly (the engine just whirs and is perfectly matched with the smooth-shifting gearbox) as well as dash briskly (although the power and drive do not make it a sports car), while it is easy and natural to drive. Signs of immaturity can only be seen in a slightly higher level of noise at highway speeds, the undulating district asphalt reveals a slightly jerky chassis (it’s still basically a small car) – at the same time, the all-wheel drive version is (along with the electric) the only variant with a multi-element rear axle, lower version has to make do with a simpler crank.

But these are just little things that won’t spoil your coexistence with Kona. Despite the clear family line, the second generation is a much better car – more spacious, more practical, more equipped, technologically and drivably more advanced. Just a more mature car in every way.

The price list of the Hyundai Kona starts at 559,990 CZK thanks to promotional prices (a premium of 50,000 crowns for all versions except the electric one, which is even more advantageous by 90, or up to 160,000 crowns with the Czech Edition), the basic hybrid then costs 759,990 CZK and the cheapest electric version costs CZK 899,990.

Motor inline four-cylinder, front transverse, turbocharged
Displacement volume 1,598 cm3
Performance 145 kW (198 hp) at 6,000 rpm
Torque 265 Nm at 1,600 – 4,500 rpm.
Transmission automatic double clutch, 7 degrees
Tree all four wheels
Standby weight 1 525 kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 8,1 s
Maximal speed 210 km/h
Consumption (combination) 6.7 l/100 km
Fuel tank volume 47 l
Wheels and tires 175/60 ​​R18
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4 350/1 825/1 580 mm
Wheelbase 2 660 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 466 l