The Hyundai Kona is a subcompact crossover/SUV that was first introduced in 2017. The Kona comes in both combustion engine and electric engine versions. This little crossover resides in one of the most popular segments these days which means that Hyundai has put a lot of effort into making the Kona competitive.
When it comes to reliability, the Kona seems to be holding up really nicely. It is not the most reliable model Hyundai offers, nor it is the least reliable model Hyundai offers. It slots somewhere in the middle which is a good result considering that virtually all Hyundai models tend to be reliable if maintained properly.
The most common issues are associated with the engine, the vehicle speed control, the blind collision warning system, the battery, and the brakes. These are the issues you should be focusing on if you are looking to buy a Kona, especially if you are after a 2nd hand model.
All in all, the Kona is a really interesting car and it seems to be selling well. This is partly because it resides in an incredibly popular segment, but also because it is a well-rounded car. If you want to buy one used, be sure to do a pre-purchase inspection as that is pretty much a necessity for all used cars, no matter how reliable they should be.
Hyundai Kona – Engine issues
Probably the greatest issue Hyundai has faced as a brand in recent history is one where many of its cars caught on fire due to an engine manufacturing defect. The Kona was also part of this group and it seems like Hyundai recalled more than 277,000 units in the US alone. The 2.0L 4-cylinder in both gas and hybrid models is reason why because of badly heat-treated piston oil rings.
These cause oil to leak out and come in contact with hot components which can eventually lead to an engine fire. If you come across an engine warning light accompanied by smoke coming from the front o the car, exit the car immediately, walk away from the car and call the first responders as your car is probably going up in flames.
Hyundai Kona – Vehicle speed control issues
Adaptive cruise control has become a synonym with modern-day cars which means that most people are used to this function and aren’t really willing to live without it. If you live in a busy city that gets lots of stop-and-go traffic, features such as these are life savers as they take the edge off constantly needing to accelerate and brake.
The Kona comes with adaptive cruise control, but the system is known to not be able to maintain its speed for any particular reason. This can get nasty as there are no ways how you can predict when this is going to happen. This inevitably led to a bunch of accidents as the car simply refused to maintain a certain speed. These are down to faulty sensors.
Hyundai Kona – Blind spot assist system issues
SUVs, crossovers, and cars alike are bulky and often not the best when it comes to special awareness and visibility. Thick pillars cause blind spots, especially the c-pillar on cars with a sloping roofline. This eats into your daily driving capabilities a lot and that is why systems such as blind spot assist exist in order to tell you if there is a car in your blind spot.
However, it seems like the Kona has lots of trouble with this system as the system is known to shut itself down when the car reaches 5,000 miles or so.
Hyundai Kona – Battery issues
We have already talked about the potential fire that can be caused with 2.0L 4-cylinder Kona models, but we also need to mention a potential fire happening with the Kona EV as well. A few Kona EV models have gone into flames without an apparent reason which sent shockwaves across the nation and many owners were not happy about it.
Hyundai first released a new battery management software to cope with this, but later recalled all Kona EV models due to public outcry.
Hyundai Kona – Brakes issues
The Electronic Brake System developed by Hyundai promised a better way of controlling your brakes, but it seems like this system can actually hamper brake performance to a really unsafe degree. This system can often misinterpret various inputs and refuse to act appropriately when you apply the brake.
This also resulted in a nationwide recall with almost 10,000 units being recalled. It’s never a good idea to compromise your braking performance as that is one of the most important systems a car has.
Should I buy a Hyundai Kona?
If you are interested in a subcompact SUV/crossover that does not cost too much money, and one that can satisfy all your daily driving needs, look no further than the Hyundai Kona. This little, but capable car can deliver in pretty much every situation because it is available in both EV and ICE form.
On the other hand, if you are not a fan of this segment and you are not a fan of what the Kona offers as a complete package, you are better off without it. It is a car that can satisfy many needs for a few, but few needs for many.
Is the Hyundai Kona an off-roader?
No, the Hyundai Kona is definitely not an off-roader and that is obvious the moment you step inside of it. People need to realize that SUVs and cars with higher ground clearance aren’t designed for off-roading anymore as that was the past.
Cars such as these have come really popular for city use as people really like the way they look, and the feeling they give you while behind the wheel. Therefore, most of these are not off-roaders, not even by a long shot.
Is the Hyundai Kona EV a safe car?
The Hyundai Kona sure is a really safe car as all modern-day Hyundai models come with a stellar 5-star safety rating. This means that the Kona is well protected in regards to crashes, but also relatively well-equipped when it comes to active software safety systems.