Update: ‘Design’ section and ‘Rear AC vents & better rear knee room’ sub-section of ‘Interior’ updated.
The Hyundai Kona Electric has received its first full model change. The first pictures and details are out, and they suggest it’s going to be quite interesting for EV customers who can’t afford or don’t need a model as big and sophisticated as the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Here’s everything we know about the second generation of the small electric SUV, which should sail to the U.S. as a 2024 model.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric is larger than the outgoing model, and that’s clearly visible in its exterior. Measuring 4,355 mm (171.5 in.) in length, 1,825 mm (71.9 in.) in width, and 1,575 mm (62.0 in.) in height, the 2024 Kona Electric is 175 mm (6.9 in.) longer, 25 mm (1.0 in.) wider, and 20 mm (0.8 in.) taller than the first-gen model. The wheelbase is 2,660 mm (104.7 in.), which marks an improvement of 60 mm (2.4 in.).
The new Kona was initially designed as an electric vehicle before it was modified to accommodate internal combustion engines. Even if the 2024 Kona Electric isn’t a bespoke EV, it’s an electric-first design. Hyundai used the significant increments in the dimensions to create contrast between soft surfaces and sharp-radius creases, Auto Express reported on March 7, 2023, citing SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center. The company used many learnings from the Ioniq 6 on this model, Lee added.
The Kona was the brand’s first model featuring Composite headlamps, commonly known as split headlamps, and the second-gen model carries the feature forward. However, while the model started off with horizontal lower lamps, the 2024 Hyundai Kona has vertical lower (main) lamps, as seen on Palisade, Tucson, and other recent Hyundai SUVs. The vertical light assembly consists of a low beam, a high beam, and three stripes of turn signals.
The full-width daytime running light strip, inspired by the Hyundai Staria, is at the hood level. The Electric variant gets an exclusive version of this DRL called ‘Pixelated Seamless Horizon Lamp,’ in which the center portion has a pixelated design. The hood is longer and flatter than that of the outgoing crossover. The grille area looks more sophisticated, thanks to the exclusive pixel graphic details. The charging port of the 2024 Kona Electric, like that of the outgoing model, is located in the front. Keeping the charging port in the grille area makes head-in parking easier when charging.
On the sides, the 2024 Kona flaunts trapezoidal wheel arches for a sharper and more aggressive style. Unlike on the Kona gasoline and hybrid variants, there’s no black wheel arch cladding, for a clean and elegant look that customers usually expect from an EV.
A large Z-shaped character line on both sides further amplifies the SUV’s edginess and gives it an even bolder appearance. An X-shaped graphic forms on the C-pillar area, signifying the SUV’s adventurous intentions. The rear quarter glass panels are bigger, which should give outboard rear-seat passengers a better look at the surroundings.
At the rear, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric features a clean, monolithic design with few but clear lines and a slim tail light called ‘Seamless Horizon Lamp’ stretching the width, all the way to the SUV’s shoulder area. Pixel graphic details feature here, too, on the bumper. The combination lamps consist of stop lights, reverse lights, and, turn indicators and their design and location are similar to those of the headlamps. The fog lights/reflectors seem to be part of the pixel graphic details. The high-mounted stop lamp is a new compact unit with the same pixel-inspired design.
Hyundai Kona Electric N Line & Hyundai Kona N
On March 6, 2023, Hyundai said second-gen Kona customers can choose from electric, hybrid, and internal combustion engine variants as well as sporty N Line versions of each. The company suggested that, for the first time, the Kona Electric will be available in a motorsport-inspired trim. Hyundai said the N Line versions sport wing-shaped bumpers to underline a lower stance, black ORVMs, wing-type spoiler, black roof (optional), and silver side skirt.
Hyundai is yet to reveal the Kona Electric N Line. Meanwhile, rumors of a go-fast Kona Electric N have begun surfacing on the web. On March 6, 2023, Motor1.com reported that the company could launch a Kona Electric N based on the market response for the Ioniq 5 N.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric’s interior design is visibly different from the outgoing model. It features a whole new cabin with cues borrowed from the Ioniq 5. Hyundai has used a different two-tone color scheme with light shades, which makes the cabin bright and pleasing.
The 2024 Kona Electric has a more contemporary dashboard. It features a dual-display panel housing a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system together, slimmer central AC vents, a new climate control panel consisting of physical buttons, a new three-spoke steering wheel, and a digital mirror. A 12-inch head-up display projects key driver information on the windshield, but it won’t be available in the U.S. electronic-Active Sound Design (e-ASD) produces a virtual sound as per the vehicle speed, torque, state of the motor, and acceleration through the speakers to make up for the lack of an exhaust system.
USB-C & power outlets
The floor console has a completely new design and structure, and it has been divided into two sections. The front section is more tilted, as a result of which there’s no need to secure the wireless smartphone charging area with a lid on the top. It has USB-C and 12-volt, 180-watt ports. Towards the bottom of this section, there’s a slim panel with a rotary dial in the center and switches on the sides. The rotary dial would allow the driver to set their desired drive mode. Further back, there’s an SD card slot for a built-in dashcam and a storage area with two modular cupholders.
Rear-seat passengers will also find more convenience when it comes to charging mobile devices in the 2024 Kona Electric. While the outgoing model comes with one USB-A port, the redesigned EV features two USB-C ports. So, rear-seat passengers will be able to charge their devices simultaneously and faster.
The 2024 Kona Electric has a steering wheel-mounted gear selector which, like that of the Ioniq 5, has a shiny finish and a ribbed pattern. Repositioning the gear selector from the center console to behind the steering wheel cleans up the central tunnel and frees up more room for storing small objects.
New steering wheel
As for the steering wheel itself, it’s simpler than that of the Ioniq 5. It doesn’t have the luxury car-like two-spoke unit, and some customers will appreciate the conventional three-spoke design. The new steering wheel isn’t chunky like that of the outgoing model. It has a round center pad with four dots, which is morse code for H, instead of the brand logo.
Many buyers would appreciate that the cabin of the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t devoid of physical buttons; there are plenty of them. Some of the physical controls will allow customers to access certain functions of the infotainment system like maps and media directly, sans navigating through the touchscreen menus.
Knobs for HVAC
Moreover, there are rotary knobs for climate control—another valuable addition where customers will not have to take their eyes off the road to adjust climate control settings; knowing the position of the knobs and their tactile feel would enable them to change the temperature while focusing on the road. Many carmakers are integrating climate settings into the infotainment or adding a secondary screen on the center console dedicated to climate settings, which can be distracting, and a pain to operate when wearing winter gloves or with damp fingers.
Buttons & paddle shifters
Lastly, the steering wheel also has seemingly well-finished buttons and rotary dials for calling, audio and ADAS. It has lane driving assist and Smart Cruise Control controls on the left spoke and Bluetooth, multimedia, voice command controls on the right spoke. Customers will also be able to navigate through different settings on the digital instrument cluster using the steering-mounted controls. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel can adjust the intensity of regenerative braking.
Rear AC vents & better rear knee room
The interior of the next-gen Kona Electric features a light grey color theme. While the outgoing model doesn’t have rear AC vents, the redesigned model has two of them. We also see new door panels with sleeker grab handles and an electrically adjustable front passenger seat similar to that of the Ioniq 5. The redesigned model’s front seat backrests are slim, opening up rear knee room and further elevating the sense of space, Hyundai says.
The bench-style rear seat has a two-stage latch that allows reclining it. The legroom and headroom for second-row passengers are better than in the first-gen model. Moreover, Hyundai claims the second-row shoulder room is the largest in the class. According to the Auto Express report, first-gen Kona customers were requesting an improvement in cabin space, and Hyundai did listen to that feedback.
Additional convenience features
In South Korea, Hyundai calls the new infotainment system “connected car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC).” The company has given it over-the-air (OTA) update support, so that it can fix any possible issues, improve existing features, and add new features.
Owners get the convenience of Hyundai’s ‘Digital Key 2 Touch’ app for remote functions via smart devices, a wireless charging pad, and LED ambient lighting as well. The ambient lights also support OTA updates.
There are also some features that seem to the South Korea-specific. For example, there’s an “e-hi-pass” function for automatic electronic toll payments on highways. Another example is Hyundai’s built-in cam 2, a new dashcam that we assume has a built-in Wi-Fi module like in the all-new Hyundai Grandeur.
Hyundai has also improved the cargo area based on customer requests. The 2024 Kona Electric has a cargo capacity of 723 liters (25.5 cu. ft.), which Hyundai says is 30 percent more than the current model. Thanks to a customizable ‘smart power’ tailgate and a larger load bay, loading things into the cargo area is easier. Additionally, there’s a frunk, offering an additional storage space of 27 liters (1.0 cu. ft.).
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Hyundai will offer the 2024 Kona Electric with the following ADAS features:
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC)
- Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Forward Collision-avoidance Assist 2.0 (FCA 2.0)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM)
- Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA)
- Surround View Monitor (SVM)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- Driver Status Monitor (DSM)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA)
- Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA)
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric will be available in Europe in Standard Range and Long Range power-electric configurations. Only the latter should come to the U.S.
The 2024 Kona Electric Standard Range’s motor produces 114.6 kW (154 hp) and 255 Nm (188 lb.-ft.) of torque. Its battery pack has an energy storage capacity of 48.4 kWh. The 2024 Kona Electric Long Range’s motor generates 160 kW (214 hp) and 255 Nm (188 lb.-ft.) of torque. Its battery pack has a higher energy storage capacity of 65.4 kWh. Hyundai expects it to deliver a WLTP range of over 490 km, and we think its EPA-est. range could be over 260 miles. Therefore, customers who require a range of 300+ miles would have to upgrade to the Ioniq 5.
Hyundai has equipped the 2024 Kona Electric with V2L outlets, allowing customers to charge devices and power appliances using the energy stored in the traction battery pack. A new i-PEDAL system offers them the convenience of one-pedal driving. Also new in the second-gen model is a charging port door lamp, which ensures visibility in the dark. Thanks to battery preconditioning, customers won’t face the issue of the charge flap being frozen, in temperatures as low as -30ºC (-22°F).
|Aspect||2024 Hyundai Kona Electric Specification|
|Length||4,355 mm (171.5 in.)|
|Width||1,825 mm (71.9 in.)|
|Height||1,575 mm (62.0 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,660 mm (104.7 in.)|
|Drag Coefficient||0.27 Cd|
|Cargo Volume||723 l (25.5 cu. ft.)|
|Frunk Volume||27 l (1.0 cu. ft.)|
|Headroom||Front: 1,015 mm (40.0 in.)|
Rear: 972 mm (38.3 in.)
|Legroom||Front: 1,059 mm (41.7 in.)|
Rear: 925 mm (36.4 in.)
|Shoulder Room||Front: 1,435 mm (56.5 in.)|
Rear: 1,402 mm (55.2 in.)
|Power||114.6 kW (154 hp)/160 kW (214 hp)|
|Torque||255 Nm (188 lb.-ft.)|
|Battery Pack||48.4/65.4 kWh lithium-ion|
|Hyundai-est. WLTP Range||Up to 490+ km (304+ miles)|
|Expected EPA-est. Range (EPA-est.)||260+ miles|
|DC fast-charging (10% – 80% SoC)||41 minutes|
|V2L||Yes, at 1.63 kVA|
On December 12, 2022, S.Korean publication Electronic Times Internet said in a report that Hyundai started production of the all-new Kona in Ulsan, South Korea earlier in the month. The company has five plants there, and according to a report Electronic Times Internet released on November 7, 2022, the all-new Kona’s production is from Plant No.1, which is the site of the outgoing model, and also Plant no. 3.
Hyundai suspended production at Ulsan Plant 3 several times in the first half of 2022 and installed a new production line for the 2024 Kona. It was going to start making the regular and Hybrid variants first and then begin the production of the Electric variant, as per Electronic Times Internet’s November 2022 report.
In its December 2022 report, Electronic Times Internet said that production of the all-new Kona Electric could take place in the U.S. so that the model is eligible for the Clean Vehicle Credit incentive. The South Korean publication was only mentioning this as a possibility. We doubt there’s an immediate plan to localize the Kona Electric in the U.S.
Since March 2020, Hyundai manufactures the Kona Electric in Nosovice, Czech Republic as well. The Nosovice factory supplies the car to the European markets, and this separate regional production may continue in the second generation.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric will debut at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show on March 30, 2023, and go on sale in South Korea in Q2 2023. It may start reaching U.S. dealerships in Q4 2023. That should give its cousin, the 2023 Kia Niro EV, enough time to settle into the market.
The Hyundai Kona Electric just had its best-ever retail sales in the U.S. in December 2022. Hyundai says it sold 35% more units of the Kona Electric in the country in Q4 2022 compared to Q4 2021, although it hasn’t disclosed the sales volume.
In January 2023, Hyundai Motor Group reached the 1 million sales milestone for EVs worldwide. 601,448 of the 1 million EVs were Hyundai- and Genesis-based models. With a contribution of 256,907 units, the Kona Electric was the best-selling electric vehicle of Hyundai Motor Company, which owns and operates the Hyundai and Genesis brands.
Looking ahead, Hyundai plans to introduce several new ZEVs. These will include the Hyundai Ioniq 7, Hyundai Staria Fuel Cell, and the new Hyundai Nexo by 2024.
A lower Ioniq model should eventually replace the Kona Electric
Lorenz Glaab, Head of Global Product Management at Hyundai Motor Group, has indicated that the Kona Electric may get the ax when the E-GMP Ioniq EV family is fully developed and ready for mass adoption worldwide. “That sort of direction is possible, but for the time being, Kona EV will still be around and run in parallel (to the E-GMP Ioniq EVs),” he told Autocar in September 2020.
In the second half of the decade when electric vehicle adoption increases and competitors offer electric crossovers at lower prices, Hyundai could consider releasing a smaller Ioniq as the Kona EV’s successor, to keep up with peers in the aspects of looks, space, features, performance, besides pricing. Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President of Product and Strategy, Hyundai, also agrees that an Ioniq model could eventually replace the Kona Electric. That “seems to be likely,” Schemera told Automotive News in September 2021.
Hyundai electrification targets
Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) plans to introduce 17 EVs by 2030. 11 of these new electric vehicles be Hyundai models, and one of them will be the next-gen Kona Electric. HMC has set a long-term annual EV sales target of 1.87 million units and plans to achieve it by 2030. The company has earmarked KRW 19.4 trillion (USD 14.8 billion) for electrification. It aims to capture 7% of the global EV market by the end of the decade.
With the Ioniq 5 costing well over USD 40,000, putting it out of reach of many car buyers shifting to EVs, the next-gen Hyundai Kona Electric will have a bigger role in the company’s line-up as the budget model.
The redesigned Kona should overcome the flaws of the first generation—better space, faster charging, improved HMI, and reduced energy consumption are among the expected changes. The all-new model could be suitable for customers seeking an electric compact SUV that’s great value for money. Don’t expect Hyundai to add features like electric door handles, digital ORVMs, solar roof, or a GT version in the interest of maintaining the low price.
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric FAQs
What is the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric release date?
The next-gen Hyundai Kona Electric could be launched in the U.S. in late 2023.
What will be the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric price?
The base 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric should come in at under USD 40,000.
Which models will be the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric rivals?
The new Kia Niro EV and the Chevy Equinox EV are its main competitors.
Featured image: Hyundai