An agile and functional subcompact SUV.

2019 Hyundai Kona Review | CarMax

The 2019 Hyundai Kona is a stylish subcompact SUV that's fun to drive while being a functional and practical vehicle suited to different types of lifestyles and driving needs. Offering a comfortable ride and lots of features, along with an ample cargo area and roomy cabin, the Hyundai Kona is a great city vehicle that you can use for your regular daily needs, such as going to work or grocery shopping, but also for family vacations and off-road adventures.

The 2019 model year of Hyundai Kona is part of the first generation of this small SUV, which was first introduced in 2018. In this 2019 Hyundai Kona review, we'll cover:

Key Specs & Features

  • Two four-cylinder engine options to choose from
  • Turbocharged engine available as an option
  • All-wheel drive is available on all trim configurations
  • Comes standard with six-speed automatic transmission
  • Bluetooth® connectivity comes as standard
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are also standard

5 Reasons to Buy


Although looks aren't always why someone chooses to buy an SUV, in the case of the Hyundai Kona, its design does play a role and makes it that much more appealing. Its exterior is a little unusual as far as SUVs are concerned in that it's bold and eye-catching, and that's one of the things that makes it so unique and attractive. It's distinguished by a cascading front grille design and a horizontal opening above it made to resemble an air intake—while it's just for looks, it really makes the front pop. Also, there is the unique body cladding that is meant to give the Hyundai Kona the appearance of a sports car, complemented by the rear spoiler and the double headlight design.


2019 Hyundai Kona Review: Front Seat | CarMax

The interior of the 2019 Hyundai Kona is very neatly designed and provides a comfortable ride for both the driver and the passengers. The front seats are very supportive and can be easily adjusted in various positions. There is a front console that houses USB ports and wireless smartphone charging (all trims), all of which are easy to reach—which can be said of the climate control buttons and other instruments as well. You'll have good visibility also, thanks to the narrow roof pillars. In addition, the infotainment system is very responsive and offers an excellent user experience.


2019 Hyundai Kona Review: Engine | CarMax

In addition to the attractive exterior and the nice cabin, the 2019 Hyundai Kona is praised for its smooth ride and agile handling. Thanks to the available all-wheel drive and the semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension, this small SUV is designed for good traction. With features like the standard Torque Vectoring Control brake-actuated limited-slip differential, among others, it's also good for off-road trips. The independent front strut suspension with anti-roll bar helps minimize body roll and is designed to help you control the vehicle easily around turns.


2019 Hyundai Kona Review: Dashboard | CarMax

Probably one of the best things about the 2019 Hyundai Kona is the abundance of standard tech features. For starters, there is the intuitive and easy-to-use infotainment system, which comes with a seven-inch touchscreen on the base trim. Then, there is the smartphone integration through standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay across the entire lineup. For an even better user experience, the infotainment system comes with built-in voice control, which is always handy.


2019 Hyundai Kona Review: Cargo | CarMax

The Hyundai Kona has a lot to offer when it comes to functionality and utility. The 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk is great for a subcompact SUV and there are a few other storage options around the car that can be pretty useful and increase the total cargo capacity as well. The driver and passenger bins are well-proportioned and offer enough space to store a few small items, as do the rear door bins. The standard roof rack side rails further enhance the overall functionality and add to the hauling options of the 2019 Kona.

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What You Need to Know

2019 Hyundai Kona Trim Configurations

The 2019 Hyundai Kona comes in five different trim configurations:

  • SE - The base trim is equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine delivering 147 horsepower and paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. It comes standard with remote keyless entry, forward collision-avoidance assist, forward collision mitigation, two USB ports, front bucket seats, six-way driver seat adjustment, four-way passenger seat adjustment, Bluetooth® connectivity, and six speakers.
  • SEL - Standard features on the SEL trim include heated front seats, blind-spot collision warning, heated exterior mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather shift knob, and much more.
  • Limited - Powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder engine, with features that include an eight-way power driver seat, automatic temperature control, leather upholstery, Infinity® premium audio system, Blue Link® Connected Car System, and LED headlights and taillights.
  • Ultimate - Comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, eight premium speakers, remote engine start, parking distance warning with rear parking sensors, high beam assist, and more.
  • Iron Man - This is a special trim that is distinguished by a series of details dedicated to the titular Marvel character, such as the Arch Reactor shift knob, rear lights and bumper inspired by Iron Man's Exosuit, as well as the character's mask embossed on the seats.

Available Color Options

The 2019 Hyundai Kona is available in eight color options:

  • Chalk White
  • Lime Twist
  • Pulse Red
  • Sonic Silver
  • Sunset Orange
  • Surf Blue
  • Thunder Gray
  • Ultra Black Pearl

Similar Vehicles

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car with a comfortable and functional interior and lots of tech features that make it a great daily driver. The base trim of the 2019 model year is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that delivers 147 horsepower and comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down is 55 cubic feet, which is pretty generous for its class. You can choose between six trim configurations and two additional engine options—a 1.6L four-cylinder producing 201 horsepower and a 1.4L four-cylinder generating 128 horsepower.

Hyundai Accent

This is a subcompact sedan that can seat five people comfortably and offers ample storage space. The 2019 model is powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder engine combined with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and generating 130 horsepower. Cargo capacity measures at 13.7 cubic feet and features Bluetooth connectivity and an infotainment system with a five-inch touchscreen as standard for 2019, with forward collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking available as an option on all trims.

Honda HR-V

This subcompact crossover SUV is appealing due to the nicely-equipped and roomy interior and high cargo capacity. The base trim of the 2019 Honda HR-V is powered by a 141-horsepower 1.8L four-cylinder engine and boasts a maximum cargo volume of 58.8 cubic feet with the back seats folded down. Standard features include a multi-angle rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and a five-inch-touchscreen infotainment system. The 2019 Honda HR-V is available in five different trim configurations.

Subaru Crosstrek

Those looking for a compact SUV with good performances and respectable off-road capabilities, along with a luxurious cabin, could look into the Subaru Crosstrek. The 2019 model comes standard with all-wheel drive on all trims, along with a raised suspension, which results in higher ground clearance and makes it suitable for off-road driving. Subaru's Starlink® infotainment system is part of the standard equipment across the entire lineup, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen on the base trim. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come standard.

The Bottom Line

The Hyundai Kona's agility and high level of functionality make it a great vehicle for daily use around town, and its uniquely stylish design only adds to the overall appeal. What's more, there are plenty of trim configurations to choose from, as well as an abundance of available features to fit your lifestyle as much as possible. And the greatest thing about it is that whatever options you go with, it's guaranteed that you will be getting a fun ride that turns heads every time you drive.

Looking to learn more about the Hyundai Kona and similar vehicles? Check out these related resources:

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