2021 Hyundai Kona

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Hyundai Kona highlights

Customer rating

RepairPal reliability rating

(data not available)


  • Enjoyable to drive, and the Kona with the turbo engine is quick
  • Bold looks stand out among rivals


  • Interior plastics feel and look cheap
  • Well-equipped entry-level trims can't get the more powerful engine

Mileage (EPA estimate)

25 city, 29 highway, 27 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is a standout for many reasons, not just its design

The 2021 Kona builds on Hyundai's signature strengths—high value and excellent transferable warranty—with a fun-to-drive character and standout design. Those qualities are largely lacking among subcompact crossover SUVs, though we'll admit the Kona's styling might be too bold for some. But when it comes to equipment, this Hyundai is persuasive. Even the SE entry-level model offers a generous level of standard features, including Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™, a 7-inch touchscreen, automatic air conditioning, alloy wheels, and a suite of useful driver aids.

Impressive as that entry-level SE trim is, we'd recommend jumping up to the new-for-2021 midlevel Night trim. It's the first point in the range that comes with the better of the two engines Hyundai offers. It's a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 174 hp and uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. We also recommend going for the all-wheel-drive option because its more sophisticated rear suspension setup improves both handling and ride comfort. Overall, the Kona's good enough to be considered a top choice, brought down only by a slightly plasticky interior and those divisive looks. If you can live with that, it's well worth your attention.

All Hyundai Kona years

What is new for the 2021 Hyundai Kona?

  • The Kona is available in a new trim called the Night.
  • Tow Hitch features are now available as options on select trims.

2021 Hyundai Kona trims

Curious how Hyundai Kona trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • Includes 16-inch alloy wheels, height-adjustable driver seat, seven-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, smartphone integration, forward collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, and more.


  • Adds 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, roof rails, keyless entry and ignition, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.

SEL Plus: 

  • Adds sunroof, fog lights, shark-fin antenna, power-adjustable driver seat, wireless charging pad, auto-dimming rearview mirror, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, and more.


  • Includes SEL trim features, adding a 1.6L turbocharged engine, 18-inch semi-gloss black alloy wheels, black exterior trim, LED headlights, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, and more.


  • Includes SEL Plus trim features, adding 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, chrome exterior trim, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and more.


  • Unlocks automatic wipers, eight-inch touchscreen, integrated navigation system, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, head-up display, and more.

View all Hyundai Konas in stock

Hyundai Kona photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Hyundai Kona

1. The night edition

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: RTB 1 | CarMax

The Hyundai Kona has a stylish new trim for 2021: the Night edition. Exterior finishes include semi-gloss black alloy wheels, gloss black side mirrors, and a high-gloss front grille. As you might expect from its moniker, the Night edition features an all-black interior, as well as the upgraded 1.6L turbo engine and a choice of three classic exterior paint colors. If you want to level up your ride's curb appeal, the 2021 Kona Night edition has you covered.

2. Easy to drive

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: RTB 2 | CarMax

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is a crossover SUV that's designed to make driving a breeze. Its dimensions provide plenty of space, while still offering an easy drive when it comes to parking lots, city streets, and highways. With a turning diameter of 34.8 feet, a rearview monitor, and a total vehicle length of 164 inches, the 2021 Kona is a driver-friendly choice.

3. Powerful engine options

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: RTB 3 | CarMax

When it comes to smooth handling and powerful acceleration, the 2021 Hyundai Kona goes all in, offering engine options to suit your driving style. Standard models (SE, SEL, and SEL Plus) feature a 2.0L engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The three premium trims (Night, Limited, and Ultimate) boast a turbocharged 1.6L engine, capable of a zero to 60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. The turbocharged engine is ideal for daily commuting, charging up freeway on-ramps, and weekend road trips.

4. Infinity® premium audio

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: RTB 4 | CarMax

Choose the 2021 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus trim and above for stunning sound quality provided by the Infinity premium audio system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology. The sound radiating from its eight speakers and subwoofer has a deeper range, bringing the sound from your car as close as possible to the crystal clear sounds of the original recordings. Get ready for an in-car concert on your next road trip in the 2021 Kona.

5. Stylish exterior

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: RTB 5 | CarMax

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is incredibly stylish, with impressive and thoughtful attention to detail. A central high-mount stop light, deep grille, shark-fin antenna (SEL Plus and above), gloss back accents (Night edition), and some seriously good-looking paint colors add up to an SUV that's bound to turn heads.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Hyundai Kona, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Buick Encore

This good-looking SUV has plenty of luxury touches throughout and the available all-wheel drive makes it a great companion if you regularly have to tackle rain and snow. As standard on 2019–2020 models, you'll find great features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, an available Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

Climb to the top tiers of the Encore and you'll find more features to make every drive a breeze. This is a great option if you want something a little different that's easy to drive around town.

The 2017–2020 Buick Encore has these standard features, and more:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity

  • Tinted rear glass

  • LED daytime running lights

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

4.6 out of 5

5 customer reviews

Hyundai Kona features and specs

SE 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Cloth Seats
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.5"/R 34.6"

Head room

F 39.6"/R 37.8"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2021 Hyundai Kona FAQ

More about the 2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Hyundai Kona Review: Top Colors | CarMax

Exterior colors:

  • Chalk White

  • Pulse Red

  • Sonic Silver

  • Surf Blue

  • Thunder Gray

  • Ultra Black

Interior details

  • Seating for five passengers

  • Cargo volume of 19.2 cubic feet

  • 60/40 split-fold, reclining rear seats

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel (SEL trim and higher)

  • Front row USB and auxiliary input jacks

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