2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid Review: The One That Got Away

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid isn't available in North America. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Hyundai has one of the most robust electrified lineups in North America. Fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and conventional hybrids are littered throughout the brand’s model lines. But there is one hybrid we do not get on our shores: the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid.

With the arrival of the new, larger generation Kona this year, the Hybrid version remains elusive to our shores. We do get the gas Kona and the Kona Electric, which we’ve driven a few times already, but not the hybrid.

Across the Atlantic though the Kona Hybrid still lives on. Europe is a region with varying laws and rebates for electrified vehicles, so keeping the Kona Hybrid available makes total sense for Hyundai. The question is, are we missing out? To find the answer, I received an opportunity to drive one from Frankfurt to Nurburg across the German landscape.

Quick Take:

With the launch of the new, larger Kona this year, one model is still absent from North America, the hybrid. Despite Hyundai’s large lineup of electrified vehicles, we do not get that electrically assisted small SUV. But Europe does. Are North Americans missing out?

While on a trip to Germany, I got the chance to find out for myself. I drove it from Frankfurt to Nurburg, mixing in highways and scenic secondary roads. Along the way the Kona Hybrid showed itself as a capable machine with a few drawbacks.

The SUV has grown in size while receiving new styling elements. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

What’s New for 2024:

For the 2024 model year, the Hyundai Kona is all-new. It’s larger, has new styling, and a reworked suspension set-up. Many of the driveline components carry over more or less from the first generation, including the hybrid powertrain.

Exterior Style:

For those unfamiliar with the latest Kona, the SUV grew in size while receiving new styling elements that fit in with the brand’s passenger car lineup rather than the utility vehicle lineup. The appearance of the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid does not differ greatly from the equivalent gas-powered versions. It’s the various trim levels that contain noticeable differences in terms of look and style.

Total system power is 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Powertrain and Fuel Economy:

Now on to the meat and potatoes of the review. Under the hood of the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid resides a 1.6-liter engine paired with an electric motor. The four-cylinder gas engine makes 104 horsepower (hp) and 106 pound feet (lb-ft) of torque on its own. The electric motor pumps out 32 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque, fed by a 1.32 kWh battery.

Combined, total system power is 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly less power, but a lot more torque, than found in Kona’s sporting the 2.0-liter engine. The only transmission available for the Kona Hybrid is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Hyundai claims the vehicle will go from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a leisurely 11.2 seconds. Swift it is not, but acceleration does not feel nearly that tepid thanks to the instant torque generated from the electric motor. It’s on the highway where the Kona Hybrid’s lack of zest is felt. Although it can climb up to a top speed of 173 km/h on the unrestricted portions of the German Autobahn, it takes a lot of road and patience to get there.

What the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid is designed to do is save fuel. Officially, the little SUV is rated around 4.5-4.8 L/100 km on European fuel economy cycle. For reference, the Hyundai Kona N-Line with the turbocharged engine, clocks in at 6.7-7.1 L/100 km. Doing some crude math, with a 33% increase in fuel efficiency over the N-Line, the Kona Hybrid could theoretically return 37 mpg combined in the United States.

The front-wheel-drive only hybrid option is a non starter in North America. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Handling and Drivability:

One of the main reasons why the Kona Hybrid may not be available here has to do with its drivetrain. Currently, it only comes with front-wheel drive. That’s fine for most of California, but up in the snowbelt, that could be a non-starter, especially with the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid including all-wheel drive. During our drive, we didn’t notice any front-wheel drive tendencies, but it was also a nice sunny spring day.

With a tiny battery and small electric motor, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid doesn’t weigh much more than its purely gasoline powered siblings. In Europe, the weight range for the vehicle is between 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg) to 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg) depending on trim.

This light weightiness should make the Kona Hybrid responsive, but with low rolling resistance 215/55R18 tires, the little SUV is not a fan of cornering. It is nimble and well suited for Europe’s narrow roads. But taking highway onramps at speed produces a lot of howling protest from the tires and little grip.


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Lateral grip is not the Kona Hybrid's strongest suit. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Ride Quality and Comfort:

The benefit of the soft tires and suspension comes in the form of ride quality. During hours behind the wheel, we rarely felt a bump big enough to catch our attention. For its size, the Kona Hybrid rides well.

Passenger space is decent as well. The rear seat can accommodate adults, with 38.3-inches (974 mm) of headroom and 38.2-inches (970 mm) of legroom. Those up front get power, heated, and ventilated seats, while in the back the outboard two seats are also heated. Oh, the battery doesn’t take up any space either, meaning cargo capacity remains unchanged.

An operator's view. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Interior Style and Quality:

The interior layout and design are basically the same in the Kona Hybrid as what we get in North America. Our specific tester did have a whitish interior that isn’t available here though, and of course some driver information pages are different, mostly relating to the hybrid powertrain.

The rear seat offers plenty of space. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Tech and Safety:

As a fully loaded model, our Kona Hybrid included an around view monitor, digital key availability, Bose audio system, wireless phone charging, and power passenger seat with recline mode. In front of the driver remains a single pane containing two 12.3-inch screens, one for driver information center and the other for the infotainment system.

On the safety front, all the usual features are found, like a driver monitor, blind-spot monitor, remote smart park assist, forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise, blind-spot collision avoidance, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, and more.

Cargo space was adequate. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Value Dollars and Sense:

The specific 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid we drove through Germany was borrowed from the Netherlands. Using pricing from that country, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid starts at €34,995. That’s about the same price as the N-Line over there. As tested, our loaded Kona Hybrid Premium comes in at €41,490.

If Hyundai can integrate all-wheel-drive with he hybrid powertrain the Kona will be an awesome choice. Image Credit: Mike Schlee

Final Thoughts:

The 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid drives a lot like the regular Kona. It has adequate power, handling, and ride comfort, with a well optioned, spacious interior. So, should we get it in North America? If all things were equal and it was a direct transplant to our market, I would have to say no.

Pricing would place at the high end of the market and the lack of drivetrain choices could limit its appeal. But, if Hyundai could find a way to replace the 2.0-liter engine with this hybrid system, that would make for an interesting proposition. Include an optional all-wheel drive system, and now we’re on to something.

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2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid


6 /10


9 /10

Handling and Drivability

6 /10

Passenger Comfort

8 /10

Ride Quality

4 /5

Exterior Style

4 /5

Interior Style and Quality

7 /10


8 /10

Cargo Capacity and Towing

4 /5


5 /5


6 /10

Emotional Appeal

7 /10


75 / 100



Fuel efficiency


Ride quality


Interior design

Lacks power on the freeway

  • Q: Will 2024 Kona have a hybrid?
  • A: Yes it will, but not if you live in North America.
  • Q: How much will the 2024 Hyundai Kona cost?
  • A: In the Netherlands it starts at €34,995, roughly the same price as the N-Line.
  • Q: Is the 2024 Kona bigger?
  • A: Yes, by most measurements the Kona has grown for the 2024 model year


1.6-liter four-cylinder + hybrid


139 hp, 195 lb-ft





Fuel Economy

4.5-4.8 L/100 km (Euro cycle)

0-62 mph (0-100 km/h)

11.2 seconds

Starting Price USA


Starting Price Canada


As Tested Price USA


As Tested Price Canada


Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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