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2020 Hyundai Kona Overview

Three years after its arrival, the Hyundai Kona, a subcompact SUV, gets several updates for 2020. It gets a new SEL Plus trim, loses the Iron Man Limited Edition, and adds adaptive cruise control to the Ultimate.

The Kona features Hyundai's newest design language with the headlights tucked into the front corners of the vehicle. Trims include SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and Ultimate.

A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, comes standard with SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trims. It pairs with a 6-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with front-wheel drive (FWD). All-wheel drive (AWD) is also available. Official EPA fuel-economy estimates are 27 mpg city, 33 highway, 30 combined for the FWD Kona. The AWD Kona returns an estimated 26/30/28.

Limited and Ultimate trims include a scrappy, turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 175 hp and 195 lb-ft. It pairs to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Fuel-economy ratings are 28/32/30 with FWD and 26/29/27 with AWD.

Moving up the trim ladder, the SEL adds nicer wheels and available 2-tone paint, while the SEL Plus features fog lights. Limited and Ultimate trims add upgraded lighting, a power sunroof, and a shark-fin antenna.

Leather, a premium sound system, automatic climate control, and Blue Link connected services are standard on Limited and Ultimate trims. If you choose the Lime Twist or Sunset Orange exterior, the interior will feature the same pop of color.

SE, SEL, SEL Plus, and Limited trims feature a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A larger 8-inch touchscreen with navigation comes standard on the Ultimate trim.

Every 2020 Kona includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, driver-attention monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. Move up to SEL trim for blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Pedestrian detection comes standard on the Limited.

When equipped with its more powerful LED headlights, the 2019 Kona earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2020 Kona a 5-star overall rating.

The 2020 Hyundai Kona competes favorably against the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, and the Nissan Kicks.


Christian Wardlaw has nearly two decades of experience reviewing cars, and has served in editorial leadership roles with Edmunds, Autobytel, and J.D. Power and Associates. Chris prefers to focus on the cars people actually buy rather than the cars about which people dream, and emphasizes the importance of fuel economy and safety as much as how much fun a car is to drive. Chris is married to an automotive journalist, is the father of four daughters, and lives in Southern California.

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