2021 Hyundai Kona Hybrid: specification and on-sale date

New facelifted Hyundai Kona on the way, with the Hybrid variant arriving in the spring

This is the new Hyundai Kona, a facelifted version of the South Korean manufacturer's popular compact SUV. The new car will be available with a range of drivetrains, including mild-hybrid, hybrid and eventually pure-electric power, with the Kona Electric set to receive its facelift "in the near future", according to Hyundai. The new petrol and mild-hybrid Konas will arrive before the end of 2020, with the Hybrid following close behind in early 2021.

Exact trim and pricing details are still to be confirmed; it's not yet clear whether the introduction of N Line trim to the Kona range will extend to the full hybrid model. However, all versions get a bold new look outside, improved technology on the inside and revised chassis tuning with an emphasis on comfort.

The facelifted Kona Hybrid uses the same 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor setup as its predecessor, with a combined 139bhp. It's paired to a 1.56kWh battery and drives through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai Kona interior and exterior design

On the outside, changes to the Kona's appearance are numerous. The car's new front-end treatment combines familiar slim daytime running lights, but adds a wider grille, a sharper leading edge to the bonnet and a new approach to the car's trademark plastic cladding. 

The rear end gets new tail-lights and a new bumper, while a whole a range of new 17 and 18-inch wheels join the existing 16 and 18-inch designs from the current car. The new car is 40mm longer than before.

Hyundai is offering the facelifted Kona in a range of brand new, evocatively named colours – Surfy Blue, Dive In Jeju, Ignite Flame, Cyber Gray and Misty Jungle. The existing line-up of Phantom Black, Chalk White, Dark Knight, Pulse Red and Galactic Gray all remain.

Inside, the Kona is more lightly revised: a new centre console cuts under the dash rather than being attached as before, while a new, larger infotainment screen tops the broadly familiar layout. The car's parking brake is now electronic, while illuminated cupholders and a range of new upholstery options also feature. These include black houndstooth fabric, black and grey embossed cloth and perforated leather in a choice of black, beige or khaki. 

More minor additions to the Kona's specification include the option of heated second-row seats and a rear USB port, while cars fitted with manually adjustable front seats now get passenger-seat height adjustment.

Other detail changes include revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bars in the suspension system to improve ride comfort, along with improved tyres for all wheel sizes from Continental. 

Technology and active safety systems

The Kona has been brought up to date with a new 10.25-inch digital instrument display in place of analogue dials, along with a new optional central 10.25-inch infotainment screen that should be standard on higher-spec models.

The infotainment screen boasts split-screen functionality for displaying two items at once, along with support for multiple Bluetooth connections and online connected services, including live parking information. A custom user profile can be assigned to each driver to store their vehicle preferences and can be shared across other Hyundai cars with the same system.

Kona models with the lower-spec Display Audio infotainment system now get an eight-inch screen in place of the outgoing model's seven-inch unit. Crucially, it now features wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

HIghlights from a comprehensive list of active safety and driver assistance systems include blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control with stop-go functionality and eCall, which automatically alerts emergency services if the car's airbags are deployed.