A revised exterior, tweaked interior design, updated powertrain line-up, and the addition of an N Line package headline the major changes to the 2021 Hyundai Kona.
Just a few days ago, Hyundai teased the 2021 Hyundai Kona and the first-ever Kona N Line, and today, the cars have been officially revealed. The 2021 models do not represent a new generation but a simple mid-cycle refresh. The Kona N Line though is completely new. In essence, the N Line package can be had on any version of the 2021 Kona, with any powertrain combination. The N Line package, however, should not be confused with Hyundai's hardcore performance-oriented N models, as it's only an exterior upgrade pack.
Straight off the bat, the Kona facelift looks much sharper than its predecessor, even though the signature design cues like the split headlamp layout have been retained. However, the entire front fascia has been revamped with new headlamp units, a new grille with a repositioned Hyundai badge, and a new two-part bumper layout. Similarly, the rear fascia receives a major update in the form of new taillamps, a new light signature, and a redone faux diffuser. The new lighting units also give the plastic cladding a more streamlined look. Plus, Hyundai has increased the Kona's overall length by a reasonable 40mm, to further enhance the car's wide stance.
The Kona N Line, as the name suggests, offers a more aggressive exterior design. Body-coloured wheel arches, a more defined rear diffuser design, bespoke 18-inch wheels, dual-tip exhausts, the triple nostrils on the top bumper surface, new grille design and wider air intakes are all part of the N Line package. As mentioned above, the N Line package is available across the 2021 Kona range.
On the engine & powertrain front, Hyundai has introduced 48V mild-hybrid tech in its petrol & diesel engines. Therefore, the Kona can be purchased with the range-topping 1.6-litre Smartstream Turbo-GDi (T-GDi) petrol motor, which was recently shown in the all-new Elantra N Line. The 195bhp motor will be offered without hybrid tech and exclusively with a 7DCT automatic gearbox. Diesel enthusiasts will have the sole option of a 134bhp 1.6-litre Smartstream motor with 48V mild-hybrid assistance. But there will be two gearbox options available – the 7DCT automatic or a six-speed iMT. The third & final engine option on offer is the 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol motor (118bhp). This one will come paired to either the 7DCT gearbox or a simple six-speed manual unit (without 48V mild-hybrid assistance) or the six-speed iMT unit (with mild-hybrid assistance).
Inside, the Kona facelift receives a revamped interior design aimed at making the cabin look more airy & spacious. The new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster has been borrowed from the new i20, and while the standard infotainment screen size has gone up from seven to eight inches, a 10.25-inch AVN screen is available as an optional extra.
The Kona Hybrid has also been updated for 2021, with the same exterior & interior design changes as the standard Kona.