The 2021 Hyundai Kona has been unveiled, and with it comes a sporty new N Line variant. Until the hero Kona N debuts, the N Line will stand in as the flagship of the petrol-powered Kona range.
The updated Kona gets more tech and styling options, along with a new grille, new bumper designs and refreshed lights, giving the small SUV a sharper look.
Those wanting a sportier experience can now opt for the new Hyundai Kona N Line, which gets a body-coloured styling kit and new alloy wheels.
Power in the Kona N Line will come from an updated 'Smartstream' version of Hyundai's 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder, producing 145kW.
That figure marks a 5kW drop from the 150kW offered with most N Line models (the overseas 130kW Tucson N Line being among the exceptions), but in the Kona range it represents a boost from 130kW in the current top specification.
It should be noted however that today's announcement comes in the form of a European-market press release, and Hyundai Australia is as-yet unable to confirm local specifications and tunes.
The incoming new i30 Sedan N Line lists the familiar 150kW output, however, which could point to the same for the Kona N Line.
The N Line's transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, matched to an all-wheel drive configuration – the latter making it the first N Line model in Australia to be equipped with all-wheel drive.
A torque figure for the upgraded engine is also still to be confirmed (usually 265Nm in N Line models), as are fuel consumption figures and acceleration numbers.
While final specifications for Australia have yet to be announced, the updated 1.6-litre turbo powertrain will join the current 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder, which is expected to carry over.
Despite the Kona Electric being offered here, for the time being it appears Australia will miss out on the hybrid powertrains available to overseas markets.
A spokesperson for Hyundai Australia told CarAdvice: "We are interested in all electrified powertrains and will always study new products carefully, but at this time no decision has been made to introduce Kona Hybrid".
"With no Australian government-regulated corporate/fleet emissions targets in place, we are not considered a priority market for electrified powertrains," the Hyundai spokesperson said.
"This does not rule us out for any products, but it puts us lower down the list than we might otherwise be."
Ride and handling has been improved on the 2021 Kona, with new Continental tyres, new suspension, and upgraded steering.
Inside, the Kona has also received an update, getting a new console featuring aluminium trim highlights and ambient lighting.
Black cloth or leather interior trim options are available, and a two-tone beige or khaki leather can now be optioned.
A 10.25-inch digital cluster is new, as is a bigger 8.0-inch infotainment screen – now with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This can be optioned with a 10.25-inch display.
As well as the facelifted exterior, the Kona is now 40mm longer in the body, and comes with new alloy wheel designs and five more exterior paint options. Buyers can also option a black roof, giving the car a two-tone colour scheme.
Safety systems have been given an update, too. Hyundai's small SUV now gains a vehicle departure alert, which will let you know if the car in front has begun to drive off.
Updated lane-assist will help to keep the car centred in its lane, and the autonomous collision avoidance system has been revised with optional cyclist detection.
Models with the 1.6-litre powertrain will also enjoy autonomous rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, rather than just an alert found on previous models.
Here's a list of the new Hyundai SmartSense Active Safety features available on the 2021 Kona:
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Smart Cruise Control with stop and go
- Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
- Lane Following Assist
- Intelligent Speed Limit Warning
- Safe Exit Warning
- Rear Seat Alert
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist – now with optional cyclist detection
When will the 2021 Hyundai Kona come to Australia?
The new Hyundai Kona will be available in early 2021, with pricing and specification to be announced closer to release.