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Sunday Drive: A futuristic journey in the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited FWD

By Craig and Deanne Conover - | Mar 30, 2024
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Deanne with the Hyundai Kona as we took a Saturday drive up American Fork Canyon to as far as we could go before it was closed because of snow. We stopped for a quick photo at the Timpanogos Cave Trailhead parking lot.
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Deanne again with the Kona as we descended into Draper after going over the mountain through Suncrest Ridge on our Saturday drive.
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Inside the new 2024 Hyundai Kona.
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Inside the new 2024 Hyundai Kona.
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The new 2024 Hyundai Kona.
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Inside the new 2024 Hyundai Kona.

As February came to a close this year, we were privileged to have Mother Nature cooperate enough so that we could receive the all-new front-wheel drive 2024 Hyundai Kona for our weekly test drive. Since our vehicles are brought to us from Denver, weather can certainly be a challenge. During our week with the new futuristically designed Kona, we were able to drive through our daily routines along with some other journeys outside the norm.

Revolutionizing new design

The 2024 Kona stands as a true testament to Hyundai’s commitment to innovation. Redesigned from the ground up, the Kona showcases a futuristic and dynamic exterior that really caught our eye. The design process, influenced by the electrification of the Kona, has resulted in a bold and distinctive look that sets it apart in the crowded compact SUV segment.

The LED headlights and taillights seamlessly integrated with the body, creating a cohesive and modern look. The pronounced wheel arches and sleek lines contributed to the Kona’s athletic stance, hinting at its spirited and responsive performance. Our first look at the Kona left us intrigued and eager to experience its evolution on the road.

Kona’s electric roots

Hyundai’s decision to design the electric version of the Kona first before the internal combustion engine version added an interesting dimension to the Kona’s DNA. This approach prioritized efficiency and forward-thinking technology.

Our mostly tedious daily journey commenced with the Kona effortlessly navigating the streets of Springville and Provo as we went about life. The daily commute to work became a pleasant experience thanks to the Kona’s nimble handling and compact dimensions. Maneuvering through traffic and parking in tight spaces became second nature, showcasing the Kona’s urban-friendly design.

A significant highlight was a drive to Ogden when Craig was able to take his sister Marci along for the ride. Having owned a Kona up until about three months ago, she was very taken with the looks and spaciousness in the compact SUV.

The Kona’s responsive acceleration and smooth ride made the journey enjoyable and easy to accomplish, even with the swift pace of Interstate 15. The spacious interior provided a comfortable setting for conversation, and the advanced infotainment system kept us entertained along the way.

Jose Munoz, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America, aptly stated, “The all-new Kona and Kona Electric continue to build upon our extremely successful first-generation model, with outstanding efficiency, innovative technologies, distinctive styling and comprehensive safety features.” This sentiment resonated with us as we experienced the Kona’s capabilities firsthand.

A dynamic companion

The Kona’s larger dimensions, both inside and out, translated into a more accommodating and versatile driving experience. The redesigned interior proved to be a combination of a modern and sophisticated ambiance, with premium materials and attention to detail.

Utah County’s weather in late February can be unpredictable, but the Kona handled it with ease. The Limited trim’s front-wheel drive system provided confidence on wet and snowy roads. The responsive steering and well-tuned suspension ensured a smooth ride, even on uneven surfaces.

Running errands became a breeze with the Kona’s ample cargo space and convenient features. Even on a trip by Deanne to Costco for her weekly haul for work, there was plenty of space in the back.

The split-folding rear seats allowed her to adapt the interior to accommodate the many groceries she has to gather each week.

The Kona’s performance

The Kona is powered by a responsive and fuel-efficient internal combustion engine. The 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 engine, mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, proved to us to be an engaging driving experience.

The powertrain’s balance between efficiency and performance impressed us, providing ample power for highway cruising and urban navigation. We averaged an awesome 28.8 mpg in our week with the Kona.

Hyundai’s commitment to innovative technology extended to the Kona’s performance features. The advanced driver assistance systems, including lane-keeping assist and forward collision warning, added an extra layer of safety to our journeys. These features seamlessly integrated into every drive we had during the week, demonstrating Hyundai’s dedication to safety and security.

Infotainment and connectivity

Inside the Kona’s cabin, the huge (12.3 inch) advanced infotainment system took center stage. The large touch screen display, positioned intuitively on the dashboard, provided access to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigating through the interface was a breeze, allowing us to seamlessly connect our smartphones and access navigation, music and hands-free calling features.

Along with this was another huge (12.3-inch) driving display that added an even more futuristic look and feel to the Kona. We would expect this kind of setup on a much pricier vehicle, so it was an invigorating surprise for it to come on the reasonably priced Hyundai.

The Kona’s tech-savvy interior also includes a suite of connectivity options, catering to the needs of modern drivers. USB ports, wireless charging and a premium sound system embellished the overall driving experience. As we embarked on a longer drive that took us up American Fork Canyon, the Kona’s interior became a tech sanctuary, keeping us connected and entertained.

Efficiency beyond the road

As we explored the Kona’s features and capabilities, we delved into the financial aspect of owning this dynamic SUV. The Kona’s efficiency extended beyond the road, with its competitive pricing and cost-effective ownership. Hyundai’s commitment to offering value for money was evident, making the Kona an attractive proposition for those seeking a budget-friendly yet feature-rich SUV.

A visionary ride into the future

Our weeklong test drive in the 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited FWD left us thoroughly impressed. The Kona’s all-new design, electric roots and dynamic performance positioned it as a visionary ride into the future.

Hyundai’s dedication to innovation and efficiency shined through in the all-new Kona. As we reluctantly returned the keys to the fleet driver, we couldn’t help but appreciate the forward-thinking approach that sets the Kona apart in its class. The future looks bright for Hyundai, and the 2024 Kona exemplified the brand’s commitment to shaping the automotive landscape with style, technology and performance.

Base price: $31,660

Destination charge: $1,325

Price as driven: $33,645


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