2021 Kona. Seriously Fun.

29 January, 2021

  • 2021 Kona brings a fresh look and extra standard features & SmartSense™ safety tech
  • Sporty new N Line and N Line Premium offered alongside Kona, Active, Elite and Highlander variants, with all-new SmartStream 2.0 and 1.6 turbo engines
  • New 2021 Kona on sale now from $26,600 MLP

The hugely popular Hyundai Kona small SUV has been comprehensively refreshed and upgraded for 2021, bringing sporty new N Line variants.

2021 Kona brings an eye-catching new look, extra standard comfort and convenience features, and additional SmartSense™ safety technologies.

The line-up introduces the sporty & fun Kona N Line and N Line Premium, which boast an all-new, 146kW SmartStream 1.6 turbo engine teamed with a DCT transmission and all-wheel drive, and a sports-tuned chassis featuring a multi-link rear suspension.

The range-opening Kona, and the Kona Active, Elite and Highlander variants feature an all-new SmartStream 2.0-litre petrol engine and CVT automatic pairing, driving the front wheels and using just 6.2L/100km on the official combined cycle.

New 2021 Kona is the third new SUV in Hyundai’s ‘18 models in 18 months’ product rollout, moving toward a new and comprehensive line-up, following Palisade and Santa Fe.

This new-model offensive will include the introduction of Kona EV in March and the arrival of the high-performance Kona N later in 2021.

“In three short years on the market, the versatile Kona has grown to become a top-seller in the class and one of our most popular models,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, Jun Heo said.

“New 2021 Kona builds on the qualities that have drawn small-SUV buyers to the model, with an eye-catching new look, new N Line sports variants, and additional standard comfort, convenience, technology and SmartSense™ safety features,” he said.

2021 Kona range overview.

New 2021 Kona is offered in six variants, with two powertrains.


The range-opening Kona variant, and the Kona Active, Elite and Highlander are powered by a 2.0-litre SmartStream petrol four-cylinder driving the front wheels via a CVT automatic transmission.

The sporty Kona N Line and N Line Premium are powered by a 1.6-litre SmartStream turbo petrol four-cylinder with all-wheel drive and a DCT automatic transmission.

The Kona variant features as standard Apple CarPlay™ and AndroidAuto™ connectivity, an 8.0-inch multimedia system, a rear camera, a 4.2-inch TFT colour Supervision instrument cluster display, and LED daytime running lights.

Also standard are a wireless (Qi standard) smartphone charging pad, an electronic parking brake, a tyre pressure monitoring system, roof rails and alloy wheels.

An extensive suite of SmartSense™ advanced safety technologies is standard across the 2021 Kona range, and now incorporates Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go and Rear Occupant Alert (ROA).

Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) systems are also standard, along with front, side and curtain airbags.

Kona Active adds to this, with leather appointed seats, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, a rear park assist system, power folding and heated exterior mirrors, and larger 17-inch alloy wheels among the extra features.

Kona Elite features a standard 10.25-inch satellite navigation system, Harman Kardon eight-speaker premium audio, climate control air-conditioning, a smart key with push button and remote start functionalities, and front fog lights.

It also brings additional SmartSense™ tech in the form of Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) systems, and a Safe Exit Warning (SEW) system.

Kona Elite also adopts specific exterior styling elements, including carbon grey cladding, a tailgate and side garnish insert, and a gloss black front grille.

The flagship Kona Highlander incorporates a host of luxury and convenience features, such as a futuristic 10.25-inch digital supervision instrument cluster, heated and air ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats and a heated steering wheel, and LED headlights, front indicators and taillights.

There is also a head-up display (HUD), front park assist system, powered adjustment for the front seats, a glass sunroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres.

A high beam assist (HBA) system joins the SmartSense™ safety suite.

The sporty Kona N Line introduces an all-new 146kW, 265Nm turbo engine along with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, a multi-link rear suspension arrangement and 18-inch sports alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres.

Building on the specification of Kona Elite, Kona N Line introduces N Line exterior additions and badging.

Inside, there are N Line sports front seats, and a unique cabin treatment featuring red stitching, piping and trim inserts, as well as alloy pedals.

As the sports flagship, 2021 Kona N Line Premium brings, in addition, a 10.25-inch digital supervision instrument cluster, heated and air ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats and a heated steering wheel, and LED headlights, front indicators and taillights.

Also standard are a head-up display (HUD), front park assist system, powered front seats, and a glass sunroof.

Seven exterior colours are offered for 2021 Kona, with a no-cost optional two-tone Phantom Black roof for Highlander and N Line Premium (which sees the sunroof deleted).

Inside, upholstery in black cloth, leather and N Line sports leather is offered, along with the newly optional Highlander-exclusive beige leather.



A comprehensive styling refresh for New 2021 Kona is headlined by an impressive, futuristic frontal treatment featuring a new bumper and grille, as well as a new design for the Hyundai-signature stacked headlights.

Beneath the headlights, the rugged wheel-arch cladding continues into the redesigned front bumper, while a widened cascading grille and a front skid plate project a low and wide stance.

Elite and Highlander variants feature reworked front fog lights designed to further develop 2021 Kona’s refined image.

New 2021 Kona’s stacked headlights adopt a fresh design and are complemented by LED daytime running lights, which double as indicators on Highlander and N Line Premium versions.

Projector beam headlights feature for Kona, Active and Elite, and multi-faceted reflector (MFR) LED headlights are standard for Highlander.

Completing a classy look for 2021 Kona is a new rear bumper featuring a new upper and lower split lighting design while incorporating a continuation of the body side cladding.

A large rear skid plate imparts a wider-looking stance to further develop New 2021 Kona’s road presence.

Every Kona now features alloy wheels, with fresh designs for Active and Elite variants, and a refined machined-face 18-inch wheel design for Highlander.

The introduction of sporty Kona N Line variants for the first time brings exclusive exterior features that create an aggressive and dynamic image.

These include an N Line front bumper, gloss black side mirror caps and, for N Line Premium, MFR LED headlights.

An N Line rear bumper continues the athletic look, complete with a rear diffuser and, for N Line Premium, LED tail-lights.

Colours & Upholstery.

Seven exterior paint colours feature for New 2021 Kona.

These include the monochromatic Atlas White, Dark Knight and Phantom Black, the lively blue hues, Surfy Blue and Dive in Jeju, and the vivid rouge Ignite Flame and Pulse Red.

These are teamed with black cloth upholstery in Kona variant, black leather in Active, Elite and Highlander, or two-tone beige leather as a new, Highlander-exclusive option.

2021 Kona N Line and N Line Premium are differentiated with an exclusive black leather sports interior featuring red stitching and highlights.


Comfort, Convenience & Connectivity.

8.0-inch multimedia system – Kona & Active.

A revised 8.0-inch multimedia unit for Kona and Active variants brings the ability for Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ connection via Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for a cable.

Android Auto™ users that wish to connect via a USB cable may continue to do so by selecting the option in the multimedia unit.

The system offers additional connectivity in the form of Bluetooth for phone calls and audio streaming, and a USB input.

10.25-inch satellite navigation system – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

A crisp and intuitive 10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia system in 2021 Kona features a large, high-resolution, wide-screen display, featuring an all-new user interface that provides a more modern look and feel as well as split-screen functionality.

The system offers a host of connectivity options, including Bluetooth for phone calls and audio streaming, and a USB input.

Smartphone connectivity using Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ is carried out using a cable.

Harman Kardon Premium Audio – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

Harmon Kardon premium audio in New 2021 Kona provides exceptional sound quality through optimised system tuning, delivered via an external amplifier and eight speakers, including a front centre unit and a woofer.

4.2-inch Supervision cluster – Kona, Active, Elite & N Line.

A 4.2-inch colour TFT LCD Supervision dash cluster is now standard in Kona.

The unit provides a range of trip computer and system status information, alerts from the various safety systems, and a digital speedometer function.

10.25-inch Supervision cluster – Highlander & N Line Premium.

A 10.25-inch colour TFT LCD Supervision dash cluster brings a futuristic, fully digital display and a modern cabin aesthetic in the flagship 2021 Kona Highlander and N Line Premium.

The system offers a variety of user-selectable themes that can also be linked to the selected Drive Mode.

The cluster presents a range of trip computer and system status information, as well as alerts from the various safety systems.

Electronic parking brake.

An electronic parking brake (EPB) is now standard in Kona, allowing drivers to engage or release the parking brake with a simple pull or push of a switch.

Rear USB power outlet.

A USB power outlet at the rear of the centre console allows rear passengers to charge mobile devices.

Wireless smartphone charger.

A wireless smartphone charging pad is now standard in every Kona.

The charger allows compatible Qi-standard devices to be charged in a dedicated recess in the front centre console, bringing improved convenience for front occupants.

Fan cooling for the charging pad helps prevent the device from overheating while charging.

Rear view monitor – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

A new rear view monitor (RVM) system allows the rear camera to remain on constantly during driving if required, so that the driver can continually monitor the road conditions behind the vehicle.

The RVM is a function of the conventional rear view camera, which continues as standard for every Kona variant.

Remote start – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

Kona now features remote start capability via the smart key fob.

With the handbrake engaged and the vehicle locked, the user is able to remotely start the vehicle by pressing the lock button, followed by pressing and holding the engine start button on the smart key.

This new capability allows the driver to pre-cool or pre-heat the cabin prior to entering the vehicle, ensuring that comfort is maintained even during extreme weather.

Heated rear outboard seats – Highlander & N Line Premium.

Highlander and N Line Premium variants are equipped with heated rear outboard seats.

The heating elements warm the leather seating surfaces quickly, for cool-weather comfort.

Ambient lighting – Highlander & N Line Premium.

The gentle glow of ambient lighting in the centre console cup holders and front footwells brings a luxurious ambience to the interior in flagship Kona variants.

Acoustic laminated windscreen – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

A sound-insulating acoustic laminated windscreen minimises wind noise generated during driving, to ensure a refined and luxurious experience in the cabin.

Traction Mode – Kona, Active, Elite & Highlander.

An all-new Traction Mode system in Kona 2WD variants brings Snow, Mud and Sand traction control calibrations designed to optimise performance and driveability on slippery, low-friction/high-resistance off-road surfaces.

SmartSense™ Safety.

In addition to its superb passive safety and six airbags, New 2021 Kona features an expanded standard suite of advanced SmartSense™ technologies.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist – City/Urban/Interurban/Pedestrian/Cyclist.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) is standard in New 2021 Kona.

The system provides collision warnings and braking assistance as required, using the front radar sensor and windscreen-mounted camera to detect vehicles and pedestrians in front the vehicle.

If a potential collision is detected, the FCA system will sound a warning chime and display a warning in the Supervision cluster.

Additionally, FCA is capable of automatically applying the vehicle’s brakes in the case of a potential collision (where no driver intervention is detected after a FCA system warning).

The system will be in operation up to a certain vehicle speed, dependent on the object that is detected, and will attempt to apply full braking to bring the vehicle to a stop, or alternatively apply partial braking to reduce the severity of a collision.

Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go.

SCC automatically maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead, while travelling at a speed pre-set by the driver (between 30km/h and 180km/h).

The SCC system utilises the front radar sensor to detect the speed and distance of vehicles ahead of Kona.

The Stop & Go function allows SCC to work in stop/start traffic, bringing Kona to a complete stop when appropriate, and automatically (if within 3 seconds) accelerating it back to the set speed.

If the vehicle is stationary for more than 3 seconds, SCC w/ Stop & Go will prompt the driver to manually re-engage the cruise control.

Lane Keeping Assist – Line/Road Edge.

The Lane Keeping Assist, Line/Road Edge (LKA-L/R) system consists of two modes – Lane Departure Warning (LDW) mode, and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) mode.

LDW provides audible and visual warnings should the vehicle stray from a lane without the indicators being activated.

The LDW system uses the windscreen-mounted camera to detect lane markings and road edges, and monitors the vehicle’s position in the lane, and is in operation at vehicle speeds of 60km/h and above.

LKA helps prevent the vehicle from straying from the lane by providing steering intervention should the driver not respond to warnings from the LDW system.

The LKA system can be activated where lane markings are detected, at vehicle speeds of 60km/h and above.

Both the LKA and LDW are momentarily deactivated whenever indicators are active.

Additionally, the driver must maintain control of the vehicle by holding the steering wheel.

Lane Following Assist.

Lane Following Assist (LFA) provides steering assistance to ensure Kona stays in the centre of the lane, using the windscreen-mounted camera to detect lane markers as well as traffic ahead.

LFA is operational when lane markers are detected, at vehicle speeds up to 200km/h.

Driver Attention Warning.

Driver Attention Warning (DAW) recommends breaks as required, based on travel time as well as indications of driver fatigue.

DAW uses the windscreen-mounted camera to monitor the vehicle’s position within the lane, while tracking steering and braking inputs, and time since last break.

Should the system detect careless driving, such as sudden steering or braking inputs and/or inability to keep within a lane, the ‘Attention Level’ indicator on the cluster will continually decrease.

Should the level decrease to a certain threshold, the DAW system will recommend that the driver takes a break.

The system now also features Leading Vehicle Departure Alert.

When driving in stop-start traffic, the system will prompt a potentially inattentive driver with a chime, if the vehicle ahead drives away and they fail to do so, too.

High Beam Assist – Highlander & N Line Premium.

The High Beam Assist (HBA) system automatically adjusts headlight range, switching between high and low beam, to avoid dazzling the occupants of vehicles ahead.

HBA scans the road ahead of Kona using the windscreen-mounted camera, monitoring for street lights, as well as headlights and tail-lights of vehicles.

The HBA system functions at vehicle speeds of more than 40km/h.

Safe Exit Warning – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

Safe Exit Warning (SEW) helps occupants exit the Kona only when the surroundings make it safe to do so.

When active, the system utilises the radar sensors on each side of the rear bumper to detect vehicles approaching from the rear, while Kona is stopped.

If a door is opened while a vehicle is detected, the system will sound an alert and display a warning in the instrument cluster.

Rear Occupant Alert.

Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) detects the entry of occupants via the opening and closing of the rear doors.

Upon subsequently parking and opening the driver’s door, ROA issues a warning chime and prompts the driver with a visual warning message to ‘Check rear seats’, to ensure that rear occupants are not accidentally left behind.

Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) provides warnings to the driver of the presence of a vehicle in Kona’s blind spot.

The BCA system uses radar sensors on each side of the rear bumper to detect vehicles next to and diagonally behind the Kona. .

If a vehicle is present in Kona’s blind spot, an alert is displayed in the exterior mirrors (at speeds of 20km/h and above).

If the driver proceeds to activate the corresponding indicator lights, a flashing warning is provided and an alert is sounded.

Additionally, the BCA system scans for vehicles approaching rapidly from the rear, and uses the same warning measures to alert the driver that a vehicle may soon enter Kona’s blind spot.

If the driver continues a lane change manoeuvre after the alert is sounded, while Kona is travelling at 60km/h or more, BCA will apply partial braking to help avoid a collision with an approaching vehicle.

The system will apply braking force to the wheels on the opposite side to the potential collision point, to turn the vehicle away from the hazard, and reduce the chance of collision.

BCA can also help prevent collisions when exiting a parallel parking spot at vehicle speeds of 3km/h and below. If an approaching vehicle is detected, the system will apply braking force to help avoid a collision.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist – Elite, Highlander, N Line & N Line Premium.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) helps prevent collisions when reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces.

Using the BCA system’s radar sensors, RCCA monitors for traffic approaching on either side of Kona, when reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces at 8km/h or below.

Should RCCA detect a vehicle approaching, it will issue audible and visual warnings.

In the event that the driver does not respond to the warnings, RCCA will apply braking to help avoid a collision with the approaching vehicle.


Chassis & tuning.

New 2021 Kona benefits from a locally tuned chassis calibration developed over thousands of kilometres, across a range of challenging Australian city, highway, country and gravel roads.

The tune for Kona’s suspension carries into the 2021 model from the settings honed when the model was first introduced.

Hyundai Australia’s development team produced a comfortable yet capable tune for the strut front and coupled torsion beam rear suspension that underpins the front-wheel drive Kona, Active, Elite and Highlander variants.

Kona Highlander also benefits from 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Continental tyres.

A separate tune for N Line variants ensures a driving experience to match the aggressive image and turbocharged performance.

The unique sports suspension calibration for the strut front and dual-arm multi-link rear suspension that underpins Kona N Line and N Line Premium elevates responsiveness and involvement, and gives them a playful character.

The careful selection of valving for the suspension dampers ensures that Kona N Line variants also ride with compliance to deliver superb comfort.

Continental tyres for N Line variants provide a heightened level of grip to make the most of the vehicle’s dynamic capabilities.

An enlarged, sports brake package for Kona N Line provides stopping power to match the engine performance. The 305mm ventilated front disc rotors are nine percent larger diameter than those of non-N Line variants.


SmartStream G2.0 Atkinson engine & CVT automatic – Kona, Active, Elite & Highlander.

An all-new SmartStream 2.0-litre petrol engine is standard in Kona, Active, Elite and Highlander variants.

The four-cylinder unit utilises Atkinson cycle technology to produce 110kW and 180Nm, with the driveability and efficiency benefits of dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT) and a two-stage variable intake system.

The SmartStream G2.0 Atkinson engine is mated exclusively to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving the front wheels.

With the all-new CVT, the SmartStream 2.0 brings a 14 percent improvement to fuel efficiency compared with the preceding powertrain, with an official combined fuel consumption of 6.2L/100km.

Calibrated to mimic a conventional automatic transmission, with eight virtual gears and a sequential manual mode, the CVT delivers a familiar and enjoyable driving experience.

SmartStream G1.6 T-GDi engine & 7-speed DCT automatic – N Line & N Line Premium.

An all-new turbocharged and direct-injected SmartStream G1.6 T-GDi engine in N Line and N Line Premium variants delivers 146kW – up from the previous unit’s 130kW – and 265Nm to make Kona N Line and N Line Premium the most powerful petrol-powered SUVs in their class.

The four-cylinder balances optimal performance and fuel efficiency through the application of continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) technology, which continually adjusts the opening duration of the intake valves.

The result is an engine that combines crisp throttle response and impressive power and torque, along with excellent fuel economy, to deliver an engaging driving experience in an everyday usable package.

The SmartStream G1.6 T-GDi engine is mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and all-wheel drive.

The sports-tuned seven-speed DCT in Kona N Line variants features a rev-matching function to enable quick and smooth downshifts while reducing unwanted weight transfer.




With Hyundai iCare®, the joy of buying a Hyundai will stretch well beyond the showroom. This leading customer care program offers a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including; Lifetime Service Plan, 5 Year Unlimited Km Warranty, complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on new vehicles, 1,500km complimentary first service, a dedicated Customer Care Centre, and myHyundai – an exclusive owner website. When servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years, a 10 Year Sat Nav Update Plan, and more.


(Green indicates additional specification compared with the equivalent 2020 Kona variant)
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