Tommy flew out to sunny Florida to drive the cheapest Hyundai Kona out there. He gave us this unbiased gizmo review!
Not many reviewers take the opportunity to test out the cheapest Hyundai Kona. Usually, the reviews you see cover fully-loaded versions supplied by the automaker, as is usually the case with our normal press vehicles. This time around, though, Tommy traveled to Florida and rented the Hyundai Kona SE featured in this video. One thing you may not expect to hear given the hype around all the bells and whistles of those fully loaded models is that he the base version of this tiny crossover was outstanding.
The SE Kona is the base model, which comes with a 147 horsepower, 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. While there are more powerful turbocharged engines available; this one works well. Tommy averaged 33.6 MPG in mixed driving. An important note: Tommy suggests that you stick to this transmission as there is a dual-clutch available as well, and that one is a bit finicky depending on how you use it. He suggests that you opt for the $1,400 all-wheel drive setup, but stick to this engine/transmission combo.
The 2021 Hyundai Kona SE’s gadgets, gizmos and interior
In many ways, this vehicle reminds us at what Hyundai excels in: bringing you a lot for your money. Sure, the 7-inch infotainment screen isn’t huge, but it’s a snap to use. More importantly, it hooks up to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment. In Tommy’s words, some older buyers will like the lack of complexity of the climate control system.
Among the standard features, there’s hill decent control, forward collision assist, lane keep assist, and driver attention alert system. It also has Normal and Sport drive modes. Again, nothing fancy, but then there’s not much you really can’t live without.
The base Hyundai Kona SE model gives you the option of a black or gray interior. Tommy recommends the gray as he feels it looks more premium, and it has a nifty checkerboard pattern. He also recommends the standard 16-inch wheels. They have good sidewall thickness, and provide an “excellent” ride.
There are very few items Tommy dislikes about the Kona, but the hard-as-stone door panels are definitely an issue for him. He feels that the hard plastic do not provide a comfortable place for your arm or elbow. True that.
All in all, he feels that the $20,400 2021 Hyundai Kona SE base model is an outstanding bargain. Sure, it’s the cheapest Hyundai Kona – but it’s not literally a cheap Hyundai. Check out the video for more!