Hey Guys and Welcome back to another video on the SimpleCarGuy.com. Today we are taking a look at this 2019 Hyundai Kona that my girlfriend has been driving for the past couple of years. Has it been a good car, has it had any major issues, what are some of the cool hidden features or things that you didn’t know about and most importantly should you buy this European looking little car that’s just a little more than ordinary? Let’s take a look!
If you’d like to skip the review part and just see the hidden features, skip to:
Has it been a good car? Over all, yes. Now, of course your expectations of a car may vastly differ from mine, but for a car that’s under 25 thousand dollars, it packs a lot of European design, great bright headlights, lots of safety features and even a 7-speed dual clutch transmission with a peppy 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that actually makes it kind of fun to drive. When it comes to front end of the car, it has been commented on a lot. In my opinion, the upside-down face with the headlights at the bottom and the daytime lights at the top, give it a nice aggressive, almost high-end German car look. It’s never a bad thing when you buy a daily gas saver and get something more in return. I do wish the fog lights would match the otherwise LED front end as they stand out quite a lot when used. One thing you may not notice on this car due to its grey color is the ugly plastic pieces around the wheel-arches and few other parts of the car. It works well on grey, black and some other darker colors, but looks very cheap on brighter paintwork. Of course, this is purely my opinion, but I had to mention it.
So, how has the reliability been? This KONA’s 1.6 turbo engine even though known to be very reliable has had an issue in the first few months of ownership. The car got a check engine light and we had to take it to the dealer. The service department quickly figured out that it was an injector, replaced it under warranty and it’s been running smoothly and very efficiently since then.
My opinion on the car only counts so much as I don’t drive it daily, so I asked my girlfriend to give me a quick review on the car from her perspective. She’d told me that after two years of ownership, there are some things that she really enjoyed and some that she could live without. She is impressed with the quality of the interior; especially, the leather seats that add a touch of luxury without having to spend thousands. With the ample trunk space, foldable back seats and relatively low trunk sill that the Kona provides, she is able to fit groceries, furniture, large boxes without having to turn to a minivan or large SUV. Apple CarPlay makes it very easy to enjoy music on the go and calling friends and family is done safely without having to pick up the phone.
Even though the Kona has a great interior, it does take a long time for the seats to warm up compared to other cars and even longer for warm air to start coming from the vents. Luckily, you can turn on the heater from your BlueLink app on the phone, but even after 10 minutes of running she still has to wear gloves before going on a drive on cold Chicago winter days. Once the heated seats are warmed up, they are a great feature and she would love to have the same convenience available for those sitting in the back. Lastly, as a none aggressive driver (ok, I would have to specify here and say that she can be a bit “enthusiastic” while driving), she did notice that if you take a corner a little faster the car tends to ‘tilt’ and she had to be mindful of her speed as it feels almost unstable. What she is talking about is of course body roll and I can’t say that there is a lot of it in this car, but it’s no sport car as far as handling, that’s for sure.
In conclusion, there have been pros and cons to owning a Kona but it does make for a great fun car that is reliable and easy to drive.
I hope that gives you a little bit of an insight into what a non-car enthusiast thinks of the KONA. I know there are many professional reviewers, but they don’t drive the car daily and that’s what matters in a daily driver, the personal experience with the car.
Now for a little fun, I thought I’d show you some hidden features, tips, tricks and just things you may not know about the KONA.
One of the more obvious, yet useful things you may not have known about the KONA is that there are two storage pockets under the HVAC controls right above the USB port where you can store your phone perfectly. Speaking of extra hidden space, a lot of people don’t know that in the rear hatch, you can take the floor cover off and the foam piece if your car has the cargo tray and drop it down about 3 inches giving you more storage room in the back.
Have you wondered where the space tire is on this car? Wonder no more, it is right here..
While we are at the back here, did you know that the rear wiper also has a washer fluid nozzle for cleaning? And if you have auto-wipers, the rear wiper will come on automatically when you shift in reverse and it’s raining. If you don’t like things happening on their own or afraid there might be ice buildup, you can easily turn it off in the menu. Of course, everyone knows there is a defroster on the back glass, but did you know that this car also has heated side mirrors? Pretty nifty!
The info-taiment is primarily focused on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but there are a couple settings you can adjust. As an example, you can move the sound to whatever corner of the car you want.
This Kona came with some good safety features, such as the lane keeping assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, rear camera and a few others, but no parking sensors. All of these are listed in your car spec sheet, but did you also know that your KONA will turn off the fog lights when turning below 25mph and turn on corner lights for those slower turns. You can’t have both, it’s one or the other. Speaking of speed, if you hold the plus and minus buttons while the cruise control is on, it will increase and decrease the speed by 5mph increments. The last hidden features that I was surprised by is the sun visor, it can be extended to provide just a little more shade!
As most modern cars, the KONA has an app that allows you to remote start the car, set up custom climate profiles, flash the lights, honk the horn and locate your car among other functions. I do think it’s a little silly that the car lights up like a Christmas tree when started remotely, but it’s not the end of the world.
So, would I recommend a Hyundai Kona for someone that is looking for a fun daily driver? Absolutely, you will enjoy a fun and energetic driving subcompact SUV, with decent handling, great gas mileage and overall a smooth riding experience. The turbocharged engine is a must if you want refinement and some pick up! Not only that, when you get inside the cabin, it feels well made, upscale and future proof. So, thank you guys so much for watching, I really appreciate it. Let me know if you’d like to see more SimpleCarReviews and I’ll see you in the next one.