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2020 Hyundai Kona Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Hyundai Kona Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SE vs SEL vs SEL Plus, Limited & Ultimate

What 2020 Hyundai Kona Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

No other class is as popular these days as the sport utility vehicle. Most brands have more than one offering in this category. This is certainly true of Hyundai, which has a few different SUVs out there, all sized differently.

The smallest member of the Hyundai SUV family is known as the Kona. This vehicle is a relative newcomer, having started its first generation in 2018. For 2020, the top-of-the-line trim gets new safety equipment. Throughout the line, standard features are shaken up a bit.

All versions of the Kona come with standard front-wheel-drive but can also be upgraded to all-wheel-drive. This vehicle is classified as a subcompact SUV but still offers a respectable amount of space for up to five people. The vehicle has already received a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, something which is sure to appeal to families.

When it comes to shopping for the Kona, there are five trims that drivers will need to check out. Moving through the trims, you will find different powertrains, safety aids, and technology. One thing to keep in mind when shopping for a Hyundai is that they do not do packages, making it harder to customize the perfect model for you. This guide summarizes the differences in order to help you decide which Kona trim may be right for you.


Compare the 2020 Hyundai Kona SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

The SE model of the Hyundai Kona is powered by a 2.0L inline four-cylinder engine that produces 147-horsepower as well as 132 lb-ft of torque. The engine works well with the six-speed automatic transmission that it is paired with. Drive mode selection, with the ability to switch between Sport and Normal, is standard.

When it comes to the suspension, it is same across all trim levels but varies depending on whether the vehicle has front or all-wheel-drive. Front-wheel-drive models have a coupled torsion beam axle in the rear. All-wheel-drive models have an independent multi-link design, which typically translates to better handling and ride quality. In either case, the front suspension is an independent MacPherson strut utilizing coil springs.

This is the only trim to ride on 16" wheels. Standard lighting features are LED daytime running lights and projector headlights that are automatic. Other than that, the SE is pretty bare-bones when it comes to exterior features. It does give drivers solar glass for the windshield, front door, and sunshade band.

Seating is cloth inside the SE. The driver's seat has six-way manual adjustment. The rear seat has the 60/40 split-folding feature. The Kona also has a convenient dual level cargo floor. This makes it easier to load objects of different shapes and sizes. Air conditioning is manual. Standard is a remote keyless entry system that includes alarm and panic features. This version of the Kona also has a rear window defroster with a timer.

The infotainment system runs on a color 7" screen. There is no CD player, but Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and USB ports all come standard. Controls for audio and cruise can be found on the steering wheel. Another screen drivers will find in the SE is a 3.5" multi-information display. This gives important information such as distance to empty, average vehicle speed, average fuel consumption, and more.

As for safety, the SE falls quite a bit behind the rest of the trim levels. It does give drivers standard lane keeping assist as well as forward collision avoidance assist. This feature detects vehicles that are slowing or stopped in front of the Kona and alerts the driver. If the driver does not react in time, automatic emergency braking is triggered in order to avoid or at least lessen impact.

There is also a driver attention warning, which monitors driving patterns. It looks for indications that the driver is becoming distracted or fatigued and alerts them through the instrument panel. A tire pressure monitoring system with individual tire alert is also in place. The rearview monitor for this trim does come with parking guidance.

The SEL trim has the same engine and drivetrain options. It bumps the wheel size up to 17". The exterior mirrors gain heat and integrated turn signals here. This trim level also adds roof rails and rear privacy glass as standard equipment.

Inside, the SEL adds heated seats and an external temperature display. It also gains leather on the steering wheel and shift knob. Going with the SEL will give you a proximity key as well as push-button start. Although power windows are standard on all trim levels, this one gains a safety feature and is one touch up/down. HD and satellite radio are now standard as well.

The SEL adds a considerable amount of advanced driver assistance features. This model gains blind-spot collision warning, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. With this feature, the Kona will alert the driver if it detects vehicles coming from either direction while backing out of a parking space. Those features alone are likely to motivate safety-conscious families to skip right over the SE trim.

The SEL shows up the SE in several important ways and easily deserves the price jump.

Compare the 2020 Hyundai Kona SEL vs SEL Plus Trims.  What is the difference?

Mechanically speaking, the SEL Plus is identical to the SEL. As for exterior features, it adds front fog lights, a power sunroof, and a shark fin antenna. Inside, cloth upholstery is still found but the driver's seat does gain eight-way power adjustment as well as lumbar support.

One of the biggest gains found on the SEL Plus is the audio system. It is made by Infinity and features eight speakers, including a subwoofer. This system also features an external amp and advanced music restoration technology to give you the best listening experience possible. The SEL Plus also gives drivers wireless charging.

The SEL Plus adds Blue Link® Connected Car System and a three-year complimentary service subscription. This system can work with iPhones, Androids, Alexa devices, smart watches and more. It allows you to send directions to your vehicle, get vehicle diagnostics, schedule repair services, and call for assistance in the event of a collision.

An auto-dimming interior mirror featuring HomeLink controls is added to the SEL Plus. These controls allow the Kona to communicate with security systems, garage door openers, and compatible gates using radio frequency waves. The driver information display goes from 3.5" up to 4.2". There are no additional standard or optional safety features for this trim level.

A fair number of features are gained when moving up to the SEL Plus, once again justifying paying extra.

Compare the 2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?

Going with the Limited trim means getting a more powerful engine underneath the hood of the 2020 Kona. It is a 1.6L turbocharged inline four-cylinder and it produces 175-horsepower as well as 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a seven-speed Eco-Shift dual-clutch automatic transmission. With this transmission, power flows from the engine to the transmission without interruption, which increases fuel efficiency. Despite getting more power, this engine does not reduce the Kona's fuel economy ratings.

For this trim, Hyundai gave the Kona 18" wheels. Exterior paint colors have remained consistent up until this point, but the Limited trim adds Lime Twist to the list. The only other model of the Kona available in this color is the Ultimate.

The Limited trim upgrades the headlights and taillights to LED. Inside, drivers will find that upholstery has been upgraded to leather. This trim also adds automatic temperature control. Once again, there are no additional safety features gained by moving up to this trim.

Feature-wise, the Limited does not add much. It does, however, give drivers a much more fun to drive engine, potentially making it worth the extra money.

Compare the 2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Limited vs Ultimate Trims.  What is the difference?

Finally, drivers can choose the Ultimate trim level. It is powered by the same 1.6L turbocharged engine as the Limited. It also has the same transmission and wheels. In fact, the only new feature drivers will find outside the Kona is high beam assist. This feature can detect oncoming headlights and turn the vehicle's high beams on and off as needed.

Inside the cabin is where the Ultimate trim really shines. It gets upgraded to an 8" touchscreen and comes with standard navigation. This trim also is the only one to get a head's up display. This display is designed to project information directly into the drivers line of sight in a non-intrusive way. The goal is reduce distractions and increase safety.

The Ultimate trim level gets an upgraded version of the Blue Link® Connected Car System, again with a three-year complimentary subscription. This adds features such as assistance finding your vehicle, remote start with climate control, and more. It can even slow down your vehicle in the event that it is stolen. Parents will also enjoy the curfew and speed alert features this system adds.

Going with the Ultimate trim also upgrades your safety features. It adds pedestrian detection to its forward collision avoidance assist. This makes the sensors more sensitive and capable of detecting people as well as vehicles in the Kona's path. Once again, it will apply the brakes if necessary to try to avoid a collision. Rain-sensing windshield wipers can be found on the Ultimate trim.

This trim is also the only one to give you smart cruise control and a parking distance warning. Smart cruise control means the Kona will maintain the speed set by the driver but also adjusts to maintain a safe distance between it and the vehicle ahead. It turns off when the vehicle slows down to six miles per hour or slower.

The Ultimate trim lives up to its name with its added luxury and safety features.


Which Trim to Choose?

Hyundai is unique is the way they lay out their trims. There are essentially no available add-ons or packages to be found for the 2020 Kona, making picking the right trim level for your needs and budget important. Each step up in the trim ladder adds approximately two thousand dollars to the price tag.

The SE trim level is worth skipping completely. It simply lacks the safety and comfort features that the next trim level up adds. Both the SEL and SEL Plus are good choices with their additional features, but many drivers will be unimpressed by their lackluster engine.

This issue is solved by going with the Limited trim. It has a long list of features and comes with the more powerful turbocharged engine. The Ultimate trim adds quite a bit, but the features are primarily safety and remote access related, not things that are priorities to everyone.

The Limited trim level is a good combination of performance, technology, comfort, and safety. Go with the all-wheel-drive in order to get an even better ride quality out of your 2020 Kona.

Save Money on a 2020 Hyundai Kona:
Previous Hyundai Kona Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2019 Hyundai Kona Trim Levels