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2020 Hyundai Kona Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?

Why Buy a 2020 Hyundai Kona?

Should You Buy a 2020 Hyundai Kona? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Hyundai has a proven track record when it comes to making reliable vehicles that are a good value. The Kona is no exception and is high on many consumer's lists when it comes to subcompact crossovers, also known as CUVs. In 2020, there have been a few minor changes to the vehicle. Overall, the Kona represents a great combination of performance and affordability. While the standard safety and convenience features may hit the spot for many out there, some people may find there are a few drawbacks for them that are too much to look past.

What's New for 2020?

The Hyundai Kona has only been on the scene since 2018. Since it is still so relatively new, not many changes were required to stay current in 2020. A new trim, known as the SEL Plus, joins the line-up. A wireless charging pad and 4.2-inch color multi-information display are available on this SEL Plus model, instead of being exclusive to the top trim. This year, consumers who desire Adaptive Cruise Control will be happy to know that it can be added to the top-of-the-line Ultimate trim level. The only other change worth noting involves the Limited trim level. Those who go with the Limited with the Sunset Orange exterior paint color may opt for black leather seating with orange accents to really make the interior pop. 

Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Hyundai Kona – The Pros

1. Top Safety Pick for 2020

Odds are, people in the market for a CUV are those who have precious people or cargo they need to transport regularly. That is why the fact that the 2020 Hyundai Kona earned five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program is such a strong selling point. Part of this high score is the fact that the four advanced safety features that the NHTSA find most important are either standard or optional on all versions of the Kona. They are Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and a rearview camera.

2. Easy-to-Use Infotainment System

Almost every vehicle offers an infotainment system of some sort these days. The problem with many, however, is that they are a nuisance to navigate and rely on finicky controls that can distract the driver. The 2020 Hyundai Kona, on the other hand, features touchscreen controls as well as physical buttons that make sense are easy to use. The standard screen is 7-inches, while some trims get upgraded to 8-inches, making it easy to see from the driver's seat.

3. Zippy Turbocharged Engine Option

Living underneath the hood of the Limited and Ultimate trim levels of the Kona is a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This works in conjunction with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to produce 175-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The power, in combination with the excellent responsiveness of this engine, helps make the 2020 Hyundai Kona a joy to drive. Plus, front-wheel-drive versions of the Kona get an EPA estimated 28/32/30 fuel economy rating while the all-wheel-drive will get you a still impressive 26/29/27.

4. It's Big - But Not TOO Big

People shopping around for a CUV are often looking for more space than what the average sedan can offer. On the other hand, some vehicles these days are so large that they can be difficult to maneuver around city corners or to park. The Kona is small enough to whip around but still has enough cargo space for the average consumer. This vehicle size sweet spot is sure to be a hit with many different groups of consumers.

5. Numerous Standard Features

Hyundai is known for offering great value when it comes to their vehicles. This is easily demonstrated by the 2020 Kona, which has a long list of highly sought-after features standard on all models. Some examples of these features include the above-mentioned Lane Keep Assist and Automated Emergency Braking. All Konas also feature a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, six speakers, and Bluetooth capabilities.

6. Nimble Handling Means a Fun Drive

The 2020 Hyundai Kona handles smoothly. It utilizes a multilink suspension to help stop movement from a bumpy road affecting those riding inside of the cabin. Steering is considered to be responsive and the Kona offers up strong brakes, resulting in a car that can be either exhilarating or relaxing to drive, depending on the driver's mood.

7. Available All-Wheel-Drive with Improved Suspension

Each and every model of the 2020 Hyundai Kona comes with front-wheel-drive standard but has the option of upgrading to all-wheel-drive. One major advantage of making the upgrade is it also gives the Kona a lockable center differential and an advanced rear suspension design. This is perfect for people who regularly experience icy or snowy roads as well as those who plan on taking their vehicle off the beaten path.

8. Eye-Catching Exterior Styling

The Kona manages to strike a balance between recognizable Hyundai styling and a look all of its own. It is available in many bright and show-stopping colors, such as Pulse Red, Sonic Silver, and Surf Blue. Between the oversized wheel fenders, floating roof, and dramatically slanted headlights, the Kona has a style that will appeal to a wide range of consumers.

9. Smartphone Integration is Standard

Although you would expect Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be standard on just above every vehicle these days, the sad fact is that many entry-level models are lacking them. This is not true of the new 2020 Hyundai Kona, which allows for smartphone integration for both Apple and Android fans with every trim level.

10. Standard Driver Attention Monitoring

One of the most useful safety features to be found in the 2020 Hyundai Kona is the Driver Attention Warning. Using high-tech sensors, this system can detect if the driver is getting to be a bit drowsy. The system monitors the vehicle's position in the lane, how long the driver has been at the wheel, steering torque, and steering angle to make its determination. It then lets the driver know it may be time for a break with audible signals as well as a message on the display panel.


Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Hyundai Kona – The Cons

1. Standard Engine is a bit Sluggish

Although the engine in the upper trims has ample power and responsiveness, some may find the base 2.0L inline-4 to be lacking in the 2020 Hyundai Kona. This engine offers drivers 147-horsepower in addition to 132 lb-ft of torque. For some, this may be enough, but others may feel a little shortchanged by the power generated by this engine. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic rather than the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that the turbocharged engine gets.

2. Not Enough Cargo Space for Everyone

While many will describe the cargo space as ample, the fact is that it offers a bit less than its competitors. Those moving from a different subcompact CUV or sedan may not be bothered, but anyone downsizing may find the Kona's cargo space a bit too cramped. To help make up for the lack of cargo space, however, Hyundai did incorporate hidden storage in the floorboards of the Kona.

3. Decent Amount of Plastic in the Interior

Hyundai has made great strides in improving its reputation and becoming known as a high-quality car brand. That being said, the 2020 Hyundai Kona does feature a bit more plastic on the inside than some people will like. For some, however, this may not be noticeable or simply not important.

4. Seven-Speed Transmission Can Shift Roughly

Although the turbocharged engine is undeniably fun, its transmission does tend to let it down in certain situations. While some drivers may be frustrated by how long it takes the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to shift, others likely will not even notice it.

5. Noticeable Road Noise

One area that the Kona can improve on moving forward involves reducing the amount of road noise that seeps into the cabin of the vehicle. This is a common problem among vehicles and certainly will not be a deal-breaker for the vast majority of people.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

The subcompact CUV market is jam-packed with vehicle choices in 2020. One of these is the Kia SOUL, which recently was redesigned to appeal to more consumers. The main advantage the Kona has over the SOUL is having an all-wheel-drive option. Another subcompact CUV consumers may consider is the Subaru Crosstrek. While this vehicle certainly has a lot to offer, it has been giving drivers sluggish acceleration in recent years. The Kona, particularly with the 1.6L turbocharged engine, offers quick responsiveness and an overall more enjoyable drive.


The 2020 Hyundai Kona is easily one of the most well-rounded CUVs on the market today. With impressive standard features and a fine balance when it comes to size and power, it will certainly appeal to a wide range of drivers. Other than having slightly less cargo space than competitors, the Kona has no real issues that cannot be solved by opting for one of the higher trim levels.

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