Tim Charlet
Automotive Editor - March 12, 2018

Expert Rating

2.9 (Fair)
27 City / 31 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2018 Hyundai Kona OVERVIEW

The new 2018 Hyundai Kona offers seating for up to five people, is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and with four trim levels. Starting at $20,385 (which includes an $885 destination charge), the Kona returns solid fuel economy and is a good buy for those looking for an entry-level subcompact crossover to combat the urban jungle.

What's New for 2018

This is the Hyundai Kona's first year on sale.

Choosing Your Hyundai Kona

The 2018 Hyundai Kona falls below the Tucson in Hyundai’s line-up of crossovers. The Kona comes standard with front-wheel drive but can be upgraded with all-wheel drive in each trim for an additional $1,300.

There are two engine options for the Kona. The SE and SEL are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Limited and Ultimate trims receive a peppy 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that belts out 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, working alongside a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2.0-liter engine is 27 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway in front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive reduces fuel economy to 25 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The upgraded 1.6-liter turbocharged engine returns 28/32 mpg in front-wheel drive, and 26/29 with all-wheel drive.


The 2018 Hyundai Kona range starts with the SE, which begins at $20,385. Consumers can choose from front- or all-wheel drive, although there's no choice on the 2.0-liter engine.

The SE rides on 16-inch wheels and comes rather well-equipped for an entry-level subcompact crossover. Some of the key components include a rearview camera, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, LED headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, keyless entry, and a six-speaker stereo system. A center console storage compartment, 12-volt power outlets, and a 3.5-inch instrument-cluster display are also standard on the SE.

As is typical with Hyundai, there are no option packages for the SE trim.


The SEL is the second trim for the Hyundai Kona and has a starting price of $22,035. The SEL is upgraded to 17-inch alloy wheels, has heated front seats, a proximity key with push-button start, heated exterior side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona SEL is also available in six exterior colors. Weirdly, this is also the only Kona trim available with a contrasting roof – grab the SEL in Silver, Red, or Blue, and there's an option to add a black roof for an extra $150.

Additional safety systems include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, although you'll need to jump to a higher trim level if you want more advanced active safety gear. Or you could just grab the $1,500 Technology Package. In addition to its power sunroof, eight-way power driver's seat, and fog lights, it adds forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning.


The Limited trim starts at $25,585 and features the 1.6-liter, turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with seven-speed automatic transmission.

The Kona Limited rolls on 18-inch wheels, includes LED taillights and headlights, front fog lights, a chrome grill, dark gray body cladding, leather seating surfaces, an automatic temperature control system, and the eight-way power driver seat.

The Limited has seven color options, including a bright lime color, which is paired with black interior with subtle lime accents. There are no packages available with the Limited.


The final trim for the 2018 Hyundai Kona is the Ultimate which starts at $28,285. It adds a heads-up display, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, a park distance warning system, rain-sensing wipers, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, a 4.2-inch display in the instrument cluster, a wireless device charging system, plus the safety options available with the SEL Technology Package. In fact, this is the only trim aside from the optioned-up SEL to get active safety gear.

The Ultimate also features the Blue Link connectivity service from Hyundai with a three-year subscription.

Once again, there are no optional extras.

CarsDirect Tip

When it comes to the best buy, consumers should lean towards the SEL. Between the available contrast roofs – they improve the look of the funky and fun Kona immeasurably – and the affordable access to the active safety gear, this affordable entry will suit most consumers.

Get your price on a Hyundai Kona »

Best Hyundai Deals & Lease Offers In April

Hyundai's offers favor financing as low APR can be combined with enhanced loyalty cash. In the case of the 2020 Tucson, buyers have the option between 0% for 60 months plus... View All Hyundai Lease Deals


Find Your New Hyundai Kona On CarsDirect

Price It New

Insider Information

We have information you must know before you buy the Kona. We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.


I agree to receive emails from CarsDirect. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.
We will not spam you, and will never sell your email. Privacy Policy.

Thank you. You are now subscribed to our Pricing Insider updates.

Buying With CarsDirect

We have partnered with trusted dealers in your area to give you a great price on the new Hyundai Kona.
This is how it works:

  • We connect you to the Internet Department at a Trusted Dealership.
  • Use the CarsDirect Target Price as a tool in your negotiation.
  • The dealer will help you with financing or leasing, as well as trade-in options.

Find more information on Hyundai vehicles

Hyundai Kona By Year

COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba