Drive Notes: 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited


Today for our Drive Notes feature, I give you a 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited.

I first drove the redone Kona in Maryland last fall, and now I got to spend a week with one.

Here’s the pros and cons I saw from the Limited-trim Kona during my week behind the wheel.

As a reminder, this is the upper trim and the engine here is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 190 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque — and this tester had all-wheel drive.


  • The interior materials were generally nice, save some hard/cheap plastics on top of the doors. I found the design to be pretty handsome and pleasing to the eye, as well.
  • Hyundai continues to improve steering feel — although there’s still a bit too much artificialness to it, it’s nicely weighted.
  • Handling is, if not fun, at least competent.
  • Ride is pleasant on unbroken pavement. For rougher pavement, see below.
  • Rear-seat room is adult-friendly.
  • I liked the large storage area around the cupholders, but the closed center-console is very small.
  • Road/wind/tire noise are well muted, and engine noise is, too, at least at lower RPMs.
  • HVAC and infotainment controls are easy to use, and the infotainment is also easy to navigate.
  • Low-end acceleration is perfectly adequate.


  • The engine gets noisy at higher RPMs.
  • This vehicle could use a bit more passing punch. The turbo feels like it hits a bit of a wall as the revs climb.
  • The ride is a bit too stiff when going over speed bumps or broken pavement.
  • I didn’t love the harder plastics on the upper parts of the doors.
  • It really is a bit annoying that the enclosed part of the center console is so tiny.
  • The fuel-economy numbers are mediocre at 24/26/29.
  • I heard/felt some driveline clunkiness/dragging when accelerating from a stop. I worried there had been damage but a quick visual inspection showed nothing. I think the AWD system was doing some machinations. Also, the emergency brake sometimes clicked on when parking — I wonder if that had something to do with it.

Overall, I like the Kona as an option for someone looking for a small, city-friendly crossover. It could use a little tweaking here and there, but total package is pretty livable — and the $34K price doesn’t seem too steep.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

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