Car News

2024 Hyundai Kona Debuts, Brings Digital Key Tech to Canada

The redesigned 2024 Hyundai Kona will be the brand’s first vehicle in Canada to offer new digital key technology that works with smart devices like phones and watches when it goes on sale this summer.

About a month after the overhauled all-electric version of this subcompact crossover was unveiled online, it was shown off alongside the gas-powered version at the New York International Auto Show, where more details were announced outlining what this popular little Hyundai will bring to the table. That includes the latest version of the brand’s digital key technology – a feature not previously available in Canada – that uses near-field communication (NFC) to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle without a physical key fob closeby.

More new technology this time around includes over-the-air (OTA) updates, as well as a more robust companion smartphone app that includes so-called connected routing for cloud-based navigation programming. It will also feature last-mile navigation that will continue with walking directions to a destination via the app after parking the vehicle.

More familiar are the powertrains available here, with the same choice of naturally aspirated or turbocharged gas engines alongside the electric one announced in March. While the latter is offered only with a front-wheel drive layout, both gas engines are offered with all-wheel traction.

Most trims will feature a 2.0L four-cylinder that makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, which comes paired with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s proven to be a perfectly adequate powertrain in the past and there’s no reason to expect anything less with this 2024 Kona. Meanwhile, opting for the N Line version means a more stout 1.6L turbo four-cylinder that generated 190 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. That’s channelled through a more conventional eight-speed automatic transmission that’s new this time.

According to a Hyundai Canada rep, the N Line represents the top of the lineup this time, so there's no more turbo motor in anything else. However, that means an Ultimate N Line (or N Line Ultimate) is on its way that will pack all the features found in the previous Ultimate, but they'll be wrapped up in a sporty looking N Line package.

Just like the Kona Electric, the gas-powered version is a little bigger than the one it replaces, with its overall length growing to 4,350 mm (171.3 in), while the new Kona N Line is 4,385 mm (172.5 in). Regardless of powertrain and trim, the new wheelbase is 2,660 mm (104.7 in), so 60 mm (2.4 in) longer than last time. Of course, those new exterior dimensions will mean a little more space inside, although that’s never been the Kona’s greatest strength. That all changes this time, with significantly more room in the rear seat in particular.

Just like the electric version, styling changes are significant, although it’s more apparent than with most Hyundai products that these are generational changes rather than an entirely new look. If anything, the modern angles and shapes found here more closely resemble those introduced by the latest Tucson that’s larger than the Kona. The clean and spacious cabin continues the design trend first seen in the all-electric Ioniq 5, with simple lines and few flourishes.

Packaging details will be announced closer to the 2024 Kona’s on-sale date, but expect the usual creature comforts like twin 12.3-inch displays in more expensive trims, as well as standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections, heated front seats, and all kinds of extras.

Pricing, too, will be announced closer to launch. The gas-powered 2024 Hyundai Kona is scheduled to go on sale this summer, while the new Kona Electric is set to arrive early next year.