Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years

When it comes to choosing a reliable subcompact SUV, the Hyundai Kona has been widely recognized as one of the top contenders in its class. However, not all model years are created equal, and potential buyers should be aware of which ones to avoid and which stand out as dependable choices.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best and worst years for Hyundai Kona so you can make an informed decision based on what matters most to you.

Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years
Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years

Key Takeaways New and Used Cars

  • The best years for the Hyundai Kona are 2018 and 2019 due to their impressive performance, fuel economy, and advanced safety technologies.
  • The worst years for the Hyundai Kona are 2020 and 2021 due to complaints about engine problems, transmission malfunctions, electrical failures, and safety recall issues.
  • When choosing a Hyundai Kona, it’s important to consider factors such as budget, desired features, mileage history, long-term goals, resale value. Doing research on specific models can help potential buyers make informed decisions based on individual needs.
  • Overall assessment shows that while certain model years of the Hyundai Kona may have reliability or safety concerns to be aware of before purchase thoroughly researching each year’s pros and cons in this article will offer an informed decision making process towards determining which SUV is right for you.

The Best And Worst Model Years Of Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, with the best model years being 2018 and 2019, while the worst include 2020 and 2021.

Red Kona Driving in the Mountains. Great Performance And Safety Features
Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years 7

Best Years: 2018 And 2019 With Great Performance And Safety Features

The 2018 and 2019 Hyundai Kona models stand out as the best years for this subcompact SUV, thanks to their impressive performance and solid safety features.

In these model years, the Kona gained immense popularity due to its agile handling, fuel efficiency, and comfortable ride quality that catered perfectly to car lovers seeking both style and substance in a vehicle.

These two model years also garnered high marks for their advanced safety technologies designed with drivers’ well-being in mind. They come equipped with standard features such as forward collision-avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning – all crucial aspects ensuring optimal security on the road.

Additionally, both models have received strong ratings from renowned safety organizations like IIHS and NHTSA.

Worst Years: 2020 And 2021 With Reliability And Safety Concerns

The Hyundai Kona has had its fair share of issues, and the 2020 and 2021 model years are no exception. One major problem with these models is their reliability. According to Consumer Reports, owners have reported several issues such as engine problemstransmission malfunctions, and electrical failures.

Despite these significant issues, it is worth noting that not all 2020 and 2021 Hyundai Kona models are problematic. Some car enthusiasts report that their vehicles remain relatively issue-free after driving them for thousands of miles.

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Reasons To Avoid Certain Model Years Of Hyundai Kona

Suppose you want to avoid reliability problems and safety concerns. In that case, it’s essential to know the reasons why certain Hyundai Kona model years should be avoided – keep reading to find out more!

Reported Reliability Problems And Performance Issues

The Hyundai Kona is a subcompact SUV that has had its fair share of reliability problems and performance issues over the years. Here are some of the major concerns reported by car owners:

  1. Engine problems: Some Hyundai Kona models have experienced issues with their engines stalling or shutting off unexpectedly while driving.
  2. Transmission problems: There have been reports of transmission failures, including slipping gears and difficulty shifting into gear.
  3. Brake problems: Some Kona models have also reported faulty brakes, leading to safety concerns.
  4. Electrical issues: Malfunctions in the electrical system can cause a range of problems, from flickering lights to complete failure of certain features.
  5. Suspension issues: Owners have reported problems with the suspension, including excessive noise and vibration while driving.

It’s important to note that not all Hyundai Kona models will experience these problems, but they are worth considering when deciding which model year to buy. Be sure to do your research and check for any recalls or known issues before making a purchase.

Safety Concerns With Certain Model Years

Hyundai Blue Kona Safety Concerns With Certain Model Years
Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years 8

Hyundai Kona has been recognized as a safe and dependable subcompact SUV. However, certain model years have safety concerns that potential buyers should consider before purchasing. Here are the notable safety concerns with specific model years of Hyundai Kona:

  1. 2018 Model Year: The 2018 Hyundai Kona received a four-star overall rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is lower than the five-star ratings earned by other subcompact SUV competitors like Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.
  2. 2019 Model Year: While the 2019 Kona received a five-star rating from NHTSA, it was called out for having poor headlights in certain configurations by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  3. 2020 and 2021 Model Years: Both models were recalled in April 2021 due to potential faulty brake pedals that could break if excessive force is applied while driving.

Overall, it’s important to note that most model years of Hyundai Kona have excellent safety scores. However, it’s essential to research specific models carefully if safety is your top priority when looking for an SUV.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hyundai Kona

Consider your budget and desired features, the mileage and maintenance history of potential vehicles, as well as your long-term goals and resale value when selecting a Hyundai Kona.

Budget And Desired Features

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a Hyundai Kona is your budget and desired features. The 2018 model is the cheapest, with prices starting at around $17,000 for a used SUV in good condition.

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When it comes to features, each model year offers something slightly different. For example, the 2019 and 2020 models feature new driver-assist technologies such as forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assist.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, you might want to opt for the all-electric version introduced in 2019.

Mileage And Maintenance History

Consider the mileage and maintenance history when choosing a Hyundai Kona to buy. High mileage could indicate extensive wear and tear, causing expensive repairs in the long run.

well-maintained Kona with regular service records often indicates its reliability and durability. Regular maintenance will help ensure that you get the most out of your SUV while extending its lifespan.

Additionally, Hyundai offers a comprehensive warranty package that covers 5 years / 60k miles for the powertrain warranty or 10 years /100k miles limited on hybrid batteries or electric motors against defects related to workmanship and materials.

Red Hyundai Kona Driving
Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years 9

Long-Term Goals And Resale Value

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a Hyundai Kona is your long-term goals and resale value. If you plan to use the vehicle for several years, it’s essential to ensure that the model year you pick will hold up well over time.

For example, according to Kelley Blue Book, the 2019 Hyundai Kona has an excellent resale value compared to other subcompact SUVs in its class.

Furthermore, think about what features are essential for you in terms of long-term use.

Is The Hyundai Kona Worth Buying?

In order to determine whether or not the Hyundai Kona is worth buying, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each model year based on your own personal needs and budget.

Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Each Model Year

When considering purchasing a Hyundai Kona, weighing the pros and cons of each model year is essential. The following table provides a comparison to help you make an informed decision.

Model YearProsCons
2018First model year of the Kona. Good performance and safety features.Most overall complaints (19 in total). Considered one of the worst years to buy a used Kona.
2019Introduction of the all-electric Kona. Minimal issues reported.Still considered one of the worst years to avoid. Potentially higher maintenance costs compared to newer models.
2020Improved reliability over previous years. Generally holds up better than the 2018 and 2019 models.Some reliability and safety concerns still present. Not the best choice for a used Kona.
2021Newer model with updated features. Potentially fewer reliability concerns.Higher price compared to older models. Long-term reliability still uncertain.

By comparing the pros and cons of each Hyundai Kona model year, you can better understand which year aligns with your needs, budget, and personal preferences.

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Making The Right Decision Based On Your Needs And Budget.

BLue Know Driving in the City
Hyundai Kona Best and Worst Years 10

Choosing which model year of the Hyundai Kona to buy can be challenging, but it’s important to understand your needs and budget. If you’re looking for a reliable SUV with great safety features and performance, consider the 2018 or 2019 models.

These years received high praise from experts for their minimal issues, lasting mileage, and all-electric options.

Moreover, factors like maintenance history, long-term goals and resale value also play an essential role in deciding which year is right for you. Consider these things before making your final decision as they will help ensure that you get the most out of your purchase.


The Hyundai Kona is a widely recognized subcompact SUV that has recently gained popularity. While some model years have proven more reliable and notable than others, great options are still available.

The best model years for the Kona include 2018 and 2019 with exceptional performance and safety features. On the other hand, the worst years of this SUV include 2020 and 2021 due to reliability problems and unresolved safety issues.

Before buying a Hyundai Kona, consider your budget, desired features, mileage history, long-term goals, and resale value.


1. What are the best years for a Hyundai Kona?

The best years for a Hyundai Kona may vary depending on the specific vehicle’s model and generation, but generally speaking, the 2018 and 2019 models have received high ratings from experts and consumers alike for their reliability, safety features, and overall performance.

2. What are some common issues with early-model Hyundai Konas?

Some of the most common issues reported by owners of early-model (pre-2018) Hyundai Konas include transmission problems such as hesitations or jerky shifting, electrical system malfunctions like dead batteries or malfunctioning warning lights, and suspension issues that cause bumpy rides or increased tire wear.

3. How can I assess the condition of a used Hyundai Kona before buying it?

Before purchasing a used Hyundai Kona, it is important to scrutinize its mechanical components by taking it for a test drive and having it checked out by an experienced mechanic who can examine its brakes, steering systems, engine performance, transmission operation, suspension setup in order to identify any underlying repairs that may be necessary.

4. Should I buy a new or used Hyundai Kona?

Whether you should buy a new or used Hyundai Kona depends largely on your budgetary constraints; while newer models will generally come with all the latest safety features & technologies – they also carry higher purchase prices than older ones which could deter potential buyers. On the other hand – pre-owned vehicles offer greater value if you’re okay with settling down with fewer bells&whistles , though there might be hidden costs involved such as maintenance fees & insurance premiums associated but make sure you do your research beforehand to find one that matches your requirements perfectly!

What is the Hyundai Kona?The Hyundai Kona is a subcompact crossover SUV produced by the South Korean automaker Hyundai.
What are some of the safety features offered on the Hyundai Kona?The Hyundai Kona offers several safety features, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera.
What are the best model years for the Hyundai Kona?The 2020 Hyundai Kona is widely considered to be the best model year due to its long list of standard features, reliable four-cylinder engine, and available turbocharged engine.
Are Hyundai Konas reliable?According to Hyundai’s reliability ratings, the Kona is one of the most reliable of all Hyundai models.
How many miles can a Hyundai Kona last?While it ultimately depends on factors such as maintenance and driving habits, a Hyundai Kona can last for several hundred thousand miles when properly cared for.
What are some of the worst Hyundai Kona years to avoid?The 2018 and 2019 model years have been known to have some engine and transmission problems, making them some of the worst Hyundai Kona years to avoid.
What is the best Hyundai Kona model year to buy used?The 2020 Hyundai Kona is a reliable and high-performing option for those in the market for a used subcompact crossover SUV.
What are some of the electrical problems that Hyundai Kona owners have reported?Some Hyundai Kona owners have reported issues with faulty infotainment systems and other electrical issues, which have since been addressed by the automaker.
Is the Hyundai Kona turbocharged?Yes, the Hyundai Kona is available with a turbocharged engine option, which provides an added boost in performance.
What is the Hyundai Kona electric?The Hyundai Kona electric is a fully electric version of the subcompact crossover SUV, offering zero-emissions driving and a long driving range.
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