Hyundai Kona Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Hyundai Kona reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

My 2018 Kona Active steering wheel is making noises when turning or when I come to a stop.

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Jul 2022

The best guess is that the noise is being generated by the electric motor integrated into the steering column that acts as the power-steering in the Kona. If it’s s faint noise that is heard more often with the windows closed and the stereo off, then it’s the same noise that other Kona owners have noted.

Another possibility is a noisy clock-spring. This is a flexible electrical contact inside the top of the steering column that allows the steering wheel to turn while still maintaining all the electrical contacts that power the air-bags and steering wheel-mounted controls. These clock springs often become noisy just before they fail.

Your car is still under warranty, and since you’ve already logged the fault with your Hyundai dealer, it’s now a pre-existing problem and must be fixed by Hyundai, even if the car itself runs out of warranty in the meantime.

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How do I tell if a 2019 Hyundai Kona is AWD or FWD?

Answered by CarsGuide 20 Jan 2022

It’s pretty simple, James, and despite both two and four-wheel-drive being offered on all trim levels of the Kona, there’s one thing to check that will answer your question: If the vehicle has the two-litre, non-turbocharged engine, it’s a two (front) wheel-drive. If it has the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, it’s an all-wheel-drive Kona. Hyundai never offered a front-wheel-drive Kona with the turbo engine, nor all-wheel-drive with the non-turbo.

Beyond that, there were some other major technical differences that will also tell you what you’re looking at. The front-drive Kona has a simpler, torsion-beam rear suspension, while the AWD version has a multi-link arrangement. Then there’s the transmission. Front-drive Konas got a six-speed conventional automatic, while the AWD Kona got a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission.

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Is it normal for a 2018 Hyundai Kona to have a rusty muffler after three years?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Jun 2021

It’s a bit of a surprise to learn that a brand-new muffler lasted just two years before needing replacement, and that’s certainly not what most mechanics would consider normal. But it isn’t unheard of, either.

One of the by-products of burning petrol is water. That explains the cloud-like water-vapour you see when a car is first started on a cold morning. Once the car is up to running temperature, however, that water is turned completely to steam and exits the tailpipe. But, if the vehicle is only ever used for short trips where the exhaust system never gets hot enough to evaporate all that water, then the water can sit inside the system (typically inside the muffler, and in a sometimes acidic environment) where it can cause rust to develop.

This is a lot less common in modern cars with catalytic converters which cause the exhaust to run at a higher temperature and get there faster, but it can still happen – as you now know. The best fix is to fit a stainless-steel exhaust system which simply refuses to rust, but they’re expensive and I wouldn’t expect Hyundai to go to that expense for a warranty claim.

So will it happen again in another two years? If the cause of the rusty muffler is as I’ve explained here, then there’s a very good chance it will happen again thanks to your car’s pattern of use. But if the problem was simply a bad batch of mufflers that weren’t rust-proofed correctly at the factory (and it happens) then a new muffler shouldn’t rot out so quickly. But it makes us wonder if Victoria’s extended COVID lockdown and the notorious five-kilometre-radius-from-home rule may have forced drivers into lots of short trips for months on end. Perhaps you’re seeing the start of a trend here.

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Should I buy a 2021 Hyundai Kona or 2021 VW T-Roc?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Volkswagen’s latest cars are lovely to drive but it’s true; many mechanics (and plenty of owners) are wary of the brand’s recent reputation for reliability. But if you’re buying a brand-new or nearly new example, then the factory warranty will be some peace of mind. The safest bet right now, is something Japanese or South Korean, and that includes the Hyundai you’re looking at as well as the equivalent offerings from Kia. Both these brands have enviable reputations for durability and both come with terrific factory warranties.

Volkswagen’s current high-tech turbocharged engines are very entertaining to drive as well as being frugal in all situations, but, in reality, any current model mid-sized SUV is more than capable of delivering you interstate in comfort and safety as well as offering low running costs. Bear in mind you may have to pay extra for the top-shelf model if you want all the latest safety and convenience technology.

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Should I buy a Hyundai Kona or Honda HR-V?

Answered by CarsGuide 18 Mar 2021

It’s nice to see that the worldwide web has put Carsguide in touch with people in the USA and that they’re prepared to ask for advice from half a planet away. Meanwhile, if safety is your number one priority, then you really need to find a vehicle with all the latest driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and rear-cross-traffic alert. These are the new safety must-haves now that air-bags, stability control and other systems are considered par for the course.

The catch with your situation (from our point of view) is that the vehicles we assess and test in Australia don’t necessarily correlate with the North American buying experience. The specifications of Australian-delivered cars don’t always line up with those of a USA-market vehicle, and that can mean that the safety kit fitted here isn’t mirrored by the same make and model sold on your side of the pond. Don’t forget, too, that some makes and models (Hyundai and Kia are good examples) often feature Australian input into the suspension and steering settings to make them more palatable to an Australian audience. As a result, the same car without that input (such as the version sold in the US) might drive very differently.

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What is the rubbing noise behind the wheel of my 2019 Hyundai Kona?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

It’s not unknown for a car-maker to receive a batch of parts from a supplier where the parts in question have a materials or manufacturing flaw in them. Certainly, enough Hyundai owners have reported this same problem for that to be a reasonable hypothesis. The theory about the gear in the steering system is one possible cause for the noise you’re hearing, but I’ve also heard other mechanics suggest that it’s the clock-spring (that electrically powers the air-bags, steering wheel controls, yet still allows the wheel to turn) that’s at fault.

Either way, it’s a warranty job for the dealer to sort out, but experience has shown that Hyundai’s dealers are very good at keeping their customers happy. Meantime, the replacement part should be from a later, improved batch, without the inbuilt flaws, so it shouldn’t happen again.

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What is the grating noise behind the wheel of my 2018 Hyundai Kona?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

This is a relatively common complaint among Hyundai Kona owners. Sometimes the noise manifests as a buzz or a groan and sometimes it’s loud enough to hear over the stereo. Since your car has electrically-assisted power-steering, there’s no chance that it’s a lack of hydraulic fluid causing the noise, but some Hyundai specialists believe the noise comes from a worm gear within the electric assistance unit. It seems that even in almost new cars, there can be enough wear in this component to cause a noise. The other possible cause is the clock-spring which is a spring that resides inside the steering column and maintains the electrical connections with the steering-wheel mounted controls, the air-bag and the rest of the car, yet still allows you to turn the wheel to steer the car. The good news is that your car is well and truly within the factory warranty period, so a Hyundai dealer is obliged to sort it out for you. Just don’t make the mistake of taking 'they all do that' for an answer.

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Which small SUV should I buy to replace my Hyundai Tucson?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Nov 2020

Boy, the world is your oyster, Elizabeth. There are literally dozens of options when it comes to a compact SUV. If you’re otherwise happy with the Hyundai, then maybe look at the Hyundai Kona. It’s available as a turbo all-wheel-drive or as a non-turbo front-drive car (not to mention the Kona Electric, an all-electric version) and will come with Hyundai’s great factory warranty and reliability that you’ve already experienced with the Tucson. The other option would the equivalent from Hyundai’s sister company, Kia. The Kia Sportage an also be had as a turbo-diesel, although for normal suburban driving, a petrol is probably your best bet.

Then, you have all the various offerings from the Japanese makers as well as left-field entrants from MG, Fiat, Mini and more. But you need to be careful, because there isn’t always a whole lot of difference between the width of a compact SUV and a mid-sizer. Sure, there’s generally more space inside the bigger car, but it’s often the result of extra length and height rather than width. For instance, your Tucson (assuming it’s the current model) has a width of 1850mm while the Kona is just 50mm (about two inches) narrower. That may not be enough of a difference and you may need to go down two sizes to, say, a Hyundai Venue which is smaller and narrower again with a width of 1770mm.

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Why won't my 2020 Hyundai Kona electric not open or start?

Answered by CarsGuide 16 Sep 2020

This is still a very new model, so there’s not a whole lot of reliability intelligence available yet. Even so, I’m surprised that such a new vehicle has such a glaring problem just a couple of weeks or so out from its delivery as a brand-new car.

The reason the car won’t start when you open the door with the manual key is that the remote should not only unlock the car, but also deactivate the immobiliser and switch on the main electrical circuits that power the Kona. If the remote isn’t unlocking the doors, then it probably isn’t turning on the main systems either, and that’s why you need to reset the battery each time. Hyundai tells me that this car actually has a conventional 12-volt battery, mounted in the conventional place (under the bonnet, just behind the headlight) that powers the functions you’re missing. If this battery has a dud cell or isn’t charging (and it’s just spent several weeks on a ship getting to Australia, remember) then the car will exhibit the symptoms you’re seeing. A trip to the dealer is in order, but your problem is definitely a warranty issue.

By the way, your car is actually not a hybrid at all. It’s a plug-in electric vehicle. A hybrid uses a combination of a petrol engine and electric motor, your car is purely electric.

 

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What are the pros and cons of a 2018 MG ZS?

Answered by CarsGuide 9 Sep 2020

ZS pros include cheap pricing, an easy driving experience and a comparatively spacious interior compared to other direct rivals like a Mazda CX-3. The dash is pleasant, there is a decent amount of equipment and the controls are all simple to use. It should also be fairly inexpensive to run and service, though earlier ZSs like yours require six-monthly rather than 12-monthly service intervals.

There are two engine options - a 1.5-litre four-cylinder model with a four-speed auto on the base Excite, or a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder version on higher-specification Excite Plus and Essence grades with a six-speed auto. Note that the latter powertrain is more expensive to service.

Plus, there's still a fair chunk of the manufacturer's warranty left, which is seven years, while capped-price servicing is also offered.

But the ZS does not offer AEB Autonomous Emergency Braking, so only rates a four-star ANCAP crash-test rating.

Additionally, the ZS's suspension is on the firm side in terms of dealing with road bumps, which might upset some occupants, yet there is not much of the 'fun factor' in regards to steering and handling finesse that rivals like the CX-3, Suzuki Vitara, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Venue, Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Kona offer in spades.

We've also heard complaints about the interior's perceived quality being sub-par, cabin storage isn't generous and Android Auto isn't supported (though Apple CarPlay is).

Finally, the ZS' resale value trails all of the aforementioned competitors by a significant margin, meaning it's on track to be worth less when the time comes to on-sell it.

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