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Hyundai used to be known as an inexpensive, but relatively low-quality vehicle maker. However, the last few years have seen a huge change in the way consumers view Hyundai’s value, and newer models, like the Kona have helped to create that impression. 

A subcompact SUV crossover, the Kona was first produced in 2018 and has seen relatively good reviews since then. But every vehicle has its drawbacks. Here’s what we know, based on reports from consumers over the last three years, about the Kona’s reliability. 

Problems reported about the Hyundai Kona

Compared with other SUVs, the Kona has received fewer than the average number of complaints. According to, the most commonly reported problem with the Kona is electrical issues. Problems such as the blind collision warning system shutting down and the cruise control not maintaining speed seem to be common complaints. 

The only recall issued for the Kona was on the 2020 model because a certification label indicated an incorrect gross axle weight rating. Incorrect information about the gross axle weight could lead to the vehicle being loaded with more weight than it could handle and thus increase its risk of a crash. 

Ratings and reviews

Despite these issues, the Hyundai Kona received good reviews from most reporting and review sites. Car and Driver rated the 2020 Kona a 4 out of 5 and even put the SUV on their 2019 10 Best Trucks and SUVs list as the best subcompact SUV. They were impressed with the “adventurous styling” but listed the Kona’s drawbacks as “tight cargo space and numb steering.”

U.S. News and World Report gave the 2020 Kona an 8.2 out of 10 overall and 3.5 out of 5 for reliability.  They were impressed with the Kona’s styling, safety, and overall value, even rating it number two out of all subcompact SUVs, but they were disappointed with its small cargo capacity. 

The experts at Kelley Blue Book rated the 2020 Kona 4.5 out of 5 and consumers at the site rated it even higher at 4.7 out of 5. For overall value and reliability, Kelley Blue Book chose the Kona as its pick for the Subcompact SUV Best Buy of 2019.

Consumers and experts seem to agree that the Kona offers great value and a stylish exterior for the price, but their biggest concern overall was cargo space. Other SUVs in the subcompact category offer more storage space. Luckily, this issue won’t impact the running of the vehicle. So, for overall reliability, reviewers seem to agree that the Kona comes out on top. 

Is the Hyundai Kona reliable?

Drawbacks related to the Kona seem to be mostly aesthetic, or related to cargo space, and do not affect the dependability. If you’re looking for a small SUV that will start every morning for your commute and never leave you stranded on the road, then the Kona may be the perfect choice. For the environmentally conscious, and those who want to save on gas, the Kona also comes in a highly-rated electric version

Some electrical problems were reported with the Kona, but none of them impacted the overall drivability of the vehicle. For example, if the cruise control stops working, it can be annoying, but you’ll still get to your destination without any problems. 

However, those who are looking for an SUV that’ll be able to help with hauling projects may need to look elsewhere. The Kona won’t replace the need for a family pick-up truck. It won’t haul furniture or large pieces of lumber for your weekend project, there just isn’t enough space. But if hauling space or strength isn’t an issue, then the Kona will be a sporty-looking, fun, and reliable SUV.