Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Has 1 Loud Problem

I recently had the privilege of testing the 2021 Hyundai Kona. Overall, I can absolutely see the appeal of the Kona. However, I did find it to have one loud problem.

Obviously, when we are shopping for a new vehicle we want to know the good and the bad. A picture perfect ad campaign just won’t cut it. That’s why we do our due diligence researching and test driving models until we find a perfect fit.

Is the 2021 Hyundai Kona a good car?

Yes, I would definitely say that the 2021 Hyundai Kona is a good car. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranked it No. 1 in its class of subcompact SUVs. With a price range starting at just over $20 grand, the Kona is also affordable for most. The top few trims are all equipped with the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona driving around a curve of a road
The 2021 Hyundai Kona in action | Photo via Hyundai

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The tester I drove for a week was a 2021 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD. After my time in it I have hardly anything negative to say about it. For the price, it’s difficult finding this much quality, performance, and reliability all packed into one subcompact package.

I’d recommend the 2021 Hyundai Kona to anyone that wants some of the utility of an SUV without the heftier size and price tag of something like the Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota RAV4. The complete package it provides is enjoyable to drive and I can imagine it would be pretty easy to live with long term. Plus, it boasts good reliability ratings from publications like J.D. Power.

A loud problem

I had no issues with connectivity and learning the infotainment system. The controls are straightforward and reasonably intuitive. However, I did notice some very loud road noise when I tested the 2021 Hyundai Kona on some country roads without any music on. The premium audio system sounds great and covers this issue up easily.

a picture of a woman driving the 2021 hyundai kona from the view of a rear seat passenger shows how navigation in the Kona is not a problem
2021 Hyundai Kona interior | Hyundai USA

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Still, it was definitely not just something I noticed in passing. It was very obvious how loud the road noise was. In fact, with the rest of my review being so positive I was pretty surprised by this problem.

The road noise significantly reduces on butter-smooth pavement. But we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect infrastructure. Unfortunately, when the pavement isn’t impressively smooth the cabin isn’t impressively quiet either.

The 2021 Kona is still a nice subcompact SUV

While the interior isn’t as luxurious as Hyundai’s flagship sedan the Sonata, it still completes nice package. The 2021 Hyundai Kona serves as a great way to move people and stuff––provided you don’t have too much gear and the people aren’t all 6 foot 5 inches tall.

a gray Hyundai Kona driving on a deserted two-lane straightaway highway exemplifies that Hyundai readily competes with a Honda or Toyota
2021 Hyundai Kona Night Edition | Hyundai

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And the issue of loud road noise is easily solved by playing your favorite tunes through the simple infotainment system. Plus, it’s not that noticeable at low speeds or on super smooth roads. Overall, we say anyone shopping subcompact SUVs for their household should check out the 2021 Hyundai Kona. We had a great time in the Limited AWD model.