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Hyundai Kona 2023: release date confirmed, EV delayed to late in year


Hyundai’s new Kona is set to launch in Australia mid-year, but the EV version will lag behind by a few months

An Australian release date of mid-2023 has been locked in for the new Hyundai Kona small SUV, but the company’s Australian arm has confirmed that the second-gen Kona EV will lag a few months behind the new petrol and hybrid range.

The all-new Kona is set to be sold in Australia with a selection of petrol, petrol-hybrid and fully-electric drivetrains.

The fully-electric version of the Kona will arrive later than the petrol and hybrid models

Petrol and hybrid in mid-2023, Kona EV in late 2023

The petrol and petrol-electric hybrid engines will be the first to arrive in Australia, with the combustion-powered set arriving in mid-2023 – probably between June and August 2023.

However, varying production start dates for Australia’s 2023 Hyundai Kona allocation means that the fully-electric Kona EV version will not be released here until the fourth quarter of 2023 – between October and December this year.

The new Kona has grown in size and features a new design

Hyundai Australia public relations senior manager Guido Schenken told Chasing Cars the delay was due to when locally bound vehicles were scheduled to be manufactured, and pointed to a similar lag in arrival times for the ICE and electric versions of the facelifted Hyundai Kona in Australia.

Engine specs, pricing, standard features and options have not yet been released for the new Kona, though we expect Hyundai to communicate these details for Australian buyers in the coming months ahead of the SUV’s mid-year release date.

The current-gen Kona costs $26,900–$43,200 in petrol guise, and between $54,500 and $64,000 for the fully electric version in two battery sizes. We expect pricing to gently rise but not change drastically.

Hyundai Kona 2023 green front end
The new Kona is sure to draw attention with its new design

Everything we know about the 2023 Kona

Hyundai unveiled the second-generation Kona in late December 2022, with the new model featuring retro-futuristic styling similar to its Tucson midsize SUV and Staria van. 

Like the Niro small SUV from Hyundai’s sibling brand Kia, the Kona has grown in size with a 60mm longer wheelbase and 25mm wider frame, likely in an effort to make this small SUV bigger inside.

While a full-fat ‘N’ variant of the Kona is unlikely to return for the new generation, N-Line variants have been confirmed to return wearing more aggressive styling with twin exhaust pipes and unique 19-inch alloy wheels.

The interior features a modern and minimalist design

Similarly, the Kona EV will feature unique styling with visual links to the Ioniq 5 midsize SUV, including a blanked-out grille and ‘pixel style’ 19-inch alloys.

Hyundai has stated the minimalist interior design will feature dual 12.3-inch screens for the digital driver’s display and multimedia entertainment though it’s not clear if smaller screens will be offered for entry-level grades.

At the time of the unveiling last year, Hyundai stated more information would be available soon – so we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to find out the full details.