Launched in 2018, the Kona is a cheeky subcompact SUV from Korean automaker Hyundai.
Available in four trim levels the Kona offers a fun driving experience and a long list of standard features all at an accessible price.
In this article we’ll cover its average lifespan, quality and reliability.
Read on to find out…
Here is the short answer to how long Hyundai Kona last:
The Hyundai Kona is a highly reliable subcompact SUV that can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles when properly maintained and driven conservatively. Based on an annual mileage of 15,000 miles per year, the Kona will provide an average of 13 to 17 years of service before requiring uneconomical repairs.
How Many Miles Do Hyundai Konas Last?
The Kona is one of the latest offerings in the subcompact SUV segment and has relatively little historical data, however owner and automotive industry reviews thus far have been very promising.
Reading reports posted on owner forums, we’ve come across many positive accounts of the reliability and quality of the Kona and reports of mechanical issues are extremely rare.
As a model introduced in 2018, most Kona models have yet to reach big numbers however based on Hyundai’s track record for producing durable vehicles, we are confident that a well-kept Kona will last well into the 200k-250k region.
- Hyundai scored a 95.7% on the 2019 WhatCar reliability survey and is again ranked as a top 10 most-reliable global automaker
- Based on consumer surveys, J.D. Power Ranks Hyundai Motor Group’s brands as the Highest in Initial Quality. Hyundai Motor Group brands were 10 points better than the nearest other brand for the least amount of repairs required in the first 90 days of vehicle ownership.
- Kelley Blue Book has rated Hyundai as the brand with the lowest cost-to-own.
- Consumer Reports has given every model year of the Kona a 5/5 for reliability
Vehicle design and quality materials will play a significant role in how long your Kona will last, however getting the most life from your car boils down to a few key factors at the ownership level.
How you drive your Kona will play a part in how long it continues to drive.
Sure, they’re typically designed for mild off-roading but being too aggressive with the gas and brake pedals or overworking the engine can be hard on any vehicle.
The life expectancy of your Kona will be cut short if you avoid:
- Service appointments
- Routine oil changes
- Tire rotations
- Using quality parts
- Driving smoothly
Do Hyundai Konas Rust Easily?
Hyundai Konas do not rust easily and are generally considered to be very rust resilient, this is due to advances in modern-day rustproofing techniques and the use of fully galvanized steel panels.
Hyundai uses a roto-dip process, which dips the chassis of the car into the galvanization treatment and rotates it to ensure full coverage of the zinc coating, and ensuring no part of the vehicle goes uncoated.
During our research we were unable to find any rust Kona related rust complaints.
Rust can be much more of an issue depending on your location, especially in regions where salt is used on the roads during the winter and coastal areas due to salt air.
However, additional rustproofing isn’t generally recommended by Hyundai owners due to the levels of protection that is applied during the manufacturing process.
Tips to keep your Kona rust-free:
- Regularly wash and dry your car: This includes its underside (once a week during the winter) to remove the salt, dirt and grime that causes rust.
- Repair paint damage and scratches: Exposed metal will oxidize. If it’s beyond a DIY fix speak to your local body repair shop.
- Garage: Store your Kona in a garage to protect it from harsh weather and bird droppings.
- Waxing: Wax your car twice a year. Not only will this make your Kona look amazing, it also gives a protective coating against rust.
We recommend having a Detail Shop wash everything underneath at the end of each winter.
Hyundai offers a 7-year / Unlimited Miles anti-perforation warranty – this excludes surface corrosion.
What is High Mileage for a Hyundai Kona?
A Hyundai Kona with over 80,000 miles is considered high mileage due to the relative age of the model. The Kona was only recently introduced in 2018.
If the car has averaged a lot more or a lot less than 10,000-15,000 miles per year, you should further investigate why.
Buying a Kona with over 80k miles won’t necessarily equate to a sour outcome.
A well-maintained Kona with 80,000 miles on the clock might be a better purchase than one with 50,000 miles that had lots of owners, led a rough life or was a prior rental car.
It’s important to always do a thorough investigation of the vehicle you are considering purchasing.
When buying a second-hand Kona, consider the following:
- Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
- Get a second opinion: Take it to an independent auto diagnostic clinic or have it inspected by a mechanic.
- Check the CarFax. This doesn’t guarantee anything but it will help provide a clearer picture of wear-and-tear. Ensure it has minimal damage if any. Review the information to make sure if something happened, it wasn’t engine related or mechanical.
- Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually mean more wear and tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
- How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending a bit extra into something more reliable.
Hyundai offers ‘America’s Best Warranty‘ with a 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty, a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. Most Konas on the roads today are still covered by these generous warranties.
How Long Do Hyundai Kona Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
In this section we’ll compare the Kona to other SUVs.
Hyundai Kona vs. Subaru Crosstrek
Launched in 2016, the Crosstrek is a rugged, utilitarian, and practical compact SUV.
The Subaru Crosstrek can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles or 13 – 16 years, which is on par with the Hyundai Kona.
- Across all model years, Consumer Reports has given the Crosstrek an average of 4/5 for reliability vs. 5/5 for the Kona.
- According to Repair Pal, the Crosstrek has an annual average repair and maintenance cost of $492 vs. $468 for Hyundai models.
- J.D Power scores the Crosstrek 77/100 for quality and reliability while the Kona outpoints that with a score of 81/100.
Those looking for a more rugged compact SUV should opt for the Crosstrek for its slightly more off-road compliance versus the urban-oriented design of the Kona.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Subaru Crosstrek Last?
Hyundai Kona vs. Kia Soul
Launched in 2008 the Kia Soul is known for its funky, extrovert design and is currently enjoying its third generation of production.
The Soul can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles or 13 – 16 years, which is the same as the Kona.
- Across all model years, Consumer Reports has given the Kia Soul an average of 4/5 for reliability vs. 5/5 for the Kona.
- According to Repair Pal, the Soul has an annual average repair and maintenance cost of $492 vs. $468 for Hyundai models.
- J.D Power scores the Soul 89/100 for quality and reliability while the Kona has a score of 81/100.
Deciding between these two is tough. The Soul is the more affordable of the two however the Kona will fare better in the snow, it would be best to take both for a test drive before making a decision.
Hyundai Kona vs. Mazda CX-30
The Mazda CX-30 targets rivals with its style and great driving experience.
The CX-30 can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles or 13 – 16 years, which is equal to that of the Kona.
- Across all model years, Consumer Reports has given the CX-30 an average of 5/5 for reliability vs. 5/5 for the Kona
- Mazda has an annual average repair and maintenance cost of $462 vs. $468 for Hyundai models.
- J.D Power scores the CX-30 82/100 for quality and reliability while the Kona has a score of 81/100.
The Kona has a slightly more economical base model and seems to come with more power however the CX-30 is noted for having a more upscale cabin.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Mazda CX-30 Last?
|Annual Repair Cost||$468||$492||$492||$462|
|Consumer Reports |
Is the Hyundai Kona Reliable?
Automotive journalists, industry experts, and consumers have scored the Kona highly for reliability and it has some of the highest reliability ratings of any vehicle. Since its debut in 2018, there have been very few reports of problems with this model to date.
- The Kelley Blue Book consumer rating index gives the Kona a reliability rating of 4.7 out of 5.
- Consumer Reports has given every model year of the Kona a 5/5 verdict for reliability.
- RepairPal scored Hyundai a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5 and is 4th / 32 brands listed according to reliability.
- JD Power rated the Kona with a quality and reliability rating of 81 out of 100.
Its safe to say, the Hyundai Kona is a very reliable vehicle.
The Best and Worst Years for Hyundai Kona
In this section we’ll take a quick look at some of the Kona’s best and worst years.
Worst Model Year
According to Car Complaints, the 2018 Kona was the worst model year which also has the most overall complaints – 19 in total. The 2018 model was considered the worst model year due to electrical problems.
Three of the Kona’s most serious issues are also all for the 2018 model year, including
- Blind Collision Warning Shuts Down
- Radio Stations Change Randomly
- Poor Fuel Mileage
All of these will have been covered under warranty.
It’s common for car models to have a higher number of issues for their debut year, as was the case for the Kona.
Hyundai appears to have addressed these teething issues and Kona’s for the following years have very few reported complaints.
Best Model Year
You can’t go too far wrong with any Kona model year other than 2018.
Any model from 2019 onwards is a safe choice however our pick would be the updated 2022 model.
The 2022 model boasts a refreshed exterior and interior and is expected to be just as reliable as its predecessors.
A sporty N Line trim has been added to the lineup with a 195-hp version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine.
Model Year and Number of Complaints
Here are the number of complaints for each Kona model year from the Car Complaints database.
|Model Year||No. of Complaints|
|2018||19 (Worst year)|
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Hyundai Santa Fe Last?
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Hyundai Kona has a total of 4 recalls across all model years.
You can check if your Kona has been subject to a recall campaign by entering your Vehicle Identification Number into the NHTSA’s recall lookup tool on their webpage.
Recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.
|Model Year||No. of recalls||Issue|
Engine: Effects 2019-2021 Kona with 2.0L Nu MPI engines. The piston oil rings may not have been properly heat-treated, which could result in engine damage.
Equipment: The certification label may indicate incorrect Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.
Hyundai Kona Model Year List
- 2018 Hyundai Kona
- 2019 Hyundai Kona
- 2020 Hyundai Kona
- 2021 Hyundai Kona
Are Hyundai Kona Expensive to Maintain?
According to RepairPal, the Hyundai models have an annual maintenance and repair cost of $468, while the average annual cost across all car model years is $652.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Hyundai Kona brake pads typically last between 30,000 – 70,000 miles, this is dependent on driving habits.
- You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
- Parts typically range from $50 – $100 per brake pad.
- Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.
- Front brakes will typically wear out faster
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Stock tires on a Hyundai Kona usually last 50,000 miles which is roughly 3 years of use, however they can wear out much sooner. This is dependent on various factors such as driving habits, climate, and road conditions.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
- Check your tire pressures every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
- Have a mechanic check your wheel alignment every 6 months
How Long Do Hyundai Kona Engines Last?
The engine of the Hyundai Kona will typically last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years. This can vary drastically depending on maintenance and the overall care of the vehicle.
If you take good care of your Hyundai there’s no reason why these mileages can’t be exceeded.
How Long Do Hyundai Kona Batteries Last?
The Hyundai Kona battery usually lasts between 3-5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on factors such as climate, driving habits, the type of battery, and more.
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
- Storage: Keep your Kona stored indoors away from extreme changes in temperature.
- Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
According to Hyundai, a Kona’s spark plugs should be replaced every 90,000 miles or every 6 years of driving.
Spark plugs are usually inspected, and if needed, replaced when you go for routine maintenance.
Signs of a fouled spark plug include:
- Reduced gas mileage
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
- Hard starts
- Engine misfires
What About Insurance Cost?
A Kona’s average cost for full comprehensive coverage is $1,276 per year, or $106 per month. In comparison, its segment competitors cost an average of $1,366 per year to insure.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Hyundai Kona
- Adopt smooth driving habits.
- Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
- Use quality parts and fluids.
- Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
- Regularly wash your Kona to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust developing.
- Check your Kona’s engine oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels and top them up when required.
- Keep your Kona in a garage to help protect it from the elements.
- Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your Kona needs and what quantity and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.