Hyundai’s new ‘default’ small car is a Kona

Estimated read time 2 min read

The days of the Hyundai Accent or i30 being the go-to Hyundai for small car buyers are over.

A combination of strong supply and the arrival of a new hybrid option will see the new Hyundai Kona replace the i30 hatchback as the “default small car” in the brand’s stable, according to Hyundai Australia chief operating officer John Kett.

Current wait times for new Kona petrol orders are sitting at around three months, with waits for the hybrid hovering around the three-to-six month range due to strong demand.

Mr Kett expects the second-generation Kona to comfortably eclipse the previous (OS) generation car’s biggest year of deliveries – 13,342 cars, achieved in 2019 – at some point in its life, pointing to a target of between 15,000 and 18,000 annual sales.

For context, Hyundai sold 11,538 Konas in 2022, which made it the fourth best-selling small SUV in Australia. It was outsold only by the Mitsubishi ASX (12,753 sales), Mazda CX-30 (13,891 sales), and MG ZS (22,466 sales).

In addition to petrol and electric variants, the Kona will finally offer a hybrid option in Australia – something we missed out on with the last generation.

“We think hybrid will be the most popular of the Konas, once it settles down and everything is on sale and we’re in a normal phase, then it should be the most popular,” said Bill Thomas, general manager of corporate affairs at Hyundai Australia, to CarExpert.

The current i30 is being run out as production winds up in Korea, ahead of a more efficient, more expensive model arriving from Europe in the second half of 2024.

It’ll leave Hyundai without its cheapest model for around six months, although the recently updated i30 Sedan remains on sale.

Along with the new Kona, the brand plans to lean on the smaller Venue SUV to fill the void left by the i30.

Our review of the Hyundai Kona hybrid goes live on Friday, December 1.

MORE: Everything Hyundai Kona
MORE: Hyundai Kona petrol review

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