Car of the Year 2023: Hyundai Kona

Just to win a category in the Auto Express New Car Awards is an incredible achievement, but to take the overall prize, a car needs to have that little bit extra. We judge a car on everything, from its performance, ride and handling, refinement, practicality and tech, to how much it’ll cost to run – and if it’s better than its rivals in all of those respects, it’s in with a very strong shout.

For 2023, the Hyundai Kona is the car that stands out for all of those reasons and more. Its predecessor was a worthy car, but it could have been better. Hyundai proved it had the humility to listen to feedback from testers and buyers, and took it on board while developing the second-gen Kona. That’s why, for example, it has grown a little, because buyers wanted more rear-seat space and boot capacity. The new car delivers on both counts, with lots of space for five people.

Elsewhere, Hyundai has refined an already-strong formula. The Kona Electric’s powertrain has had only minor nips and tucks, including the standard fitment of a heat pump throughout the line-up, so range isn’t harmed in winter.

Performance is as strong as before, but it’s now packaged within a chassis that rides better and has greater refinement – both excellent qualities for a family car to possess.

But the appeal doesn’t end there, because if an electric powertrain isn’t for you, then there are full-hybrid and regular petrol options, too.

Package all of this within a car that boasts a daring exterior, a smart and logical interior, and competitive pricing – the basic Electric model comfortably dips below £40,000 – and it’s the best all-round package we’ve driven this year.

Congratulations, Hyundai: the Kona is our Car of the Year for 2023.

You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,787

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2023 New Car Awards collectors’ edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

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