The 2024 Hyundai Kona arrives with a host of updates and enhancements, maintaining its status as a popular subcompact SUV. Among its trim options are the Essential and Preferred, which offer different features and specifications to cater to various preferences and needs. In this comprehensive comparison, we'll delve into the distinctions between the 2024 Hyundai Kona Essential and Preferred to help you make an informed decision.

Exterior Design:

The 2024 Hyundai Kona retains its striking exterior design across all trims, including the Essential and Preferred. With its distinctive cascading grille, sleek LED headlights, and a sporty silhouette, the Kona's visual appeal remains consistent.

Interior Comfort and Features:

  1. Hyundai Kona Essential: Inside the Essential trim, you'll find a comfortable and well-equipped interior featuring cloth upholstery. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes standard and includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera. While it provides convenience features such as keyless entry and cruise control, it may lack some of the premium touches found in higher trims.
  2. Hyundai Kona Preferred: Stepping up to the Preferred trim, you'll experience enhanced comfort and convenience. The cloth seats receive an upgrade with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, elevating the cabin's overall feel. The Preferred trim boasts an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a proximity key with push-button start. These additions make the interior feel more upscale and luxurious.

Performance and Engine Options:

Both the Essential and Preferred trims offer the same engine options:

  1. Base Engine: A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 147 horsepower, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers sufficient power for everyday driving and is known for its good fuel efficiency.
  2. Optional Engine: An available 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This engine produces 195 horsepower, providing a more spirited and engaging driving experience for those seeking additional power.

Safety Features:

Both trims come equipped with Hyundai's SmartSense suite of advanced safety features, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning. Additionally, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the Preferred trim, offering extra peace of mind on the road.


The Essential trim typically serves as the more budget-friendly option, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a well-rounded subcompact SUV at an affordable price point. The Preferred trim, with its added features and upgraded interior, comes at a slightly higher cost.


Ultimately, your choice between the 2024 Hyundai Kona Essential and Preferred will depend on your specific preferences and requirements. If you're seeking a cost-effective option with essential features, the Essential trim is a solid choice. Conversely, if you value additional comfort, convenience, and a more powerful engine, the Preferred trim may be the better fit. Whichever you choose, the 2024 Hyundai Kona continues to shine in the competitive subcompact SUV segment, offering style, technology, and value for your investment.

Feb 2, 2024

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