Northern Group

Northern Group Car of the Year 2023: Hyundai Kona Wins Small Car Category

Hyundai’s second-generation Kona has taken a category win in the Northern Group of Motoring Writers’ 2023 Car of the Year voting, topping the poll in the Small Car category.

Originally revealed in late 2022, the Kona was a bit of a buzzer-beater as it only became available this summer. Longer, taller, and wider than the original Kona, it comes with a range of frugal petrol engines, along with a hybrid option, and short- and long-range electric versions.

Having just made the cutoff for this year, the Kona topped the final member vote in the category, beating the Abarth 500e and Smart #1 to take the class win. That entered it into the final six for our Car of the Year award, which has been determined by a driving day since 2018 (where possible).

Hyundai supplied a Kona for our Car of the Year driving day, near Skipton, represented by the N Line S 1.6 Hybrid model. That allowed the assembled judges to assess the car alongside the five other category winners in order to decide the Group’s Car of the Year for 2023.

The judges voted in secret, with the overall winner to be revealed at the SMMT Test Day North. Should the winning manufacturer’s press office be in attendance at the event, they’ll be presented with the coveted “Arthur” award at the event — although this may be arranged for a later date if they’re not present.

Nonetheless, our judges spoke highly of the Kona, with one commenting:

The Kona range offers all things to all people: a mild hybrid, full hybrid, and full electric. Prices start from less than £26,000 – a good looking five-door hatch.