The Hyundai Kona is a subcompact crossover SUV that was first introduced for the 2018 model year and has since gotten a facelift in 2021. The Kona is available in gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and electric form, depending on the market. In this article, we will focus on the North American version of the Kona and list all the potential transmission problems associated with the NA Kona.
This will include going through all the transmission options the Kona comes with, and listing any notable technical service bulletins, recalls, and widespread complaints. After reading this article, you will have a broader understanding of what to look out for when in the market for a new/used Hyundai Kona, but before we go any further, here is a quick recap!
The 6-speed transmission in the 2.0L Hyundai Kona suffers from slipping or not wanting to shift out of park. The 7-speed DCT in the 1.6L Hyundai Kona suffers from excessive vibrations or abnormal shifting, while the 8-speed DCT in the Kona N suffers from faulty oil pumps, which can lead to complete transmission failure.
Lastly, the single-speed transmission found in the Kona EV is susceptive to emitting loud noises while accelerating, which can burn the transmission out completely.
Now it’s time to go in-depth about all of these and tell you what causes all of these problems and how you should approach fixing them!
Common Hyundai Kona Transmission Problems
Overall, the Kona isn’t particularly known for having vast transmission issues, but there are a few that are indeed worth getting into. With less than 5 years on the market, the Kona is way too fresh for us to give a proper long-term transmission reliability assessment. Still, certain current issues can easily pave the way for potential long-term problems.
First Generation (2018-present)
The 2018-present Hyundai Kona uses five different transmissions:
- 6-speed automatic (A6F22) (2018-2021 only) 2.0L Kona
- 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (D7UF1) 1.6L Kona
- 8-speed dual-clutch automatic (A8F36) Kona N
- Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT) (2022-present) 2.0L Kona
- Shift-by-wire G1F26 one-speed transmission (Kona EV)
6-speed automatic (A6F22) (2018-2021 only) 2.0L Kona
The 6-speed A6F22 transmission found in the Hyundai Kona is arguably the most problematic out of them all, but that is not necessarily true. This 6-speed automatic is common across many Hyundai models, which is why the highest number of complaints points toward this six-speed. Either way, this 6-speed transmission is known to suffer from gear slipping, as shown in this 19-AT-021H-1 TSB from 2019 and this 18-AT-005 TSB from 2019.
Was driving on the freeway when lost all power when the gas pedal was pushed no power then the rpms would shoot to 7000 was able to get off the freeway the check came on had the car towed to the dealership after waiting 2 weeks was told the transmission needed to be replaced this was on a 2022 Hyundai kona with only 7000 miles on it.Source
The idea behind these two TSBs was to reprogram the transmission to stop it from slipping; if the reprogram fails, Hyundai decided it was best to replace the entire unit. Lastly, we also need to mention problems with the A6F22, sometimes not wanting to shift from PARK due to problems with the Body Control Module (BCM) as outlined in this 18-AT-006 TSB.
7-speed dual-clutch automatic (D7UF1) 1.6L Kona
The 1.6L D7UF1 transmission is arguably as common as the 2.0L unit is available with the Kona Limited trim and the mid-spec performance-oriented Kona N-Line. The 7-speed DCT found with the 1.6L Kona is mostly reliable but far from perfect. However, there were some problems with excessive vibration that led to Hyundai updating the Transmission Control Module (TCM), replacing the double-clutch, and diagnosing the clutch judder (22-AT-007H).
Moreover, post-facelift 1.6L Kona models equipped with the D7UF1 are known to also experience issues with abnormal shifting, which led to Hyundai first trying to reprogram the TCU and replacing the input shaft snap ring. However, this didn’t seem to solve the issue for many, which even led to Hyundai replacing the entire transmission. 22-AT-011H
8-speed dual-clutch automatic (A8F36) Kona N
The 8-speed dual-clutch automatic is only offered for the performance crossover Kona N model, which offers 280hp and is by far the most dynamic and exciting version of the Kona. Sadly, the 8-speed found in the Kona N has had serious issues with the oil pump, which can lead to total loss of power and potentially even destroy the entire transmission in the process.
This led to Hyundai recalling more than 50,000 “N” performance models that use this very 8-speed DCT back in October 2022 (22V746000). Hyundai first approached the issue by reprogramming the Transmission Control Module, which helped to solve the issue for some models. Still, if the problems were severe, Hyundai decided its best to replace the entire transmission as existing units could fail at any time. You can find more details on this issue in this TSB 22-AT-011H.
Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT) (2022-present) 2.0L Kona
Hyundai is known for making CVT transmissions for quite a while now, and the track record of these is far from perfect. Older Hyundai CVTs proved to be a bit too delicate and fragile, which led many to various issues, but the new Smart Stream IVT unit is much more promising, to a degree at least. When the very first IVT models came out, there was some talk about the transmission being overly aggressive and prompting the check engine light.
Be that as it may, there are no recalls, TSBs, or any notable complaints about the IVT in the Kona, as these complaints were filed for the Hyundai Elantra.
Shift-by-wire G1F26 one-speed transmission (Kona EV)
Lastly, we also need to mention a particular problem where the G1F26 single-speed transmission in the Hyundai Kona EV starts exhibiting abnormal rumbling noises, which gets worse over time and potentially even destroy the transmission completely. It is said that this is due to a faulty electric traction motor which sends the power from the electric engine to the wheels similarly to a normal ICE transmission.
The problem also prompted Hyundai to issue this 22-EV-001H-1 TSB which seems to have fixed the issue for some, while others got a new transmission under warranty.
How Long Does A Hyundai Kona Transmission Last?
As mentioned previously, the Hyundai Kona is still way too fresh for us to say how any of its components are from a long-term perspective. What we can say is that Hyundai transmissions, particularly Hyundai’s “standard” transmissions, which in this case are all except for the 8-speed DCT, are known to last a really long time if maintained properly and in due time.
Hyundai has made serious strides in the past few years by continuously upping its ante when it comes to reliability. Hyundai was once considered relatively unreliable, but modern-day Hyundai models are constantly topping the charts. As such, all of these should last 200,000 miles if you maintain them. The IVT, the single-speed, and the 8-speed DCT are still a complete mystery as hardly anyone has yet crossed the 200,000-mile mark with these.
How Much Does A Hyundai Kona Transmission Cost?
The 6-speed A6F22 automatic transmission will likely cost you around $2,600 from new, while a used example should set you back less than half that, sometimes even less than $1,000 if you are lucky. The 7-speed D7UF1 is likely a bit more expensive, between $2,500 and even $4,000. The 8-speed DCT A8LF2 automatic is $4,000 in most cases, but here is a discounted listing for $3,500.
The IVT Smart Stream price is a bit more difficult to track as most IVT replacements are done under warranty which is why there aren’t many of these around. However, some do believe that the price of a brand-new IVT is between $1,800 and $3,400. Used examples can sometimes be found for all, but the IVT and the 8-speed and the prices vary a lot depending on the mileage.
Marko´s interest in cars runs in the family. His father was a car trader and regularly took him to car dealerships when he was younger.
These days, when he isn´t watching Drivetribe or Doug DeMuro videos, he´s building up quite a resume as an automotive writer since he´s also a regular contributor on Cararc.com, Tirehungry.com, and Luxurycarsa2z.com.