The 2019 Hyundai Kona is just one size higher than the Location and considered subcompact in dimension. The rather new nameplate (2018 was its very first model calendar year) has joined an ultra-crowded and aggressive section the place cars such as Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, and cross-country rival Kia Soul have dominated.
Exactly what the Kona features is exclusive, nevertheless polarizing, styling and a powerful cabal of protection characteristics which have been challenging to match. What’s more, it flubs several of the fundamentals that its competition get suitable.
Is it a deserving addition to Hyundai’s crowded variety of crossovers, or in case you seek out fulfillment outside the brand?
Structure is often subjective, which means you may not concur while using the middling score we’ve presented the Kona during this class. Fact be told, we applaud Hyundai and its designers for building the Kona glance unique. When the look is appealing, it’s also chaotic, by using a great deal of intakes and vents that go nowhere and do nothing at all.
For example, the horizontal line previously mentioned the main grille that appears to generally be an ingestion is just for demonstrate and will allow no air through. The “body cladding” across the Kona’s reduce 50 percent, which the designers use successfully to project a rough-and-tumble impression, is in fact painted like the rest from the system panels and can suffer scrapes and scratches just exactly the same, instead of usual physique cladding which is unpainted darkish plastic and intended to acquire abuse that would destruction paint. At least, that’s what we see on the Final trim, and it is also this fashion within the Iron Man version.
It’s like Hyundai’s designers took most of today’s cliched styling cues and picked up them to the Kona. It’s acquired the divided low- and high-beam lights from your Juke, the occupied lines in the CH-R, the ultra-short rear overhang with the Crosstrek, plus the floating roof outcome from a great number of SUVs on sale today. Altogether, it’s just a little substantially.
The Kona’s interior, nevertheless, is executed in typical Korean trend, that is to mention pretty well. The screens are massive, the elements experience above ordinary in good quality, and also the design and style is functional and aesthetically neutral. The a few best trims – the Constrained, Greatest, and Iron Male Edition – all get normal leather-based seating, likewise.
The Kona scored improperly within this class for 2 factors: rear seat legroom and overall cargo ability. Other than individuals two things, the Kona is often a moderately at ease auto, particularly for front seat passengers. The cabin does permit a good volume of noise to enter, specifically within the engine bay, but that’s a common fault of affordable SUVs like these.
Subcompact SUVs aren’t known for possessing numerous rear legroom, but the Kona is from the bottom half of your phase listed here. Assess its measurement of 34.six inches into the 36.5 and 39.three inches offered while in the again seat from the Subaru Crosstrek and Honda HR-V, respectively. The Kona’s rear headroom is more competitive at 37.8 inches, but nevertheless falls guiding the Crosstrek at 38.0 inches, the HR-V at 38.3 inches, as well as the voluminous Kia Soul at 39.6 inches.
Similarly, the Kona’s cargo area is on the compact aspect. Together with the rear seats up, 19.2 cubic toes of place is obtainable, and in the event the rear seats are folded, only forty five.8 cubes can be found. All over again, compare that to some thing much like the HR-V, which offers 23.two and fifty five.nine cubic toes of cargo area, respectively. Yet again, the Soul tops all having a most cargo measurement of 61.three cu-ft.
Korean automakers are very well known for giving highly qualified infotainment tech in their cars, as well as the Kona isn’t any exception. Whilst lesser trims get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display screen without any navigation, the final word (and in some cases higher-spec Iron Male Version) get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation. Powering the display is definitely the newest variation of Hyundai’s Blue Url infotainment software package, which, although not bringing a great deal new into the table, nails the basics like obtaining speedy response periods, good-looking graphics, and easy-to-navigate menus.
The Kona Final, however, is effectively configured with tech over and above just its infotainment method. Naturally, Apple CarPlay and Android Car are present, however the Final also arrives regular using a 4.2-inch color info show in between its gauges, a head-up display screen (the sort that raises a little acrylic panel forward on the driver on which to venture information and facts), wi-fi smartphone charging, and an upgraded Infinity audio program with eight speakers.
We don’t set a large bar for cars similar to this with regard to effectiveness and dealing with. Truly, all an economical subcompact crossover SUV must be entertaining to travel is actually a capable suspension, keen powertrain, and speedy and accurate steering. Regrettably, the Kona lacks at the very least two from 3.
The Kona’s greatest issue is its handling due to suspension tuning that lacks equally firmness and command. It’s not simply the springs experience delicate and there’s system roll, which they are and there is, and also that the rebound from suspension motion lacks handle. Maybe the suspension’s damping is not potent plenty of, for the reason that in many cases it felt unsettled soon after large overall body movements like difficult turns and stops.
The Kona’s turbocharged one.6-liter four-cylinder motor creates a hundred seventy five horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That is plenty of electric power to produce this three,062-pound tiny SUV really feel within the speedier aspect of the section. Indeed, it’s faster than it is actually sluggish, but not fast. For that, it will have to have the turbo 1.6 from its company cousin, the Kia Soul, which creates a lot more than 200 hp.
Even so, it is not the Kona’s engine that receives from the way of pleasurable, but alternatively its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This transmission lacks refinement, specifically beginning from a cease, like at a stoplight, or shifting from Reverse to Drive. A twitchiness and jerk takes place in circumstances like these that truly experienced us questioning if there were a difficulty while using the transmission.
All of that stated, general performance and handling typically aren’t significant within the listing of must-haves for those who shop tiny SUVs just like the Kona. For anyone with no means to discern well- from great-handling autos, the Kona’s driving dynamics will possible go unnoticed.
The Kona has amazing safety bona fides for any automobile that starts off below $20,000, and they’re better yet on a absolutely loaded case in point like this Greatest. First of all, it earns the very best possible crash test ratings from each the government-backed Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Safety Administration plus the private Insurance Institute for Highway Basic safety. The Kona earns a full five-star general ranking within the NHTSA battery of assessments and a coveted Major Security Pick+ ranking from your IIHS. The latter is especially spectacular, as IIHS involved a brand new, excess stringent necessity for high-quality ahead lights, which some motor vehicles costing two times approximately the Kona really do not satisfy.
Next, every one of the Kona’s trim ranges occur with sophisticated security technologies for instance lane-keeping aid and computerized unexpected emergency braking. Excluding the bottom SE trim degree, the rest of the Kona lineup also receives blind-spot checking and rear-cross-traffic notify techniques as typical equipment. And at last, our top-of-the-line Ultimate tester adds pedestrian detection, parking sensors, LED headlights (also conventional over the Confined), and automatic high-beam headlights. Yet again, this kind of cocoon of security is not prevalent on inexpensive autos like the Kona, and Hyundai has set the bar large for its competitors.
The Kona’s put together gasoline financial system, as rated because of the Environmental Protection Agency, is thirty miles per gallon. In addition to a metropolis score of 28 mpg in addition to a highway rating of 32 mpg, Hyundai’s very little crossover does just properly adequate to make a superior rating on this classification. Having said that, if our tester had Hyundai’s optional all-wheel-drive technique for an extra $1,400, its put together score would drop to only 27 mpg, and its rating in this particular class coupled with it. At thirty mpg merged, although, the Kona’s fuel financial state with front-wheel drive is normal amongst its competitors.
The Kona’s starting up cost of $18,990 puts it among the least high priced subcompact crossover SUVs in its class. Only the Nissan Kicks at $18,640 and Kia Soul at $17,490 have reduce starting off costs.
Having said that, a single can easily spend a whole great deal with a Kona. Our Kona Final tester has an as-tested cost of $28,680, as an illustration. Adding all-wheel drive would elevate its value, with place costs provided, to $29,995.
There is an even dearer model in the Kona called the Iron Person Edition. No, it doesn’t have nearly anything to accomplish with Iron Gentleman competitions. Instead, its aesthetic is modeled after Marvel’s Iron Man superhero character. When normally these types of pop culture tie-ins aren’t well worth the cash, your author is often a huge Marvel enthusiast and would thoroughly rock a Kona Iron Man Edition. Would he shell out $33,045 out the doorway for an all-wheel-drive variation, nevertheless? That is an astronomical price for an SUV this dimension, so most likely not. Improved to attend for it to the utilized market place.
The Hyundai Kona has verified a smash hit because arriving in Australia for the duration of October 2017, capitalising over the market’s ravenous urge for food for modest and funky-looking crossovers made for town living.
Within the time of composing, nearly 23,000 are marketed domestically. Together with the Accent within the way out, it’s going to become Hyundai’s third most-popular design – at the rear of the more wise i30 and bigger Tucson – very quickly.
In excess of the study course of its brief life, it’s also develop into the 3rd most-popular crossover in its class, with 10.seven for each cent current market share this calendar year. Just the bargain-priced Mitsubishi ASX and similarly trendy Mazda CX-3 edge it.
Other rivals contain the greater conservative Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai, the Suzuki Vitara, the Subaru XV, Toyota’s equally bold C-HR, as well as imminent Seltos from Hyundai’s sister model Kia.
There are actually 4 Kona specification levels to pick from. We’re hunting on the 2019 Hyundai Kona Elite, which sits one particular rung down below the flagship Highlander and signifies just twelve for every cent of Kona sales this year. Earlier mentioned this fray there’s also the sci-fi Kona Electrical, which emits no CO2 within the tailpipe.
It wears a cost of $29,500 just before on-road prices, lining it up neatly having a CX-3 sTouring. Additionally it is $1710 costlier when compared to the larger sized Hyundai i30 Elite quality, which features much more cabin space but additionally a more prosaic design that could switch less heads.
The California-penned Kona gives a bolder tackle the Hyundai grille flanked by slender and offended headlights. In addition there are plenty of side-profile character lines, an aggressive stance, and heaps of faux-tough plastic add-ons. You may have nine color possibilities with names like Blue Lagoon, Tangerine Comet and Acid Yellow. Ours is Pulse Purple.
We should always point out how little the Kona truly is. Its 4165mm length is 175mm shorter compared to i30, while its 1550mm top (like an additional 30mm of ground clearance) causes it to be 95mm taller total. The Hyundai is amongst the smallest SUVs available on the market, though the brand new Accent-replacing ‘Venue’ crossover design will likely be even tinier nonetheless.
Reflecting the Elite’s positioning, it is rather effectively specified. Around the outdoors you get 17-inch alloy wheels which has a fetching multi-spoke structure, LED daytime running lights, projector-beam headlights with dusk sensors, and several silver, carbon grey, and chrome garnishes.
The interior has capabilities over the $4000-cheaper Kona Energetic, for example people larger alloys (Lively has 16s), leather seat trim, rear privacy glass, single-zone electronic local climate management, a proximity-based important fob that unlocks the car while you technique it, heated and power-folding aspect mirrors, a starter button, and rain-sensing wipers.
Far more importantly, in addition, it receives a variety of driver-assistance attributes as normal fare, for example blind-spot warning, a driver-attention warning, autonomous emergency metropolis braking, lane-keeping support and also a rear cross-traffic inform program. To receive these features inside a Basic safety Pack around the Lively prices $1500, so the Elite’s pricing inclusive seems honest more than enough.
Machines typical to each grades consists of an 8.0-inch touchscreen show with satellite navigation, SUNA dwell visitors updates, Apple CarPlay, Android Vehicle, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker seem procedure equipped by Krell, electronic radio, a reversing digital camera, rear parking sensors, six airbags, as well as a tyre-pressure monitoring program.
The Kona Elite’s interior layout is not as daring as the exterior is, nevertheless the hot-red seatbelts, seat piping, stitching and trim surrounds about the vents and kit shifters include somewhat one thing. It’s all rather plasticky and monotone further than that, while the build top quality and fit-finish are adequately fantastic.
The seating situation is rarely decreased than your average hatch, but suits the ‘sporty’ style, the steering wheel has lots of achieve and rake adjustment, there is a much-needed digital speedo amongst the instruments, and that centre touchscreen provides a simple-to-navigate interface.
Storage parts consist of cupholders alongside the transmission tunnel, moderate doorway bins and centre console, and an overhead sunglasses holder, although if maximising practicality is your priority, the outlier Honda HR-V leaves this pokey little Hyundai powering.
It is also not by far the most spacious second-row seat from the phase, while using the swooping roof line hurting headroom a bit. However, two older people of typical peak (180cm) is going to be good. Once again, it is not a segment-leader during this space. You get a handy flip-down centre armrest and get handles, even though no rear vents or USB/12V enter.
The Kona’s 361L boot may possibly be 97L bigger compared to the Mazda CX-3’s, but is additionally 34L smaller compared to i30’s and even further trails the HR-V (437L) or Nissan Qashqai (430L). Hyundai has aimed this motor vehicle at urban empty-nesters, so whilst it could carry 4 older people and has a average boot, those seeking pram area et cetera might be superior off acquiring a base Tucson for the same revenue.
Below the bonnet of our check motor vehicle is a straightforward two.0-litre in a natural way aspirated petrol functioning the economy-minded Atkinson cycle, and creating 110kW of power at 6200rpm and 180Nm of torque at 4500rpm. It runs 91RON petrol, and is also mated to the six-speed automatic. It is usually a front-wheel travel and might tow 1300kg braked.
Curiously, the likewise weighted (about 1380kg) Hyundai i30’s two.0-litre unit can make 120kW and 203Nm, and so the Kona’s sporty appears aren’t reflected in its functionality. In fairness, its competitors’ outputs are no far better: the Qashqai’s 2.0-litre can make 106kW/200Nm, the HR-V’s 105kW/172Nm, along with the C-HR’s one.2-litre turbo 85kW/185Nm.
For your common urban consumer it is absolutely wonderful, with instant response from the torque-converter car, insufficient torque to beat the front wheels and make them spin, respectable rolling response to poke into gaps, and usually okay refinement until you are actually mashing that accelerator pedal. Its 91RON gasoline use is often a realistic 7.2L/100km.
The good information for many who crave additional oomph could be the point you’ll be able to possibility the Elite by using a one.6-litre turbocharged petrol motor, which makes far more spirited outputs of 130kW/265Nm. It’s mated to the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and variable on-demand all-wheel generate using a locking centre differential.
Certainly, a de-specified Kona Energetic with this particular additional engaging drivetrain costs $29,000, so that you can decide on concerning the machines or maybe the speed for a similar outlay. Given the target buyer, it is not shocking which the engine we’re screening is what the bulk of purchasers in Australia decide for, in accordance to Hyundai’s personal profits info.
The suspension is tuned to Australian situations, and makes it possible for the Kona to sit comfortably about the highway when shrugging from the lumps and bumps of nearby streets with no upsetting occupants as well considerably. Steering is light and straightforward, creating restricted confines a breeze at the side of a 10.6m turning circle.
Highway sounds is really a weaker issue. It may differ dependant upon the surface, but on for a longer period excursions tyre roar is actually a visible companion. To the upside, whilst lower-grade Konas use lower-grip Hankook Kinergy tyres, the Elite sports activities Continentals that make it a considerably less understeer-y wager.
The suspension includes a MacPherson strut up entrance along with a humble torsion beam for the rear (the turbo adds impartial rear suspension). The entrance brakes are 280x10mm ventilated discs, while within the rear are 262x10mm reliable discs. The turbo products get more substantial rotors. The spare wheel under the floor can be a space-saver.
From an possession standpoint, all Hyundais appear with a five-year and unlimited-distance guarantee, plus roadside guidance. Servicing intervals to the two.0-litre are twelve months or 15,000km, while using the initial 3 visits capped (at present rates) at $264, $264 and $264. Which is pretty inexpensive. The 1.6T has ten,000km intervals and costs $10 additional for every visit.
If an acquaintance questioned me to explain the Kona, I would caution that irrespective of the SUV nomenclature, it is really less roomy and features a lot less general performance compared to the equal i30. Naturally, that is wilfully disregarding the actual fact that vehicles like this often market based on their own design and style, relatively than their practicality.
Hyundai has crafted a little bit crossover that falls limited of some rivals when it comes to cabin room, but presents a lot of functions, excellent jogging costs, plenty of driver technologies, and most importantly turns heads in ways a humdrum small hatchback hardly ever will. There is also a audio argument to invest nearly the Elite, given the extra attributes it provides.
Remember of what little SUVs like this actually offer you, but when you have fallen for your concept of a Kona, then there are not numerous purple flags to dissuade you from creating the leap. And although the turbo/AWD versions present extra zip, for the normal urbanite, the base engine will probably suffice 99 moments from a hundred.