Korean firm’s small SUV features a fresh design direction and new tech
Hyundai‘s assault on the fast-growing compact SUV segment has kicked-off as orders for the new Kona are now being taken.
Priced from £16,195, the Nissan Juke rival features a fresh design for the brand and a range of new-to-Hyundai technology, including a head-up display and revamped infotainment system.
— Autocar (@autocar) June 13, 2017
The Kona shares a platform with sister firm Kia’s forthcoming Stonic and comes in five trim levels: S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT.
At launch, it gets a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines, a 115bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 123bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The latter commands a higher £17,495 premium and comes only in SE trim or above.
The 1.0-litre unit will enable a 0-62mph time of 12secs and a top speed of 112mph. It produces 127lb ft of torque at 1500-4000rpm. The more powerful 1.6-litre petrol unit has 174bhp with 195lb ft of torque at 1500-4000rpm. It can achieve 0-63mph in 7.9sec, with a top speed of 127mph.
A six-speed manual and seven-speed dual clutch automatic are available, as is and all-wheel drive – although front-wheel drive is standard. When fitted with the seven-speed box, two driver modes are offered: Normal and Sport, the latter of which holds onto gears for longer between shifts.
In base form the Kona, which sits below the Santa Fe and Tucson in Hyundai‘s SUV line-up, gets 16in alloys, air conditioning and cruise control, as well as 5in LCD display and DAB. Higher spec models get 17 or 18in wheels, with an 8in touchscreen, complete with satellite navigation, part of the optional armoury.
A 1.6-litre diesel is due to arrive in the European market at some point in 2018, although it’s not yet confirmed. It will be available in two-wheel drive with 113bhp and a six-speed manual. It produces 134bhp in seven-speed DCT and all-wheel-drive guise.
Some markets will also be offered the Kona with a 2.0-litre MPI Atkinson engine, although this won’t be coming to Europe.
Fresh design: Hyundai’s new exterior styling, rugged looks
The Kona features a fresh design for Hyundai, with the adoption of the marque’s new ‘Cascading Grille’ front. Hyundai says it is designed to merge high-tech looks with sophistication, to appeal to millennial buyers. The styling was developed at Hyundai’s Califonia facility.
Sangyup Lee, Hyundai’s head of styling, said: “We wanted to create a character that was strong. As a design, creating an icon is a tough challenge. The overall first impression is about dynamic character.”
There are slim daytime LED running lights positioned above the main headlights – a design similar to that of the Juke. The rear of the Kona features wraparound cladding that houses the indicator and reversing lights, slim LED rear lights and a spoiler with an integrated LED brake light.
There are large plastic areas – which Hyundai says are styled on ‘protective armour’ – that extend over the wheel arches to hint at the Kona’s off-roading capabilities; 16in wheels are standard, with 17in and 18in alloys available as options. Roof racks are also available as an exterior option.
There are 10 colour options, with a two-tone roof adding more customisation.
Dimensions: sizing up the Hyundai Kona
The Kona is 4165mm long and 1800mm wide, with a height 1550mm. That makes it slightly shorter and lower than the Juke, but 35mm wider. The Kona’s 2600mm wheelbase is 70mm longer than the Juke’s.
— Autocar (@autocar) June 13, 2017
The Kona has a ground clearance of 170mm to offer ‘a true SUV experience’. It features an all-steel body.
The Kona has McPherson struts at the front. The 2WD model comes with a couple torsion beam, with a multi-link system on the AWD model. That all-wheel-drive car also comes with traction control.
Inside the Hyundai Kona: clutter-free cabin, fresh infotainment and safety tech
Hyundai’s designers have tried to give the Kona’s interior a premium feel with a clutter-free cabin.
There is 1005mm of headroom in the front, with 961mm in the rear. The Kona has a 361-litre boot, compared to the 354-litre boot in the Juke. The Kona’s maximum capacity is 1143 litres, 46 fewer than Nissan’s small SUV.
The Kona comes a 5.0-inch TFT screen as standard, with an optional 8.0-inch colour touchscreen available. In a first for Hyundai, the Kona is available with a Display Audio system that features connected services, including smartphone syncing using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. A wireless smartphone charging pad is available as an option.
In another Hyundai first, the Kona is available with a head-up display, which the firm says has class-leading luminance.
An eight-speaker sound system by American audio firm Krell is also available as an option.
As well as the head-up display, the Kona is available with a number of active driver assistance systems. These include autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, rear-cross traffic alert and blind spot detection.
“The all-new Kona is not just another car among Hyundai Motor’s established SUV range – it is an important milestone on our journey to become Asian automotive brand number one in Europe by 2021,” said Thomas Schmid, Hyundai Europe’s chief operating officer.
“With its true SUV genes, a progressive design and premium features, Kona reflects the lifestyle of modern customers, enhancing the brand’s appeal and attracting new customers.”
Peter Schreyer, boss of design at Hyundai, said: «‘We worked hard to embody an expressive spirit. It’s untypical and unconventional. We’ve always wanted to do a compact car with emotion. It has the same affect as a strong espresso…»
Conceived as a global car, the Kona will be adjusted for each market. As well as differing engine options, the ride, handling and suspension will be customised for different regions.
The Kona is named after a coastal region on …read more