Hyundai officially unveiled the U.S. production version of its new entry into the subcompact SUV segment at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2018 Hyundai Kona is a dynamically styled crossover that offers some unique-for-the-class features.
Most subcompact SUVs are available with just one engine choice, but the Kona offers two powertrains. The base engine (standard on SE and SEL models) is a 147-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission; the step-up powerplant (standard on Limited and Ultimate models) is a 175-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. A Drive Mode Select feature allows drivers to choose between Normal and Sport mode, and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive are available on all.
Hyundai calls the Kona’s aggressive exterior styling “urban smart armor.” Extroverted color options such as Pulse Red, Surf Blue, and Lime Twist are available, as is a contrasting-color roof-paint treatment. Cargo capacity is a respectable 19.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 45.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Available safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, driver attention warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard. Available comfort and convenience features include a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a head-up display with a pop-up display screen. Also available is Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity system, which includes smartphone-app remote-access functions such as Car Finder, Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery.
The 2018 Kona is slated to go on sale in the first quarter of 2018.
With its assertive styling, eye-catching paint options, and focus on “urban adventure,” the Hyundai Kona follows a formula similar to the rival Toyota C-HR and just-unveiled Nissan Kicks. However, the Kona offers some unique features that should help it stand out in its competitive class. The available 175-hp turbo four should give the Kona a real performance advantage; most subcompact-SUV rivals are a bit lackluster in the acceleration department. The comprehensive list of available active safety gear and technology features such as wireless device charging are other Kona strong points.