The Car Connection Hyundai Kona Overview
The Hyundai Kona is a compact crossover SUV that's the smallest in the automaker's portfolio—for now.
New for the 2018 model year, the Kona seats five and offers a 4-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and an option for all-wheel drive.
For 2019, Hyundai made forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking standard, and added a second USB port in the console.
In a size class with adventurously styled vehicles like the Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR, the Kona is said to predict the styling themes Hyundai SUVs will wear in the near future.
MORE: Read our review of the 2019 Hyundai Kona
Hyundai likens the wedgy Kona’s pronounced fenders and body cladding to armor. Hyundai caps the Kona with a contrasting roof, and fits it with a tall mesh grille and LED headlights, concave door panels, stubby rear roof pillar and slim tailights, for an on-trend body. The interior is organized around a central infotainment display, flanked by a softly sculpted dash.
With the Kona, Hyundai offers a range of small-displacement 4-cylinder engines. American-spec Konas will likely adopt a base 2.0-liter inline-4 with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This 4-cylinder couples to a 6-speed automatic. The company estimates 0-60 mph for this version at under 10 seconds, and top speed at 121 mph.
A 1.6-liter turbo-4 puts out 175 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque. This familiar powertrain, found in the Elantra, pairs with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Top speed is a claimed 131 mph, 0-60 mph an estimated 7.7 seconds.
Other markets with see a 1.0-liter turbo-4 and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. A battery-electric Kona has been introduced; it has a 258-mile range.
A three-mode drive selector changes power delivery and shift timing through a range of economy, normal, and sport modes.
The Kona rides atop a new architecture with MacPherson struts in front. Front-drive models have a torsion-beam rear suspension, while all-wheel-drive cars get multi-link control arms in back. Hyundai says the Kona will have a high seating position and SUV-style ground clearance, but crossover levels of ride refinement and comfort.
The Kona’s cargo space has two levels and split-fold rear seats. Overall, it’s 164.0 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, 61.0 inches tall, and rides on a 102.4-inch wheelbase.
On the safety front, the Kona offers forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.
Other tech features will include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, across a range of 5.0-, 7.0-, and 8.0-inch touchscreen displays. A rearview camera, in-car data services, navigation, a head-up display, Bluetooth with audio streaming, HD and satellite radio, and smartphone wireless charging will be available.