2018 Hyundai Kona rated at 30 mpg–with a catch

January 18, 2018

The 2018 Hyundai Kona's outlandish styling isn't the only thing likely to grab buyers' attention when it goes on sale in the next few months. The EPA rates front-wheel-drive versions of the quirky, pint-size crossover at 30 mpg combined, but there's a big fuel-economy hit for the Kona's optional all-wheel-drive system.

Those wintry road-ready Konas come in at a thirsty 27 mpg combined. At least all versions of the Kona—SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate trim levels—are designed to run on regular unleaded fuel rather than pricier premium.

MORE: Read our 2018 Hyundai Kona preview

Here's a look at how the numbers work out for both the 147-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 engine and the optional 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-4, both of which are only offered with automatic transmissions:

  • Kona 2.0 front-wheel drive: 28 mpg city, 32 highway, 30 combined
  • Kona 1.6T front-wheel drive: 27/33/30 mpg
  • Kona 2.0 all-wheel drive: 26/29/27 mpg
  • Kona 1.6T all-wheel drive: 25/30/27 mpg

Those figures come up short compared to most of the Kona's direct rivals. Front-wheel-drive Mazda CX-3 crossovers are rated at 31 mpg combined; adding all-wheel drive drops that to 29 mpg. The all-wheel drive-only Subaru Crosstrek is rated at 29 mpg with the optional automatic transmission.

However, the Kona is far thriftier than the Ford EcoSport that's just now hitting dealer lots after a lengthy build-up. The Ford is rated on the EPA test as low as 25 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.

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