Named after a coastal region in Hawaii. Sexy.
As promised, Hyundai has unveiled its new compact crossover – the Kona – and with it a brand-new platform and styling direction for the carmaker's SUV lineup. Compared to the B-SUV competition, the Kona is undoubtedly a good looking car, especially when lined up against the likes of the Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR. It's well-proportioned with a low and wide stance, a relatively long wheelbase and short overhangs and a gorgeous set of lights up front. Slim DRLs incorporate the turn signals and are split from the main LED headlights.
Hyundai's Cascading Grille is flanked by stylish wing-type fenders and the black cladding Hyundai calls "armor" features all around the vehicle, underlining its masculine, aggressive styling, while the Kona also comes with a contrasting black roof for added individuality. "With the Kona, we have created a stylish and highly functional compact SUV, perfectly suited to the needs of customers who pursue challenging, action-filled lifestyles," said Euisun Chung, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, at the car's world premiere. "We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class leading safety features."
The all-new compact platform delivers a best-in-class interior space and class-leading headroom and ease of access for rear passengers. The split-folding rear seats fold flat, and a two-level loading floor should make loading a bicycle or golf clubs a breeze. The infotainment system comes in a 5-, 7- or 8-inch display, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as rear-view camera, HD Radio and 4G telematics. The Kona also boasts a new head-up display that projects graphical information onto a dash-mounted glass panel, and an optional smartphone wireless charging interface found in the center console storage. US buyers will get a couple of four-cylinder gas engines to choose from.
A 2.0-liter unit with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque comes mated to a six-speed automatic, while a 1.6-liter turbo-four gets 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-62 mph happens in 7.7 seconds and top speed is 130 mph. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configuration are offered. With the former, the Kona gets a torsion beam rear suspension while the AWD Kona gets the more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. Safety features include blind spot warning, traffic collision warning, driver attention warning, high beam assist and lane keep assist. The Hyundai Kona will hit US roads later this year, with its new platform set to underpin sister company Kia's new Stonic SUV.
Read more about the best compact SUVs.