– Waimea, Hawaii
The burgeoning quantity of small crossovers available on the market are completely different, and to date, all of them has already established many of us of cons as pros. Many are incredibly spacious but deathly bland they are driving. Others look fabulous but offer very little usable interior space. And a few don’t even offer all-wheel drive, inexplicably alienating Snowbelt buyers. So after 2 days in the wheel from the 2018 Hyundai Kona, the newest entry within this class, it’s refreshing that there’s no apparent means by so it forces buyers to compromise.
To begin with, the look is fairly awesome both outdoors as well as in. Don’t refer to it as weird, refer to it as different: with multi-tiered lighting elements, immeasureable plastic cladding, along with a sporty “rip-curl” C-pillar, it’s got lots of Instagram appeal. The leading overhang is particularly more than the trunk one, which Hyundai Design Center Senior Chief Designer Chris Chapman states prevents the vehicle from searching not big enough on the highway. He likens the jagged, opposed diagonal lines on our bodies sides towards the unpredictable flows of lava, as well as further stretches belief by linking that towards the “urban adventure” lifestyle of potential customers.
“There’s a particular type of unpredictability towards the way these folks [Millennials] live their lives,” he states. “These lines would represent these kinds of alterations in direction within their everyday living.”
Regardless, the Hyundai Kona has much more personality than other small crossovers (e.g. Honda HR-V), without searching enjoy it was sourced from the 12-year-old’s sketchbook (e.g. Toyota C-HR). The Kona looks very best in white-colored, blue, eco-friendly, or red, because the black cladding sticks out and highlights the marginally rugged theme it’s very sophisticated in black or grey, but loses a few of the funkiness.
The interior is a touch classical, having a sensible layout familiar using their company recent Hyundai models. The touchscreen sits atop the dash, tablet-style technology highlights have an optional color mind-up display and wireless phone charging. All of the switches and plastics are componen for that course with this cost selection of cars: nothing particularly special, but nicely grained and enjoyable enough towards the eye and touch. You may also choice for a number of lime-eco-friendly accents with the cabin. Instead of garish, they look fun, nicely spicing in the interior panels.
The Hyundai Kona has much more personality than other small crossovers, without searching enjoy it was sourced from the 12-year-old’s sketchbook.
There’s more than enough room right in front seats, although the rears feel just a little cramped to have an adult – not always anymore cramped than other subcompact crossovers, and surely just a little tight for lengthy journeys. You’ll also find plenty of room to keep your possessions. Cargo space ratings of 19.2 cubic ft seats-up and 45.8 cubic ft together lower are excellent for that class. There’s also a divider for hiding smaller sized products underneath the trunk floor, and Hyundai even seems to fit an extra tire lower there, too – something that’s becoming more and more rare on cars of any size. Have to carry your bulky active-lifestyle gear? Roof rails are standard on all but the bottom SE trim level.
The following factor within the Kona’s favor is the fact that it’s pretty nice they are driving. Though a couple.-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower is standard, I drove the upgrade turbocharged 1.6-liter, which delivers 175 hp and 195 pound-ft of torque. (Hyundai only offered in the turbo mills because our drive route required us up to 6,000 ft of elevation, where turbo engines struggle under naturally aspirated ones.) It’s mated to some seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that will a outstanding job of acting just like a regular automatic merely a couple of occasions will i identify the stumbles and lurches which are endemic to affordable DCTs.
Your engine choice will be based, partly, on which trim level you purchase: the two.-liter only comes around the SE and SEL models, as the turbo engine is standard around the better-outfitted and pricier Limited and supreme. As Hyundai expects the SEL trim to account in excess of 1 / 2 of all sales, that 2.-liter is going to be undoubtedly the amount engine. Hopefully they are driving it later on.
The turbo engine, for the time being, delivers the perfect quantity of punch for that Kona’s weight and size, speeding up with confidence and simply. Even creating a 2-lane road is easy, with peak torque offered by 1,500 completely to 4,500 revoltions per minute. Though as revs build, the engine’s seem isn’t particularly sonorous.
Even besides the powertrain, the Kona drives having a refreshing maturity: a lot more like a shrunken bigger vehicle than the usual bulked-up small one. The suspension keeps body motions under control on winding and undulating roads, and toes the road between being stiff and pliant over rough ones. There’s little floatiness, and also the electrical power steering delivers generous weighting and realism while you turn interior and exterior bends. The controls, ultimately, all feel just-right: the brake pedal, the throttle response, and also the steering are very well-judged.
It drives having a refreshing maturity: a lot more like a shrunken bigger vehicle than the usual bulked-up small one.
The couple of occasions I have the ability to carry speed through twisty roads, the Kona a minimum of doesn’t throw its hands in surrender: to it sporty will be a stretch, but it’s much more confident when cornering than I’ve come to anticipate from small crossovers. The car’s computers even lightly brake the interior wheel in turns to supply a mild torque-vectoring effect that, Hyundai states, helps make the vehicle feel natural in bends.
The not compulsory all-wheel-drive system automatically transmits its capacity to the leading wheels but could shift as much as 50 % rearward in situation of wheel spin. Abnormally for any vehicle such as this, there’s a change to lock the AWD in the 50:50 split (e.g. for extricating yourself from snow or sand) and hill-descent control. However with 6.7 inches of rated ground clearance, it’s difficult to picture any Kona proprietors tackling something more off-road-y than the usual gravel road.
Despite its good characteristics, both wind and road noise are readily apparent within the Kona, even at sub-highway speeds (the greatest posted speed limit I saw within my drive was 55 mph). The steering is simply too heavy at low speeds three-point turns feel more stressful than suits a regular-driver vehicle such as this. As well as on-center at high speeds, there’s a small little bit of vagueness within the steering that might be tedious over multi-hour highway journeys.
Because the Kona is aimed, like a lot of new cars, at Millennials, Hyundai emphasizes the Kona includes a strong value-for-money play. It starts at $19,500 before destination, as the top trim level with all of-wheel drive lists for $28,700. That’s competitive inside the class. More to the point, Hyundai labored to make certain that you simply don’t have to climb excessive with that cost ladder to obtain plenty of features.
“Price turns into a key issue because these are affordability-driven buyers,” states Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s senior v . p . of product planning.
This means that standard equipment around the entry SE model includes the 7-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 16-inch wheels, Brought running lights, keyless entry, and cruise control (remarkably, not every individuals situations are standard on all of the Kona’s rivals). Moving to the $21,150 SEL adds 17-inch wheels, blind-place warning, push-button start, roof rails, and heated seats a $1,500 Tech package develops by using a sunroof, pre-collision braking, lane-keep assist, along with a driver-attention warning. In my money, the SEL Tech is most likely the trim to obtain.
The very best factor concerning the 2018 Hyundai Kona is the fact that it’s tough to locate a downside.
The Limited adds these turbocharged engine, in addition to 18-inch wheels, Brought mind- and taillights, leather seats, an electrical driver’s seat, automatic heating and cooling, and fog lights, for $24,700. Finally, the $27,400 Kona Ultimate brings an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, wireless phone charging, a mind-up display, pre-collision braking/lane-keep assist, automatic wipers, an Infinity seem system, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics (having a free three-year subscription). All-wheel drive is really a $1,300 option on any model.
Talking about affordability, gas bills ought to be relatively reasonable. Environmental protection agency ratings using the base engine are 27 mpg city and 33 highway with front-wheel drive, or 25/30 mpg with all of-wheel drive. There isn’t a penalty to cover going turbo, either, with Environmental protection agency figures of 28/32 mpg with front-drive and 26/29 mpg with AWD.
The very best factor concerning the 2018 Hyundai Kona is the fact that it’s tough to locate a downside. When compared with its rivals, it drives well, it provides a wide selection of features, its styling is appealing, and it is prices structure is extremely competitive. If you’re out getting active-lifestyle adventures every single day, the Kona would be the perfect partner. And even if you’re not, it’s a reliable and highly likable crossover.
Photos: Kia / Mike Holmes / Motor1.com