Hyundai unveils its Kona crossover

It's where the market is going
by Andrew Guerrero | Jun 14, 2017

After releasing several teasers, Hyundai has finally pulled the wraps off its new vehicle, the Kona. This funky model will sit below the popular Tucson compact crossover SUV. Like its siblings, it too is named after a place. In this case, a Hawaiian district popular among adventurous tourists.

It’s clear that the 4,165mm long, 1,800mm wide, and 1,550mm tall Kona was designed to go up against the more stylish B-segment crossovers like the new Toyota CH-R and the Nissan Juke. Up front, its familiar 'Cascading Grille' is probably the only thing that links it to its siblings. To create a distinct face, its slim daytime running lights and turn signals are positioned high up on each corner. The main LED headlights are separate units positioned low on matte black panels that blend with the front wheel arch trims.

Bulging fenders, prominent rear haunches, and sculpted door panels give it a muscular look. The front styling theme is mirrored at the back—its slim taillights are mounted high, while its turn signals and reversing lights are paired on the protective matte black panels, which blend with the rear wheel arch trims. Like most trendy new vehicles, it features a contrasting roof color that begins from the bottom of the A-pillars. Inside, it features a sleek dashboard with horizontal lines and a vertical floating screen at the center.

On the tech end, it’s available with a premium infotainment system which features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Depending on the trim or market, you’ll have the option of a 5-, 7-, or 8-inch display. It also features a heads-up display and wireless charging for compatible smartphones.

The Kona will be offered with three gasoline powerplants: a 147hp 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson mill paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, a 175hp Gamma 1.6-liter turbocharged T-GDI lump mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch, while Europeans also have the option for tiny 118hp 1.0-liter turbocharged T-GDI 3-cylinder unit coupled to a 6-speed manual. A 1.6-liter oil-burner will also be offered in select markets.

It rides on a new platform and is available with front-wheel and all-wheel drive, each featuring its own rear suspension. FWD models get a rear torsion beam while AWD models get a multi-link independent rear set-up.

A Kona Ironman Special Edition will also be displayed at Hyundai’s Motorstudio in Seoul. As the name suggests, it gets its inspiration from Tony Stark’s powered armored suit. The Kona will hit Korean showrooms later this month, followed by export markets like America and Europe.

Will it reach out shores? Seeing how closely positioned the Creta and Tucson are to each other currently, you shouldn’t hold your breath. Unless Hyundai makes room for it, the Kona’s addition to the local lineup is seemingly uncertain. 

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PHOTO: Hyundai
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