DOWN THE ROAD

Hyundai’s Cool Kona

Road Trip - - CONTENTS - Story by Ferdi de Vos | Im­ages © Hyundai Europen

It is of­fi­cial – Hyundai plans to in­tro­duce its funky and pro­gres­sive new Kona – named after the west­ern dis­trict, the lee­ward or dry side of the is­land of Hawaii – to South Africa by Oc­to­ber this year.

The sub­com­pact Kona will fit in the small gap between the Creta and Tuc­son in the SUV line-up of the Korean man­u­fac­turer, but with its cool and con­fi­dent ap­pear­ance, the Kona will give it a com­pletely new char­ac­ter.

De­signed to take on the Toy­ota C-HR, Nis­san Juke, Honda HR-V, and ex­pected new­com­ers, such as the Volk­swa­gen T-cross and Stonic from sis­ter com­pany Kia, the ex­pres­sive front of the Kona is char­ac­terised by the sig­na­ture cas­cad­ing grille of Hyundai, with LED day­time run­ning lights po­si­tioned on top of the LED head­lights, giv­ing it a sleek and con­fi­dent ap­pear­ance.

Its bold front and rear em­pha­sises its wide stance and vo­lu­mi­nous body styling, while 18-inch al­loy wheels, a shark fin an­tenna, twotone roof, and the choice of ten distinc­tive ex­te­rior colours that of­fer 27 in­di­vid­ual com­bi­na­tions, fur­ther con­trib­ute to the bold char­ac­ter of the Kona.

Win­ning in­te­rior de­sign

The award-win­ning in­te­rior de­sign of the Kona re­flects the ex­te­rior theme fea­tur­ing smooth, con­toured sur­faces on top of the in­stru­ment panel con­trast­ing with the dark painted parts, and it can be per­son­alised with three distinc­tive colours: Or­ange, Lime, and Red. The colour ac­cents are fea­tured on the air vent sur­rounds, around the gearshift, the en­gine start but­ton ring, the stitch­ing on the seats, and the steer­ing wheel. The float­ing screen of the op­tional eight-inch nav­i­ga­tion touch­screen al­lows the driver to stay fo­cused on the road, while ex­clu­sive seats with op­tional three-step ven­ti­la­tion and a heated steer­ing wheel of­fers pas­sen­gers more com­fort. The Kona of­fers front-seat le­groom of 1,054 mm and 880 mm in the rear and has a lug­gage ca­pac­ity of 361 litres.

It also fea­tures a com­biner head-up dis­play and op­tional eight-inch in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that in­te­grates nav­i­ga­tion, me­dia, and con­nec­tiv­ity fea­tures, sup­port­ing Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto. Kona of­fers a premium sound sys­tem by Krell fea­tur­ing eight speak­ers.

With Hyundai Smart­sense and safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing, For­ward Col­li­sion-avoid­ance As­sist with pedes­trian de­tec­tion, Lane Keep­ing As­sist (stan­dard), High Beam As­sist with Static Low Beam As­sist, Driver At­ten­tion Warn­ing (stan­dard), Blind-spot Col­li­sion Warn­ing, and Rear Cross-traf­fic Col­li­sion Warn­ing, the Kona is one of the safest ve­hi­cles in the B-seg­ment, proven by the five-star safety rat­ing from Euro NCAP.

Petrol driv­e­trains

In Europe the Kona is avail­able with the new Smart­stream 1.6-litre diesel en­gine (de­liv­er­ing ei­ther 85 kw or 100 kw), a 130 kw 1.6 T-GDI petrol en­gine, or an eco­nom­i­cal 1.0-litre T-GDI three-cylin­der tur­bocharged petrol en­gine, de­liv­er­ing 88 kw of power and 172 Nm of torque.

The 1.0-litre Kappa turbo petrol, with a com­bined fuel con­sump­tion of 5,7 l100 km and CO2 emis­sions of 129 g/km, is ear­marked for South Africa, as well as the 2.0-litre MPI petrol en­gine (also used in the Tuc­son), de­liv­er­ing 110 kw and 180 Nm of torque, while the 1.0-litre en­gine is mated to a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, the two-litre mod­els will also be avail­able with a seven-speed dual-clutch trans­mis­sion. In com­bi­na­tion with the 7DCT, the new Kona of­fers three drive modes: ECO, Nor­mal, and Sport.

No diesel de­riv­a­tives will be of­fered lo­cally, and while the Kona is avail­able with on-de­mand four-wheel-drive over­seas, South African mod­els will be front-wheel drive only.

While pric­ing has not yet been re­leased, the Kona will prob­a­bly cost between R330,000 and R400,000, con­sid­er­ing the price tags for the C-HR (R336,000 to R422,100), Juke (R306,500 – R411,900), and HR-V (R347,600 – R411,400).

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