Revealed: 2018 Hyundai Kona

There aren’t many automakers not in the subcompact CUV segment; soon there will be one fewer.  Hyundai has revealed its new B-segment CUV, the Kona.  Named for the coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Korean automaker hopes to cash in on the “thrill-seeking” and “energetic” persona of the area with active, adventurous millennials.

The exterior of the Kona is inspired by Iron Man (yes, the Marvel comic character) and will even have a special edition model that shares the same name.  Up front, the lighting takes a cue from the Jeep Cherokee by putting the turn signals and daytime running lights separate and above the LED headlights.  Hyundai’s Cascading Grille is sandwiched between two horizontal openings that give the nose a bold appearance.

Around the side, black fender guards (what Hyundai calls ‘armor’) give the small crossover a bulky, capable look.  That’s not to say it’s attractive, but it certainly is distinctive.  The rear also has stacked lighting as well as an aluminum-look skid plate in the center of the rear bumper.  The roof can be had in black, following the current craze in the crossover market.

Inside, the Kona is no more shy than on the exterior.  Accent stitching and trim pieces highlight a playful, if not button-heavy, design.  The floating infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as HD radio and 4G connectivity.  A HUD sits above the gauge cluster that can display speed, navigation, lane departure information, as well as audio settings.  Hyundai claims best-in-class interior space and headroom through clever packaging of the all-wheel drive system, exhaust, and rear suspension.

For the American market, power will likely come from two engine options; a 2.0L Atkinson cycle with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque and a 1.6L turbo with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.  The former will be mated to a six-speed automatic while the turbo will employ a seven-speed dual clutch unit.  Hyundai estimates 0-62 mph at 10.0 and 7.7 seconds, respectively.  Both will be available with three drive modes; Normal, Eco, and Sport.

Available safety features include Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Alert Warning (DAW), Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), and Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning (RCCW).

Though the styling won’t be for everyone (that is what the HR-V and Trax are for), this dynamic little crossover is sure to be a hit in the marketplace.  From bold colors to high-end tech, there is a lot to look forward to from Hyundai’s newest crossover.

Randy Milanowski

Randy Milanowski

Randy has had a passion for the automobile for as long as he can remember. He lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife, pets, and project cars.

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