Not too long ago, Hyundai wouldn't have featured much on your radar if you were looking for a family SUV. But these days, thanks largely to the success of the Tucson and Santa Fe, the Korean brand has carved out a niche for selling well equipped, affordable SUVs. And now it's introducing another, even more affordable model, called the Hyundai Kona.
What's new on the Hyundai Kona?
The Kona comes with body cladding around its lower edges and a large front grille with thin headlights – all designed to give it an aggressive, muscular appearance. Buyers will be able to personalise their cars through 10 exterior colours and a two-tone roof, as well as a selection of 16in or 17in alloy wheels.
The Kona's name continues Hyundai's tradition of naming its cars after holiday destinations – Kona is a coastal region of Hawaii.
What engines will be available on the Hyundai Kona?
Buyers will have a choice of two petrol engines. The entry-level choice is a 1.0-litre turbocharged motor with a six-speed manual gearbox. It has 118bhp and CO2 emissions of 117g/km. There's also a higher-powered 1.6-litre petrol with 175bhp, which comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Despite being primarily aimed at city-dwelling families, the Kona will also be offered in 1.6-litre petrol, four-wheel-drive guise for those who want to venture off-road. Next summer, a new 1.6-litre diesel engine will also be available for buyers – it will be available in 113bhp and 131bhp forms, and will also offer four-wheel drive.
Interestingly, Hyundai is also known to be working on an all-electric version of the Kona, which is tentatively scheduled to arrive late next year; the Kona EV should be capable of travelling for up to 217 miles on a single charge. A hybrid version hasn't been ruled out, either, and Hyundai could borrow the 1.6-litre engine and electric motor from sister brand Kia's Niro.
What equipment does the Hyundai Kona come with?
Inside, the Kona comes offers a head-up display which can project speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's line of sight.
As standard, the Kona comes with a 5.0in touchscreen offering a radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a single USB connection. The upgraded Display Audio system brings a 7.0in infotainment screen offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a reversing camera. Buyers can also upgrade to a larger 8.0in screen which offers wireless charging for mobile phones and comes with a seven-year subscription to real-time traffic and weather information.
A second screen in front of the driver – available in either 3.5in or 4.2in forms – shows the most crucial information.
The Kona's list of standard safety equipment includes six airbags, as well as lane-keeping assistance and a driver attention monitor, while optional kit includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection and a rear cross traffic alert.
Although the Kona's boot is bigger than that of the Juke and Mokka X, it can't match the Captur for outright storage space. The space can be extended, though, thanks to split-folding rear seats.
The same trim levels which feature on the Tucson – S, SE, SE Nav, Premium and Premium SE – are likely to be used, but Hyundai hasn't revealed final specifications.
How much will the Hyundai Kona cost?
Hyundai's biggest rival in this market is the big-selling Juke, and since that car currently costs from £14,590, an entry-level price of around £15,000 for the Kona seems likely. As with the Tucson, Hyundai will look to entice frugal buyers by offering a lot of standard equipment on the car, as well as attractive PCP finance deals.
What about the Kia Stonic?
The Hyundai Kona has been developed as a sister car to the upcoming Kia Stonic, which will reach the UK in November. As such, it's likely that many of the Kona's feaures will be available on the Stonic, and that Kia will follow suit with an all-electric version of its small SUV soon after launch.
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