Like pineapple as a pizza topping, you will both love the Hyundai Kona’s appears to be like or not, and you’ll resolve for your self if it is one thing you wish to make month-to-month funds on. If, nevertheless, you are firmly within the naysayer camp due to the design, that is a disgrace as a result of there’s a lot to love right here.
- Robust real-world gasoline financial system
- Pleasant and helpful tech
- Properly designed inside
- Spunky efficiency
Do not Like
- Low-speed transmission judders
- Engine appears like dying
- Backseat is a little bit tight
I get it. This crossover’s styling is just not for everybody. The Kona is a small automobile with lots of grille. That slitlike applique above the principle opening appears to be like like a whole afterthought. These superangular lamp assemblies that home the daytime working lights are positively alien. After which there’s the dark-gray physique cladding, which is at all times of questionable tastefulness. Personally, I do not thoughts the Kona’s design and recognize that Hyundai was keen to take a bet right here as a result of a few of this crossover’s rivals are fairly boring, like, ready on maintain together with your web service supplier boring. Severely, have you ever seen a Ford EcoSport?
To attraction to a broad vary of drivers, the Hyundai Kona is obtainable in 5 trim ranges, from entry-level SE to highfalutin’ Final. My top-shelf all-wheel-drive tester rolls on fashionable 18-inch alloy wheels, is fitted with normal LED headlights and options loads of driver-assistance tech.
The Kona competes with different subcompact crossovers just like the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks, although patrons are prone to additionally cross-shop Hyundai’s sister firm’s Kia Soul, which has an equivalent wheelbase of 102.Four inches. All these automobiles, and several other others together with the Toyota C-HR and Chevy Trax, are the same measurement, although this Hyundai is the shortest of that group at simply 164 inches from hood to hatch.
Curiously, the C-HR’s additional size does not translate into further inside house. At 19.2 cubic toes, the Kona has 0.1 cubic foot extra cargo capability than the Toyota. Drop its backrest and that benefit grows considerably, with capability topping out at 45.Eight cubes in contrast with the C-HR’s 37 cubic toes. The HR-V, Kicks and Trax all supply extra cargo house than the Kona, although Kia’s Soul is the hauling champion right here, with 62.1 cubic toes of most house.
The Kona’s backseat can be on the tighter aspect, with a claimed 34.6 inches of legroom. That’s sufficient house, although I do want my knees had only a contact extra respiration room. Noggin house, alternatively, is superb for my 6-foot body.
Numbers apart, the rest of this Hyundai’s cabin is fantastically crafted. The dashboard’s design is easy, plus there are many good supplies. Inflexible polymers are attractively grained and there is a good swath of soppy plastic working throughout the dashboard. An identical materials on the door uppers could be good and way more elbow-friendly, however this can be a budget-price automobile, so you may’t count on all of it. Inside cupboard space is first rate for a smaller crossover. There is a cubby forward of the shifter that simply accommodates a cellphone, pockets and different small gadgets. The bin beneath the middle armrest is decently sized, although just a few extra nooks and crannies for storing junk is likely to be good.
My Kona Final tester’s normal leather-based seating surfaces look nice however really feel extra like vinyl than something that was shucked off a dwelling, respiration creature. Brightening up an in any other case inky-black inside are vibrant-green accents across the air vents, starter button, shifter base and even on the seats within the type of each piping and distinction stitching. These prospers echo the outside paint shade my Kona is wearing, a luminous hue known as lime twist. This cornea-accosting paint is definitely not for everybody, however I believe it actually makes the Kona pop and is completely in step with its youthful demeanor. If you cannot deal with inexperienced like this, a palette of different colours is obtainable, which incorporates the requisite black, white, silver and grey, however a searing orange and a denimlike blue are additionally on the menu.
Final fashions have an 8-inch tablet-style touchscreen that is mounted excessive on the dashboard the place it is easy to achieve. This show is dwelling to a principally likable infotainment system, one which’s comparatively straightforward to make use of and fairly responsive. It is definitely one of many higher choices available on the market as we speak, particularly because it has embedded navigation and contains an eight-speaker Infinity audio system. Increased-end variations of the Kona additionally function a 4.2-inch reconfigurable display within the meter cluster, which is the place you may maintain observe of gasoline financial system and keep abreast of the lane-keeping system, amongst different issues.
Irrespective of the mannequin, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal. The identical is true of lane-keeping help, ahead collision warning and a driver consideration monitor. That lane-centering system is especially wonderful, virtually pretty much as good as what Honda or Nissan supply. (Amongst mass-market producers, their adaptive cruise-control and lane-centering methods are a few of the greatest.) Stepping up the ladder, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are included on all however essentially the most fundamental Kona mannequin. Lastly, the Final trim stage is the one one which comes with computerized excessive beams, adaptive cruise management and a useful head-up show, which initiatives helpful info like automobile velocity onto a separate combiner panel that pops up from the dashboard. For those who do not care to make use of this function, that half folds out of the way in which on the push of a button.
Two powertrains are provided within the Kona. Decrease-end fashions include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is good for 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, figures that evaluate very favorably with what’s provided in rival fashions. It is paired with a standard six-speed computerized transmission. Restricted and Final variants, nevertheless, function a 1.6-liter turbo-four that is appreciably stronger, churning out 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of twist. Entrance- or all-wheel drive is obtainable with both powertrain, a pleasant choice to have. Rivals together with the Kicks, C-HR and Soul don’t supply this traction-enhancing function.
These engine output figures could not look all that spectacular, however the Kona’s force-fed four-cylinder delivers loads of torque all through its working vary, which helps this crossover speed up with sudden ease, although there’s a trade-off: This isn’t essentially the most nice powerplant ever constructed. It sounds sickly when pushed exhausting, like a connecting rod would possibly liberate itself at any second by punching a window within the cylinder block. This engine can be a bit on the buzzy aspect, at occasions impersonating a random-orbital sander by sending little tingles by means of the Kona’s construction.
The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is usually fast to alter gears and it is principally easy whereas going about its enterprise. General, it is a good unit, if not fairly a terrific one. Multigear downshifts can take a second or so to manifest once you ground the accelerator, however due to that meaty torque band that is hardly ever essential. The bigger drawback with this transmission is that it judders ever so barely when taking off from a standstill. No, it does not shake the automobile, however you may really feel the drivetrain quivering. Twin-clutch gearboxes have their advantages, however they virtually by no means really feel as easy or responsive at low speeds as transmissions fitted with conventional torque converters.
Underway, the Kona is impressively refined. This crossover’s inside is well-defended towards wind and street noise, the journey is well-isolated and its brake pedal is agency and simple to modulate. As for steering, it is totally nice, with a fast ratio that makes the automobile really feel gentle and maneuverable. The Kona might be extra fulfilling to drive than any of its main rivals, maybe excluding Mazda’s CX-3. It ought to be far faster than an HR-V or Trax, and its steering is orders of magnitude higher than the Nissan’s, which is extra standoffish than a moody teenager.
With turbocharged energy beneath its hood and an all-wheel-drive system spinning every tire, my top-shelf Kona Final is rated at 26 miles per gallon metropolis and 29 mpg on the freeway. Mixed, it ought to return 27 mpg, a determine that is woefully inaccurate. In real-world use I obliterated that determine, averaging a whisker lower than 35 mpg in blended driving, which is completely stellar.
How a lot does this South Korean excellence value? Eschew all choices and you must have the ability to drive dwelling in an entry-level Kona SE for round $21,440, a value that features $1,140 in freight prices. This determine could be very corresponding to the bottom costs of many main rivals, although curiously, the most-basic Soul undercuts it by practically three grand.
The Kona I am evaluating right here checks out for round $31,000 together with vacation spot charges. All-wheel drive provides $1,400 to the bottom value, that fancy inexperienced paint prices an extra $300 and carpeted ground mats additional inflate the sticker by $155.
With turbocharged torque, an upscale inside and wonderful driver-assistance tech, the 2020 Hyundai Kona is among the greatest small crossovers you should buy as we speak. Certain, it could be a little bit tighter inside than a few of its rivals and the transmission might be higher dialed in, however the remainder of this automobile is so compelling it is easy to dismiss these minor faults. If you cannot dwell with the Kona’s styling, nicely, I assume that is your loss.
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