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2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive Review

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2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive Review

Utility is an fascinating phrase. Because it applies to automobiles and trucks, it is a nebulous time period – however this obscure idea is the primary purpose for purchasing one slightly than a coupe or sedan. Each truck-based mostly SUVs and car-based mostly CUVs declare a modicum of it. And so-referred to as utility automobiles are available all sizes and shapes.

The Hyundai Tucson might be thought-about a small crossover, however if you park the model-new 2018 Hyundai Kona subsequent to it, you will see that the brand new child is a full foot shorter than its older sibling. Crucially, although, for proper about the identical asking price, the Kona boasts slightly extra cargo area however barely much less rear-seat legroom than a Hyundai Elantra. Meaning a purchaser might conceivably examine and distinction the subcompact Kona crossover with the compact Elantra sedan, and determine which form higher fits their wants.

Extra probably, nevertheless, a potential purchaser goes to know earlier than even stepping foot right into a dealership that they’re within the Kona, not the Elantra, as a result of they need the looks of rugged functionality (greater than precise rugged functionality). Consumers on this class rank design and elegance as extra necessary than driving manners or fuel effectivity.

Utility automobiles are perceived as trendy and stylish, so let’s speak fashion. Design is important on this phase, and meaning boringness is a demise sentence. The Kona definitely is not boring, however it’s additionally somewhat excessive, particularly within the mannequin’s trademark Lime Twist brilliant inexperienced hue. Brilliant colours accentuates the varied textures and finishes of the Kona’s helmet-like entrance fascia. Having a vehicle that stands out from the gang is an effective factor, however we just like the Kona higher in darker colours.

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Cut up lighting models entrance and rear give the Kona a particular look, particularly after the solar goes down with the lights turned on. Jeep launched the cut up mild look on the Cherokee a number of years in the past, controversially – and subsequently the Cherokee has returned to standard headlights. Regardless of Jeep’s backtracking, the design works higher for the Kona because of extra compact proportions. It is also a brand new vehicle with out the luggage and overwrought expectations of Jeep’s adoring fanbase.

The Kona is strongest in profile. The car’s designers say the meandering reduce strains that begin over the entrance wheel arches, stutter and restart throughout the doorways, and merge within the rear quarter panels over the blocky plastic moldings, are impressed by the flowing and unpredictable strains of lava. With apologies to Paris Hilton: That is scorching.

In sharp distinction to the exterior, the interior of the Hyundai Kona is subdued and engaging. Every part the driving force wants is inside straightforward attain, together with a standard seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. An eight-incher comes on the Extremely trim degree, as does a full-colour head-up show with a display that mechanically folds up from the steering column. Such a system places essential information like velocity, navigation and safety system alerts, and audio information immediately within the driver’s line of sight, and projecting the data on a separate display reduces the potential value of windshield replacements for the proprietor.

With a complete size of 164 inches, the Kona is simply over a foot shorter than Hyundai’s personal Tucson. That size, together with a 102.four-inch wheelbase, 70.9-inch width, and sixty one-inch peak, put the Kona roughly on par with its competitors. It’s kind of smaller in each dimension than the phase gross sales-main Subaru Crosstrek. The Kona is a bit smaller inside than the Honda HR-V, which gives fairly a bit extra rear legroom than the Kona (39.three inches versus 34.6), however roomier than the Toyota C-HR. There’s 19.2 cubic ft of cargo capability behind the Kona’s rear seats, or as a lot as forty five.eight cu-ft with these seats folded down. Once more, the Honda HR-V leads the phase with 24.three cu-ft of cargo area, doubtless by advantage of its 5 additional inches of complete size.

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For a modest $1,300 upcharge, the Kona advantages not simply from an electronically lockable AWD system, it additionally positive factors a multi-hyperlink rear suspension system that replaces a standard torsion beam setup on the rear. Our expectation is that the multi-hyperlink will present a smoother journey on tough roads, particularly with a heavy load, and can deal with higher over bumpy surfaces. Merely put, a correct multi-hyperlink is superior in each option to a torsion beam. Contemplating the affordable value and higher suspension refinement, we will advocate all-wheel-drive Kona fashions.

We’re additionally fairly eager on the improve from the Kona’s standard 2.zero-liter inline-4-cylinder engine to the 1.6-liter turbocharged unit that comes on higher-degree Restricted and Final trim ranges. The bottom engine’s 147 horsepower and 132 pound-ft of torque are aggressive within the phase. However the turbo mill provides one hundred seventy five horsepower with such a wholesome surge of 195 pound-ft of torque from 1,500 by means of four,500 rpm that it morphs the little Kona into a really fast little runabout, particularly when the driving force manually selects gears to maintain the turbo spinning in its pleased place within the center stretches of the tach.

The non-compulsory turbocharged engine provides the Kona a leg up on its major rivals. The Honda HR-V’s 141 horsepower and 127 pound-ft of torque do not come shut, and its CVT transmission saps away a lot of the enjoyable of the in any other case respectable driving dynamics. The Subaru Crosstrek’s CVT is much less obtrusive than Honda’s, however nonetheless does not thrill driving lovers like Hyundai’s twin-clutch transmission.

2018 Hyundai Kona

We might like to see a standard guide gearbox, however the one mannequin within the phase that gives a six-velocity stick is the Jeep Renegade. Too dangerous, however the turbo fashions’ 7-velocity twin-clutch transmission is a pleasant improve from the 6-velocity slushbox that is standard with the two.zero-liter on SE and SEL trims. All Kona fashions, no matter trim, profit from Torque Vectoring By Braking, which may selectively brake the within entrance wheel on entrance-drive fashions or the within rear wheel on AWD fashions whereas rounding a nook, decreasing the sensation of understeer.

As we talked about earlier, driving dynamics fall under price and elegance for many small crossover consumers. Nonetheless, the Hyundai Kona is a reasonably good vehicle to drive enthusiastically. Energy from the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine comes on robust within the mid-range, and that rush of torque is a strong purpose to decide on the Kona over its naturally aspirated rivals. The experience and dealing with compromise is cheap, with a clean however properly-managed experience. There is a requisite button for Sport mode, however we think that is just a little incongruous contemplating the vehicle’s viewers and mission assertion.

Contemplating the speedy progress of the small crossover phase in America, it is arduous to consider that the Kona is Hyundai’s first foray into the market. Ready a number of years earlier than diving in allowed Hyundai to get the Kona proper the primary time. It ticks all the suitable packing containers, with elective all-wheel drive (which the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Kicks lack), standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (not obtainable within the Honda HR-V), and obtainable Google House and Amazon Alexa integration.

2018 Hyundai Kona

The Kona goes to attraction to fashion-acutely aware consumers far more than a comparable Subaru Crosstrek, and its obtainable turbocharged engine, big record of standard and elective features, and complete suite of safety tech ought to draw a superb sum of consumers away from the Honda HR-V. To wit, whereas Honda provides its LaneWatch system within the HR-V, Hyundai trumps that with blind-spot and rear cross-visitors warnings, ahead collision avoidance help, lane-departure warning, and lane-retaining help.

The speedy progress of the small crossover phase signifies that hundreds of latest-car consumers in America are prepared to sacrifice a small quantity of effectivity in favor of rugged appears and a rear hatch. With a beginning price of proper round $20,000 – or about the identical price as a compact sedan like Hyundai’s personal Elantra – house owners can trade a smidge of rear-seat room and a pair miles per gallon in favor of extra cargo area, out there (and advisable) all-wheel drive, and a singular sense of favor. And consumers are doing precisely that in droves.

Hyundai desperately wanted an entry on this burgeoning phase, however thankfully the Kona is greater than that. It is is nicely positioned to not simply problem phase leaders, however to win. The optionally available turbo engine and twin-clutch transmission are there to entice lovers, and the standard and elective gear lists imply there is a Kona for each would-be purchaser to think about. We might not love its face, however we will need to get used to it – we have now a sense we will be seeing a lot of new Konas on roads all throughout the USA.

– 2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive Review –

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