First, although, the engine. The Kona’s standard 147-horsepower naturally aspirated 4-cylinder is completely aggressive when it comes to energy, and is not saddled with a CVT or the Jeep Renegade/Fiat 500X’s 9-velocity field of extremely confused gears. That quantities to a win, however the engine to get is the 1.6-liter turbo-4 good for one hundred seventy five hp and 195 pound-ft of torque. That is greater than a Volkswagen Golf, and though this Hyundai mill sounds an excessive amount of like a growly stitching machine beneath mild acceleration, it is a suitable tradeoff for acceleration that blows the doorways off every little thing within the phase besides the 201-hp Kia Soul “!” trim (and that car is entrance-wheel drive solely). Testing from numerous publications signifies zero-60-mph occasions within the mid-to-higher-6-seconds range, which might be about three seconds faster than simply about the whole lot else within the phase. Some are even within the 10s.
That huge distinction is one you will instantly discover on again-to-again test drives, and a bonus you will be glad to have in the long term when you think about its estimated fuel financial system of 27 mpg mixed is the same as the 147-hp base engine – and higher than most within the phase. It is paired to a seven-velocity twin clutch automated guide that is been been smoothed over from earlier Hyundai/Kia purposes, not herking and jerking at low speeds, and extra conscious of throttle inputs.
That is the case whatever the chosen driving mode. In previous Hyundai/Kia efforts, Regular might be too torpid, whereas Sport might really feel over-caffeinated. Right here, they’re truly applicable for the conditions their names suggest. I used to be completely completely happy leaving the Kona in Regular round city, and in Sport, I used to be really impressed by how adeptly the Kona zinged by way of the winding backroad portion of my analysis route, eagerly responding to throttle inputs, downshifting readily, and completely growing steering heft.
Certainly, the Kona’s whole driving expertise is yet one more instance of Hyundai taking nice leaps when it comes to steering and suspension tuning (corresponding with the arrival of latest verhicle dynamics guru Albert Bierrman, previously of BMW M). Not solely is that this sub-compact SUV not dreary, it is truly fairly enjoyable. Fancy that.
The cabin is each attractively styled and useful. The cupholders and multi-tier smartphone bin are helpful, and as a tall individual (6-foot-three), I notably recognize that the eight-method energy seat supplies sufficient adjustability whereas sustaining a simple attain to the massive, straightforward-to-use touchscreen. In typical Hyundai trend, you get a ton of features on your cash.
Sadly, there are a variety of arduous, scratchy plastics, even for this phase. The Lime Twist accents that got here in our test car assist draw your eyes away from these plastics, however you need to order Lime Twist paint to get them. No different colour trim is accessible and with out the splash of colour, the Kona is probably going a bit drab with nothing to distract from these plastics.
Then there’s the matter of area. Simply as our comparability indicated, again seat legroom is midpack for the phase. I definitely could not sit behind myself, however that is to be anticipated. Headroom was adequate and people of common peak ought to be wonderful. In contrast to a C-HR, it does not really feel like a dungeon again there.
Cargo room is fascinating, nevertheless. In response to the specs, there’s about 19 cubic-ft of area behind the Kona’s raised again seat. That is solely 2 cubes lower than the Subaru Crosstrek, which is not a lot on paper, however in follow, the distinction is immense. I managed to suit two mid-size suitcases, three roll-aboard-size carry-on luggage, and a small cooler bag behind the Crosstrek. Within the Kona, one of many mid-sizers and a roll-aboard needed to keep behind. Its cargo area simply is not as deep or helpful. Now, I have never finished this similar test with every thing within the phase, however in my basic expertise most are nearer to the Kona than the Crosstrek – one thing the specs point out. Contemplating that roughly half the Crosstreks I see right here in Portland have roof-mounted storage bins on them, I would not be stunned if Konas will typically be equally adorned.
Then there’s the matter of worth. You get Hyundai’s prolonged warranty and an inexpensive price that begins at $25,680 for the Restricted trim – the bottom trim that features the turbo engine. Our Final trim test car with all-wheel drive hit the register at an eye fixed-popping $29,805, however included leather-based, LED headlights, a sunroof, an Infinity sound system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a full suite of accident avoidance tech. A loaded Crosstrek does not include as a lot gear and prices $30,655. A comparable Jeep Renegade Restricted can be a minimum of $31,000. You’ll be able to’t add sufficient gear to a Honda HR-V or Toyota C-HR to offer an in depth sufficient comparability.
In complete, the 2018 Hyundai Kona really is a sub-compact SUV value recommending. It might share a standard drawback with most of its phase brethren – a scarcity of area – nevertheless it simply faculties all of them with its robust engine and gratifying driving expertise. It additionally gives plentiful worth and distinctive type, two issues that do not all the time go collectively.
– 2018 Hyundai Kona Quick Spin Review –
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