As mentioned a few days ago, Hyundai plans to launch eight new SUVs by 2020. Leading the charge is the brand new the 2018 Hyundai Kona subcompact crossover, which made its North American debut in Los Angeles this week and is set to arrive on the Canadian market in March.
The Kona is named after the coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii and hints at the future design direction of Hyundai’s next generation of SUV models. It stands out from the crowd with high-contrast design elements and striking style, most notably its protective “armour” around the lower body, the Cascading Grille with sporty mesh pattern and the unique LED lighting signatures.
Clearly, the new Hyundai Kona was designed to appeal to the Millennial demographic. Want more proof? Various colour combinations are available for a vibrant look suiting different personalities, as these videos show. The roof is finished with a two-tone color scheme, providing high contrast between the body and wheels.
Under the hood, there’s a choice of two engines. The base 2.0L unit produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, while the optional 1.6L turbo delivers 175 hp and 195 lb-ft and is mated to Hyundai’s responsive seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Another good news is that all-wheel drive is available, unlike certain rivals in the B-segment.
A cabin for modern times
Inside, Hyundai claims the Kona delivers best-in-class interior space, particularly headroom. The sleek and simple layout contrasts with the bold, adventurous exterior. The AVN (Audio, Visual, Navigation) monitor appears to float on the dashboard, contributing to the sense of openness.
Compared with Hyundai’s cars, SUV-level ground clearance and an elevated seating position ensure better visibility for drivers. Reflecting the requirements of customers with active lifestyles, the split-folding rear seats fold flat, with a two-level loading floor that allows easy access for a bicycle or golf club storage.
As for technology, the infotainment system offers various advanced connectivity features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay where specified with a 7- or 8-inch display. In a first for the segment, the Kona is available with smartphone wireless charging, too.
Safety at the forefront
Did you know Hyundai is the only automobile manufacturer to make its own steel to produce its vehicles globally? The Kona’s lightweight body frame has been developed with 51.8% Advanced High Strength Steel to deliver superior levels of passive safety. The platform also features an innovative multi-load path structure—an advanced energy dispersion technology that boosts impact tolerance by dispersing crash energy across multiple structures to protect passengers in the event of an accident.
Meanwhile, active safety features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which uses the car’s front-facing camera and radar to detect imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. Three further systems also utilize the front-view camera: Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning.
A new combiner Head-Up Display is fitted to the Kona, projecting a virtual image onto the clear glass panel mounted behind the instrument panel to enable the driver to keep their eyes on the road. Information projected to enhance safety and usability include speed, navigation instructions, Lane Departure Warning messages, and audio information.
Kona passes the test
Don’t forget to read our 2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive review to learn more about this exciting new vehicle and the way it drives! Pricing has yet to be announced.