LA LIVE: 2018 Hyundai Kona

The Kona is Hyundai\'s smallest crossover.

After debuting in Euro-spec guise at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Hyundai Kona has arrived on American soil as a U.S.-spec model.

Inside and out, the Kona is all but identical to its Euro-spec sibling. What changes is the specifications sheet. In America, its base engine is a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. It shifts through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Buyers who want more power need to step up to either the Limited or the Ultimate trim. Both are available with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that provides 175 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. The turbo four is linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available at an extra cost. Two-wheel drive cars use a rigid torsion beam rear suspension; four-wheel drive models come with an independent multi-link design.

Hyundai predicts some Kona buyers will downsize from a bigger crossover. To that end, the model is available with a long list of tech features including lane-keeping assist, a blind spot warning system, lane change assist, and forward collision detection.

Inside, a seven-inch touch screen compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes standard. The list of extra-cost options includes a head-up display, a wireless phone charger, rain-sensing wipers, an eight-inch touch screen with navigation, and heated leather seats.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona will arrive on dealer lots early next year. Look for a pricing announcement before then.

Live images by Brian Williams.

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