2018 Hyundai Kona 2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona is a brand-new subcompact SUV, slotting below the compact Tucson in the company's lineup. An all-electric model will be added for the second model year.


The Kona sports a 102.4-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 164 inches, putting it firmly in the smaller-footprint end of the subcompact CUV segment (opposite models such as the Subaru Crosstrek). Kona rides on an all-new platform, so unlike some others it is not simply a "lifted" subcompact hatchback, but the fundamental formula is the same.

Front-wheel-drive models are equipped with a torsion-beam rear suspension, while all-wheel-drive models receive a multi-link rear regardless of engine.

Life aboard

Inside, the Kona seats five (as is the norm) and offers reasonable rear-seat room for shorter adults. There is room for four adults in reasonable comfort, but multiple six-foot-plus passengers will get cramped. It offers 19.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear bench (or 45.8 cubes if you don't need the rear passenger space).

The interior of the Kona fits its value-oriented proposition. Materials in critical touchpoints are nice enough, but most of the dash and center console is simple, smooth plastic.

Base models receive a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary input jacks and USB charging. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support are also standard.


Base models are equipped with front-wheel-drive and a naturally aspirated, 2.0L engine making 147 horsepower and 132lb-ft of torque. It is paired to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission and this combo is rated at 27 mpg city, 33 highway and 30 combined. All-wheel-drive is optional, and drops those numbers to 25, 30 and 27, respectively.

Moving up, a 1.6L turbocharged four becomes available (the same fundamental engine found in various Hyundai "Eco" models and the Veloster Turbo/Elantra Sport). It's tuned for 175 horsepower and 195lb-ft of torque in this application and, like the 2.0, is available with either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Hyundai's seven-speed DCT is the only transmission mated to this engine. Front-drive models are rated at 28 mpg city, 32 highway and 30 combined. With all-wheel-drive, those drop to 26 city, 29 highway and 27 combined.

Standard and optional features

In addition to the features mentioned above, the base Kona comes equipped with a six-way adjustable driver's seat, power windows with driver's side auto-up, a rear area cargo cover, power side mirrors and projector headlamps with LED DRLs.

SEL models add heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal repeaters, blind spot monitoring, SiriusXM and HD Radio, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

Stepping up to the Limited adds a power driver's seat, LED tail lamps, proximity key with push-button start, and leather seats. This is also the first trim with the turbocharged 1.6L engine standard.

Ultimate models are loaded. The biggest upgrades are 8-inch display audio with navigation, BlueLink connected car (which includes app-powered remote start and other features with a subscription), a head-up display and wireless device charging.

Occupant safety

Standard safety equipment includes a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines; stability control; TPMS, hill start control; LATCH anchors; LED DRLs; and driver, front passenger (with occupant classification system), driver and front passenger side-impact, side air curtains, front and rear passengers and driver's knee and driver and front passenger side-impact airbags.

Other safety features, including forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, high beam assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, parking distance warning and lane change assist are available as part of Hyundai Smart Sense starting with the SEL trim and are standard with Ultimate.

Key competitors

The Hyundai Kona competes in the ever-expanding segment which also includes the Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek

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