2018 Hyundai Kona Tackles Subcompact Crossover SUV Market

What’s the buzz in the car market these days? Definitely subcompact crossover SUV’s which sell like hot cakes on the showroom floor. The 2018 Hyundai Kona hopes to take on well established competitors in this fierce market.

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If you already saw the concept renders for the Kia Stonic, you might realize that this is the sister model to the Stonic with slightly different styling.

The subcompact crossover market is saturated with extremely good cars like the Toyota C-HR, the Honda HR-V, the Nissan Juke, the Jeep Renegade, the Chevrolet Trax and the Mazda CX-3.

Looking at the styling of the 2018 Hyundai Kona; it’s certainly different from all of the above mentioned competitors, it feels bulgier and somehow very Korean in its essence. It was named after the coastal region on the big Island of Hawaii, styled to look muscular and rough with plenty of solid cladding all around.

The front end is busy to say the least; huge fog light/LED units dominate the front denfer while the headlights take on a much sleeker approach. Additional fog lights reside under the huge grille and intake.

Hyundai says this car was designed to appeal to millennial buyers who fancy technology over anything else. “With the Kona, we have created a stylish and highly functional compact SUV, perfectly suited to the needs of customers who pursue challenging, action-filled lifestyles,” said Euisun Chung, Vice Chairman of Hyundai. “We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class leading safety features.”

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The cabin design seems to be as minimalist as possible and probably utilizing budget materials from the looks of it. But that’s not what Hyundai is focusing on, it’s the gadgets inside the cabin like; Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, rear camera abd 4G telematics coupled with an optional 8-inch screen, a 5 or 7 inch displays are available as well.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona also features wireless charging and heads up Display (HUD) that features a small hidden glass piece behind the gauge cluster which projects data like speed, Lane Departure warnings, Audio data, navigation instructions and other similar features.

The Kona is also loaded with safety systems like the Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, High Beam Assists, Driver Attention Warning, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning which detects another vehicle which has entered the car’s reversing path. These systems utilize the car’s onboard cameras and radars.

Engine and underpinnings?

Hyundai was nice enough to base the Kona on an all new platform that is shared with the new Kia Stonic, measuring in at 4,165mm long, 1,800mm wide and 1,550mm tall. Riding on a 2,600mm (102.4 in.) wheelbase.

The Kona features an optimized underfloor layout that includes 4WD and a new exhaust system that reduces central tunnel intrusion and an improved suspension component layout to allow for a better lower seating position.

The engine available for most markets will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that produces 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque – paired to a six speed automatic. Hyundai says the car will go from 0-62mph in 10 seconds and top out at 120mph.

But this is the engine you should option, the 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged engine more power and accelerated way faster of the line. Rated at 175hp and 195 lb-ft of torque and mated to a seven speed dual clutch transmission – the 2018 Hyundai Kona can go from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 7.7 seconds and top out at 130mph (210km/h). We’re guessing it’s a lot more economical as well.

Then of course, you get the most downsized version for the European market. 1.0-liter T-GDI turbocharged three-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission which delivers 118hp and 127 lb-ft of torque – it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 12 seconds. Ouch.

Hyundai says there is this ‘Iron Man’ special edition which is 40mm wider and has special LED headlights, a matt grey hood, gold and red accents plus some Iron man logos. You also get 716mm off-road tires and a fancy rim design.

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