ANYANG, South Korea – Amidst Hyundai’s sprawling, town-like research and development middle, a bunch of 2018 Kona crossovers awaits on the take a look at-song in advance. Camouflaged and black vinyl-classed prototypes zip by as finely-dressed security employees hover silently, staring at as we hop into the motive force’s seat for our alternatively brief 8-minute runabout on Hyundai’s place of birth coping with the path.
Hyundai releases the Kona in the U.S. Till March 2018, properly behind the now-hooked-up Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and more current Toyota C-HR. “We had to make an effort to make sure we were given things right for the marketplace and our customers,” said Hyundai vice president Chung Eui-Sun.
Hyundai will have a strong shot at scooping up what’s left of this booming phase based on our minimal drive of a pre-production Korean-spec Kona. Our check vehicle is a loaded instance that boasts the optionally available combination of a 1.6-liter faster-four and 7-speed twin-take hold of automatic.
As in previous models, including the Veloster Turbo and Sonata Eco, the engine makes one hundred seventy-five hp and a wholesome 195 lb-toes of torque from 1,500 to four,500 RPM. The base engine can be a 2. Zero-liter Atkinson cycles four exact for 147 hp and 132 lb-toes of torque paired with a six-velocity automated. Drive modes encompass Normal and Sport, with the latter including barely heavier steerage, sharper throttle sensitivity, and a sportier transmission mapping that downshifts in advance under braking and holds gears longer below heavy throttle input. Other markets may also get an Eco choice that, truly amusingly, isn’t blanketed for U.S. Fashions; revel in taught Hyundai that customers regularly unknowingly leave the drive mode in Eco and then bitch the auto is underpowered.
Down the lengthy straightaway at the start of our take a look at run, the punchy little engine impressed with its beneficent low-quit torque and smooth-moving transmission. There’s a piece of hesitation at low speeds because the twin-snatch attempts to find its footing, but once at the boil, it’s an adept and perfectly appropriate powertrain. Hyundai expects 35 to 40 percent of Kona buyers to spring for the uprated engine to be well known on SEL and Ultimate models. The base engine and transmission will be the only powertrain for the decrease-level SE and SEL trims. All-wheel pressure may be presented as a stand-by myself choice on all fashions, and Hyundai expects approximately 45 percent of consumers to tick that box.
Hyundai is up to now frustratingly mum on how exactly the suspension and steerage will be tuned for U.S. Spec models, but the Korean-spec Kona has a somewhat company suspension and nice heft to the guidance. While no longer as sharp and responsive because of the Mazda CX-3, the Kona is a much cry from the lethargic Honda HR-V, even in Normal mode. Body roll was noticeable — but now not excessive — all through quick navigation of several roundabouts.
Over enlargement joints and small bumps, the Kona suggests off solid frame manipulate and compliance. However, Hyundai’s coping with direction is a global far from some of America’s more excellent decrepit roads. (Engineered imperfection isn’t the same as correct or’ normal forget about and terrible infrastructure control.) Our check vehicle became prepared with all-wheel power, meaning it featured a multi-hyperlink rear suspension in the vicinity of the front-wheel-force version’s torsion-beam setup.
Dynamics are, but not the most considerable enchantment for subcompact crossover shoppers. Those might be style, equipment, and area. The Kona’s design, led by a veteran cohort such as chief Peter Schreyer, Sangyup Lee, and Luc Donckerwolke, is one-of-a-kind sufficient to attract those looking for something clean and signals a more excellent extroverted course for Hyundai. It may want to thoroughly be too busy and incoherent for some, especially the scrunch-confronted front stop. From the Jeep Cherokee-like eyelid-style daytime jogging lamps to the faux air scoop, loads of “armor” cladding all over, and Land Rover-ish D-pillar kink, there’s a lot to digest. Fortunately, the indoors is significantly extra restricted with its cognizance of space efficiency and intuitive functionality.
Hyundai says the Kona rides on an all-new worldwide B-phase platform, a 0.7-inch decrease and broader than that of its Creta subcompact crossover, which has been on sale in emerging markets for some years. Executives had been tight-lipped when it got here to details about the platform or what it’d yield down the road, but it did pop out that a few destiny B-section sedans could undertake the brand new structure.
Bare-bones Kona SE models will come with power seats; cruise manipulate, Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, and an old-college ignition key. Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are preferred, as nicely. From there, the SEL trim adds 17-inch wheels, roof rails, push-button begin, a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, rear go-site visitors alert, and a non-obligatory package deal with computerized emergency braking. Spring for the Limited version to get a leather interior, sunroof, LED headlights, and rear lights. Goodies for the top-spec Ultimate trim include a 8-inch display screen with navigation, lane-keep help, rear parking sensors, automated emergency braking, and a phone-charging pad. There can also be a shade head-up display that flips up from the dashboard in styles like the Mazda3 or Mini Cooper.
Pricing received is announced until towards release; however, Hyundai’s U.S. Public members of the family crew say it’ll be positioned competitively and cheaper than the $23,460 Toyota C-HR. Expect the bottom version to start at approximately $20,000.
With its exact chunk of to be had tools, now not to say the pedestrian-detection safety era that’s something of a rarity thus far in this space, the 2018 Hyundai Kona must gift a wonderfully valid alternative inside a area that’s turning into ever greater crowded with other options. It’ll be the first strike in Hyundai’s deliberate SUV product assault, for you to include a smaller crossover beneath the Kona in addition to a 3-row circle of relatives SUV above the Santa Fe.