The cast new 2018 Hyundai Kona is a fun little SUV to drive with accomplished handling. It’s a acceptable best in the booming bazaar for auto SUVs, the ones about beneath than 170 inches. There are absolutely two Konas, so to speak: a brace affordable models with amenable four-cylinder engines priced in the lower twenties, and addition brace of well-equipped turbo-four Konas with disciplinarian assists that can put the car in the aerial twenties. Either way, the grille and anatomy curve accomplish Kona distinctive, as do colors such as Adhesive Twist and Surf Dejected (pictured).
The Kona’s lane abandonment admonishing arrangement is stellar. But akin the $29K all-wheel-drive Kona Ultimate lacks adaptive cruise ascendancy in 2018, which isn’t abundant if this is to be the class-leading subcompact. Also, near-$30K appraisement moves you abutting to Mini Cooper area as able-bodied as expectations of accepting all the above disciplinarian assists.
I spent a summer anniversary active the top-of-the-line Kona Ultimate with the quicker engine, all-wheel-drive, navigation, disciplinarian assists, and the arresting dejected acrylic job. It was a acceptable anniversary that went quickly, as did the Kona. 60 mph comes up in beneath than 7 abnormal if you backpack the throttle. Conversely, if you babyish the burke for a affable start, abnormally activity acclivous or on gravel, the seven-speed dual-clutch chiral lurches already in a while. Added testers accept acclaimed the affair with the DCT Kona. If drivers acquaintance initially hasty acceleration, Hyundai says, accredit the 50/50 all-wheel-drive on AWD cars, and aback on alluvium roads, briefly attenuate absorption ascendancy and use a affable throttle.
The Kona is accomplished for two people, any size, in front, and two bodies up to about 5-foot-9 in back, above which it gets a little close on headroom. The burden bay is able for a brace on a continued weekend, or a aggregation allotment their clothes and packing thoughtfully. The aberration amid a auto and bunched SUV is mostly in burden capacity, secondly in second-row legroom.
You will be hard-pressed to do beneath than Hyundai’s EPA appraisement of 25 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, 27 mpg accumulated for the all-wheel-drive Kona turbo. On two legs of a 600-mile trip, I got 30 and 32 mpg active mostly artery miles, and 34 mpg on a 25-mile articulation active a anchored 65 mph. The smaller-engine Kona is rated 3 mpg better.
The Kona I activated was well-equipped with disciplinarian assists, the abandoned barring actuality that abridgement of adaptive cruise control. Kona’s lane absorption assist, about lane abandonment admonishing on steroids, was bedrock solid. Press the button and it keeps you centered absolutely in the average of the lane, including about the kinds of (gentle) curves you acquisition on interstates. I activate the lane absorption abetment every bit as acceptable as the aforementioned affection on Nissan’s Akin 2 free ProPilot Abetment I collection on a Nissan Rogue an adjoining week.
In a thunderstorm at night on the interstate, the Kona’s LDW optical sensor army in the windshield mirror array saw further bottomward the alley than I did. Best optical sensors shut down, with a warning, in abundant rainfall; Hyundai’s didn’t until the rain was so abundant cars were slowing to 30-40 mph. What I did was one of those don’t-try-this-at-home tests. But still. Kudos to Hyundai.
Adaptive cruise ascendancy is no best exceptional of on boilerplate bunched and auto SUVs. The aggressive Nissan Rogue Sport auto has full-range ACC now and will get ProPilot Assist, Akin 2 free driving, after this year. Hyundai’s administrator of artefact planning, Trevor Lai, says, “We’re alive carefully with our R&D teams to cycle this affection as bound as accessible after sacrificing safety.” He addendum the new-model 2019 Santa Fe, a midsize SUV, has full-range adaptive cruise ascendancy standard.
The Kona has two trim curve for the 147-hp commonly aspirated (no turbo) agent with six-speed automated and two added for the 175-hp turbo-four with DCT. There are no options added than drivetrain, acrylic color, and dealer-installed accessories. There is no CD player.
Kona SE is $20,480 ($19,500 additional $980 freight), $1,300 added for all-wheel-drive accumulated with the non-turbo four. It has a 3.5-inch multi-information affectation in the apparatus panel. It is anemic on disciplinarian assists, has bolt seats, and chiral air conditioning.
Kona SEL is $22,130 front-drive, $23,430 with AWD. The SEL and up get dark atom apprehension accepted and rear cross-traffic alert, additional HD radio and accent radio, and roof rails. The SEL (only) offers three acrylic colors with allegory atramentous roofs (Mini-like) for $150. The tech amalgamation (recommended, as we’ll get into shortly) adds $1,500.
Kona Limited is $25,680 front-drive, $26,980 AWD. The Limited has the above turbo engine, covering seats, aloofness bottle on rear ancillary windows, auto-dimming central mirror, and a adjacency key with push-button start. The tech amalgamation is not offered.
Kona Ultimate is $28,380 front-drive, $29,680 AWD, and incorporates the capacity of the SEL’s $1,500 tech amalgamation in the abject price, authoritative the analogously able amount basin over Limited be $1,200. That gets you Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system, an 8- not 7-inch touch-screen affectation with Android-based navigation, Infinity exceptional audio, a head-up display, a rearview mirror with a compass, chip barn aperture openers, and a larger, 4.2-inch, blush MID.
Every Kona gets at atomic a 7-inch blush touchscreen in the centermost stack, Android Apple, Apple CarPlay, one 1-amp USB jack and two 12-volt outlets all at the abject of the centermost stack, Bluetooth for phones, activating parking guidelines on the now-mandatory rearview camera, and alien keyless entry. There are no rear-seat USB or 12-volt connections. Hyundai offers a additional Bluetooth jack, with 2.1 amps of power, for $50 additional accession through dealers (a five-minute job, max, with a appropriate Hyundai tool), or dealers can adjustment the car so able aback comes into the US anchorage of entry.
The upper-grade trim akin for both agent types (SEL and Ultimate) has a tech amalgamation absolute lane accumulate assist, advanced collision-avoidance abetment with banal detection, comatose disciplinarian warning, and three non-tech items: fog lamps, a sunroof, and an eight-way ability disciplinarian bench with ability lumbar support.
Hyundai now has an awning name for its assurance suite, Smart Sense, like Honda (Honda Sensing) and Toyota (Toyota Assurance System). With Hyundai, it can accommodate full-range adaptive cruise ascendancy (“Smart Cruise Ascendancy with Stop & Go” in Hyundai parlance), dark atom apprehension (“Blind-Spot Blow Warning”), advanced blow admonishing and braking (“Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist”), rear cross-traffic active (“Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist”), lane accumulate assist, comatose disciplinarian active (“Driver Attention Warning”), rear camera with parking curve and tailgate safe-open adviser (“Rear Appearance Monitor”), beleaguer appearance adviser (“Around Appearance Monitor”), Safe Exit Abetment (sounds warning, won’t alleviate doors if a car is abutting from behind), rear parking alarm (“Parking Distance Admonishing Reverse”), and automated aerial beams. It appears Hyundai will alter the Assurance Sense offerings based by model. For car enthusiasts advising boilerplate cars to accompany and neighbors, they’d rather see the aforementioned amount offerings above a brand’s models, those actuality adaptive cruise control, dark atom ecology additional rear cantankerous cartage active (same sensors), and lane abandonment admonishing additional advanced blow admonishing (same sensors). It’s accept if a beleaguer appearance adviser or a head-up affectation is an option.
Hyundai Dejected Link, the OnStar-like telematics arrangement on the Kona Ultimate only, includes three years of the Connected Care, Remote, and Guidance packages. For those who appetite the basics afterward, Hyundai offers a $100-a-year amalgamation with emergency blast notification and an emergency alarm button.
There are little issues that will added acceptable abrade than actuate you not to buy, such as the distinct USB jack in advanced and nothing, not akin a 12-volt socket, in back. Some issues are additionally short-term. A additional USB jack will be on 2019 models that activate assembly at the alpha of August; aboriginal cars access about a ages later. Adaptive cruise ascendancy should appear at some point in agenda 2019.
The Hyundai Kona is adorable because of its handling, style, availability of all-wheel-drive, accessible head-up display, and simplified acclimation structure. Some drivers will acquisition the council aloof and some will ambition there were added bench blush and aperture bolt choices than black, atramentous with gray, and atramentous with adhesive blooming stripes.
Among trim lines, bypass the access Kona SE, defective dark atom detection, HD and accent radio, an alien temperature display, a leather-wrapped council wheel, and a adjacency key. All these appearance are on the added trim lines. The SEL with the tech amalgamation is a appropriate buy if you don’t apperception an amenable engine. The Limited has the bigger turbo-four agent but you can’t get the tech package. Which makes the costliest Kona, the Ultimate, the best of the bunch. The $1,200 you pay above the amount of the Limited additional its tech amalgamation advantage gets you a lot of features. All in with all-wheel-drive, account is $29,680, although dealers as of our announcement date were discounting about $1,500 (combination of $500 allurement and about $1,000 banker discount) authoritative the all-everything Kona a $28,000 vehicle.
As for the competition, if you appetite performance, attending to the Kia Soul (front-drive only, $28K for the top trim line) and the adventurous Mazda CX-3. The Subaru Crosstrek is additionally awful regarded, abnormally amid outdoors enthusiasts who absorb time on clay roads. If you’re attractive to pay in the low twenties, the front-drive-only Nissan Kicks, aloof out as a backup for the Nissan Juke, is absolutely good, and wisely doesn’t action navigation; that’s what Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are for on $20K cars. The best you can pay for Kicks is $22,265. Added top sellers accommodate the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V (due for a brace this fall), Buick Encore, Nissan Rogue Sport (three inches best than Kicks), and Chevrolet Trax. All awash about 80,000-120,000 units aftermost year. (Rogue Sport rolls into Rogue sales reporting; accumulated they topped 400,000 aftermost year.) One added new archetypal is the Toyota C-HR, with archetypal Toyota believability and able achievement and handling.
For Hyundai, the Kona is important because the aggregation has been ever abased on sedans aback buyers appetite SUVs, and on sedans that attending added akin than altered amid baby and ample versions. Kona is an important abutting footfall for Hyundai, and for a bazaar that wants a abate car for on-street burghal parking, maneuverability on awash streets, and active fun.
Bottom line: The Hyundai Kona starts out bargain but you don’t appetite the access Kona SE, which was decontented to accord dealers a sub-$20K price. Go attending at the Nissan Kicks instead. But if you appetite to break beneath $25K, the Kona SEL with the non-turbo agent and tech amalgamation is the way to go. The loaded Kona Ultimate sounds cher for a non-premium SUV (it is) but there’s a lot of amount you’ll appreciate. And the turbo-engine Ultimate over the turbo Limited is a breeze at aloof $1,200 added (plus the accepted $1,500 amount of the chip tech package). So: Go for the two Konas, SEL or Ultimate, that accept the technology package. Do not leave the banker lot in a 2018 Kona after the extra-USB-jacks accent installed.
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