Car review: The new Hyundai Kona

6 November 2018

With a 5-star safety rating, exciting looks, reasonable performance and fairly good fuel consumption, you can’t go wrong with the Hyundai Kona if you’re looking for a good family car.

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The new Hyundai Kona

Hyundai has introduced a completely new vehicle to its lineup: The Kona. It’s a larger, practical, family ride and it’s available in three models: The Highlander, Elite and Active.

All these models come with different optional extras and trims, and of course varying prices. The Active is the base model and it comes standard with handy features such as air-conditioning, six airbags, remote central locking, ABS (Anti-lock braking system), cruise control, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, stability and traction control, power windows and mirrors, leather steering wheel and auto halogen headlights.

Price and engine specs

The Hyundai Kona has two engines types to choose from, both engine types are only front wheel drive. Maybe at a future stage Hyundai will bring out the all-wheel drive system which is currently available in the Tucson. The Hyundai Kona starts @R379 900 for the 6-speed manual 1.0 liter 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol that producers 89kW/172Nm and averages a fuel consumption of 7,5 L/100km.

The larger 2.0 liter 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol starts @R399 900. It punches out 110W/179Nm and is married to a 6-speed automatic and manages to average a fuel consumption of 5,7 L/100km. Overall both engines are powerful enough for the size of the Kona body, however the 2.0 liter manages to pick up speed quicker and seems to have a better throttle response which benefits from no turbo lag.

Interior, exterior and safety features

The interior of the Hyundai Kona is well built and looks pretty stylish with colour coded interior pieces that match the exterior colour around the gear shifter, air vents, start button and stitching around the seats and steering wheel, which makes it exciting to sit inside the Kona. The Kona comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch-screen system which features Apple Car play/Android Auto, Bluetooth and even navigational optional extras. The Hyundai Kona has some really good practical space, with a maximum boot capacity of 361 liters, that can expand all the way up to 1143 liters after the rear seats have been folded.

For the exterior, five optional colours are available: Lake Silver, Acid Yellow, Chalk White, Pulse Red and Dark Night. Depending on which model you choose you can get two different wheel types, the base model having 16-inch alloys and the range topping highlander that comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels. The exterior has some unique features which we haven’t seen before from Hyundai, such as a wide front bonnet scoop, two sets of front headlights and an overall bulky body with sharp running lines from all angles. These effects make the Hyundai Kona look modern with a more dominant appearance than many of its rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke.

There is a good number of safety features that are available on the Hyundai Kona, starting with the six airbags and park assist features such as a reverse camera and PDC (park distance control). Hyundai has perfected the blind spot detection warning, and rear cross traffic alert. Tyre pressure monitoring, high beam assist, lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance and driver attention warning (DAW, which tells you when you are getting tired of driving and it’s time to take a break) are also optional extra safety features that can be very useful to have on South African roads.

Verdict for Hyundai’s latest compact family car

With a 5-star safety rating, exciting looks, reasonable performance and fairly good fuel consumption, you can’t go wrong with the Hyundai Kona if you’re looking for a good family car. The Kona stands a good chance against rivals Mazda, Nissan, Jeep and Audi which have been around for many years, This is an accomplishment for Hyundai, considering this is their first attempt at the small family, everyday driver vehicle that needs to be comfortable and affordable.

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