AMYANG, South Korea – Amidst Hyundai’s sprawling, city-like research and improvement center, a group of 2018 Kona crossovers awaits at the take a look attune in advance. Camouflaged and black vinyl-classed prototypes zip through as finely-dressed security employees hover silently, observing as we hop into the driver’s seat for our as a substitute short eight-minute runabout on Hyundai’s place of origin dealing with the path.
Hyundai received to release the Kona in the U.S. Till March 2018, nicely at the back of the now-mounted Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and more current Toyota C-HR. “We needed to take some time to ensure we got matters proper for the marketplace and for our customers,” stated Hyundai vice president Chung Eui-Sun.
Based on our very constrained power of a pre-manufacturing Korean-spec Kona, Hyundai can have a stable shot at scooping up what’s left of this booming segment. Our test vehicle is a loaded example that boasts the optionally available aggregate of a 1.6-liter turbo four and 7-pace dual-seize automated.
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As in previous fashions, inclusive of the Veloster Turbo and Sonata Eco, the engine makes 175 hp and a wholesome 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to four,500 RPM. The base engine will be a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four appropriate for 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-pack computerized. Drive modes include Normal and Sport, with the latter including barely heavier steering, sharper throttle sensitivity, and a sportier transmission mapping that downshifts earlier below braking and holds gears longer below heavy throttle input. Other markets may also get an Eco alternative that, fairly amusingly, isn’t covered for U.S. Models; revel in taught Hyundai that customers frequently unknowingly go away the drive mode in Eco after which bitch the auto is underpowered.
Down the long straightaway at the beginning of our check run, the punchy little engine inspired with its beneficent low-stop torque and clean-transferring transmission. There’s a piece of hesitation at low speeds as the dual-seize tries to discover its footing, however as soon as at the boil it’s an adept and flawlessly suitable powertrain. Hyundai expects 35 to 40 percent of Kona shoppers will spring for the uprated engine, on the way to be fashionable on SEL and Ultimate fashions. The base engine and transmission might be the only powertrain for the lower-degree SE and SEL trims. All-wheel force can be offered as a stand on my own option on all models, and Hyundai expects approximately forty-five percent of shoppers to pick that field.
Hyundai is thus far frustratingly mom on how exactly the suspension and steerage can be tuned for U.S. Spec fashions, however, the Korean-spec Kona has a fairly company suspension and best heft to the steerage. While not as sharp and responsive as the Mazda CX-3, the Kona is a miles cry from the lethargic Honda HR-V, even in Normal mode. Body roll turned into noticeable — however now not immoderate — at some stage in the quick navigation of several roundabouts.
Over expansion joints and small bumps, the Kona suggests off very stable body control and compliance, although Hyundai’s managing route is a global away from some of America’s more decrepit roads. (Engineered imperfection simply isn’t the same as proper or’ normal forget about and negative infrastructure control.) Our take a look at the car was prepared with all-wheel power, which means it featured a multi-link rear suspension in the region of the front-wheel-pressure model’s torsion-beam setup.
Dynamics are, however, not the largest enchantment for subcompact crossover shoppers. Those could be fashion, device, and area. The Kona’s design, led by means of a veteran cohort which include chief Peter Schreyer, Sangyup Lee, and Luc Donckerwolke, is one-of-a-kind sufficient to enchantment to those looking for something sparkling and alerts an extra extroverted course for Hyundai. It may want to very well be too busy and incoherent for some, although, specifically the scrunch-faced the front give up. From the Jeep Cherokee-like eyelid-fashion day time walking lamps to the faux air scoop, masses of “armor” cladding all over, and Land Rover-ish D-pillar kink, there’s loads to digest. Fortunately, the interior is substantially more confined with its focus on space performance and intuitive functionality.
Hyundai says the Kona rides on an all-new worldwide B-phase platform, that’s 0.7-inch decrease and wider than that of its Creta subcompact crossover, which has been on sale in emerging markets for some years. Executives were tight-lipped when it came to information about the platform or what it would yield down the road, however, it did come out that a few future B-phase sedans ought to adopt the brand new structure.
Bare-bones Kona SE models will come generally with electric seats, cruise manages, Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, and an old faculty ignition key. Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is popular, as properly. From there the SEL trim provides 17-inch wheels, roof rails, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steerage wheel, rear move-visitors alert, and a non-compulsory package deal with automatic emergency braking. Spring for the Limited version to get a leather indoors, sunroof, and LED headlights and hid lights. Goodies for the pinnacle-spec Ultimate trim include an 8-inch display screen with navigation, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, and a smartphone-charging pad. There may also be an to be had coloration head-up display, which flips up from the dashboard in a style just like the Mazda3 or Mini Cooper.
Pricing won’t be introduced till toward launch, but Hyundai’s U.S. Public family members group says it’ll be positioned competitively, and inexpensive than the $23,460 Toyota C-HR. Expect the base model to start at about $20,000.
With its true chunk of available tools, now not to mention the pedestrian-detection safety era that’s something of a rarity to date in this space, the 2018 Hyundai Kona should gift a wonderfully valid alternative within a space that’s becoming ever more crowded with alternatives. It’ll be the first strike in Hyundai’s planned SUV product attack, which will encompass a smaller crossover underneath the Kona as well as a three-row own family SUV above the Santa Fe.