After a lengthy teaser campaign of their all-new crossover, Hyundai has finally taken the wraps off the 2018 Kona. Billed as the company's first global B-segment crossover, the all-new Kona blends stylish aesthetics, a high-tech and spacious interior and class-leading safety systems and powertrain options.
“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. We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class leading safety features,” said Euisin Chung, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company.
Bearing the future design direction of Hyundai, the Kona features a striking exterior that highlight the car's unique silhouette and low – wide stance. It gets a dual headlight design, with the botoom portion equipped with what Hyundai calls 'composite lamps'. Meanwhile, the upper section gets slim LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and integrated turn signals. Further accentuating the car's aggressive new design is the Cascading Grill which will come as standard in all future models.
Black body cladding and wheel lip moldings give the Kona a rugged finish while the five-spoke directional alloy wheels deliver a sportier feel for the Kona. Like the front fascia, the rear section also gets the same design cues with its slim stop lamps and 'stacked' lights that incorporate the turn signals, reverse lights and rear foglights.
There are no images of the Kona's interior but Hyundai did say it comes with a horinzontal character line that gives the car a wide and spacious feel. Despite its compact dimensions and sleek roofline, Hyundai claimed the Kona has the best-in-class interior space.
In terms of amenities, it gets a touchscreen infotainment system (available in 5-, 7- or 8-inch screen sizes) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, wireless smartphone charging, soft-touch materials and contrasting cabin trim pieces. With the new platform, Hyundai states that the Kona has SUV-level ground clearance and elevated seating position for better driver visibility.
Meanwhile, the rear seats benefit from improved legroom and headroom. This was made possible by optimizing the underfloor layout with the 4WD drivetrain and exhaust system. The rear suspension was also optimized for better ease of acccess for the rear occupants. The rear seats can be folded flat while the rear compartment has a two-level loading floor which can easily accommodate a bicycle or a set of golf clubs.
A wide array of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines are available for the 2018 Kona. First up is the 2.0-liter MPI inline-four that generates 149 PS and 179 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed automatic and has a top speed of 194 km/h. Next is the more powerful 1.6 T-GDI which puts out 177 PS and 265 Nm of torque from 1500 – 4500 rpm. It is then mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that allows it to reach a top speed of 210 km/h.
The smallest engine available is a 1.0-liter T-GDI inline-three that comes with six-speed manual gearbox. It produces 120 PS and a maxium torque of 172 Nm from 1500 – 4000 rpm. Top speed is rated at 181 km/h A 1.6-liter turbo-diesel will also be available in select markets, including Europe though Hyundai did not go into details as to where exactly it will be offered.
Front-wheel-drive (FWD) will come as standard while 4WD can be specified as an option. In addition, FWD cars have a torsion beam rear axle while 4WD models will have a multi-link suspension layout. Both variants however will have front MacPherson struts, along with a new sub-frame bush mounting.
The frame, on the other hand, is made from 51.8-percent advanced high strength steel (AHSS). Lighter and stronger than regular steel, this material provides better torsional rigidity and crushability for a safer ride. It also makes for better fuel consumption.
When launched, the Kona will be available with an array of safety features like: forward collision assist, lane keep assist, high beam assist and driver attention warning. With the onboard radar system, the Kona can come with the following: blind collision warning and rear cross traffic alert.