The 2018 Hyundai Kona has been officially revealed today, slotting in beneath the mid-sized Tucson in the Korean manufacturer’s SUV line-up.
Hyundai’s little crossover will be released in its home market of Korea later this month before rolling out in North America and Europe. Australian cars will start hitting showrooms by late September or early October.
Named after the coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Kona follows Hyundai’s strategy of naming its SUVs after popular US tourist destinations.
In terms of its physical size, the Kona measures 4165mm long, 1800mm wide and 1550mm tall, while the wheelbase stretches 2600mm.
Those dimensions make it about the same size as a Mazda CX-3, though it does get an extra 30mm between the front and rear wheels, and an extra 15mm in width.
From the outset, the Kona sports a bold exterior design, thanks to its two-tier headlight design, ‘Cascading’ front grille, two-tone exterior paint option, slim tail-lights and chunky guards.
Inside, however, is where the real focus is. Hyundai is claiming the Kona features class-leading interior space – although boot capacity is yet to be confirmed.
Other headlining interior features include the choice of 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch infotainment systems (depending on market and variant), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a head-up display (HUD) for higher models, and wireless smartphone charging – a first for the segment.
The Kona will also be available with a suite of driver assistance technologies, including forward collision avoidance assist with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, high beam assist, driver attention monitor, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
Under the bonnet is a range of petrol and diesel engines, though some are for select markets only.
Kicking off the range is a 2.0-litre MPI naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 110kW of power and 179Nm of torque.
When mated to the six-speed automatic transmission, the Kona 2.0 MPI can shuffle from 0-100km/h in 10 seconds flat and reach a top speed of 194km/h.
Second up is Hyundai’s familiar 1.6-litre T-GDI turbo petrol engine, which we’ve seen in the larger Tucson.
Developing a healthy 130kW of power and 265Nm of torque – the latter coming between 1500 and 4500rpm – the turbocharged four-pot propels the Kona from 0-100km/h in a spritely 7.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 210km/h.
The 1.6-litre turbo is mated to Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard.
Europe will exclusively get the choice of a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, developing 88kW of power and 172Nm of torque.
Mated to a six-speed manual transmission only, the turbo-triple Kona sprints from 0-100km/h in 12 seconds flat, and claims a top speed of 181km/h.
Finally, select markets (namely Europe) will also get the choice of a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine. While details of this powerplant are still to be confirmed, it’s likely to be a similar engine to the 100kW/300Nm unit in the i30 hatch.
The Kona is available with both front- and all-wheel drive depending on variant and engine.
Front-wheel drive versions get a MacPherson strut front suspension system with a torsion beam rear, while all-wheel drive versions get a dual-arm multi-link rear set-up.
Hyundai says the Kona will deliver a driving experience geared towards driver engagement, while also being city-friendly as part of its urban focus.
As part of its world premiere, the company also confirmed a special Iron Man edition of the Kona, which draws inspiration from the Marvel superhero himself.
The Kona Iron Man special edition sports a 40mm gain in width for added stance, along with special LEDs for the headlights, a matte-grey bonnet finish, along with red and gold exterior highlights.
Filling the arches of the Iron Man-inspired Kona are special 19-inch alloy wheels with the Iron Man mask stamped on the centre caps, wrapped in off-road tyres.
The special crossover will go on display at Hyundai’s Goyang Motorstudio for a month following its reveal.
The company’s local arm has so far confirmed several details of the Australian-bound Kona line-up ahead of its late-September/early-October release.
For our market, Hyundai will offer three trim levels, with the base car powered by the 2.0 MPI petrol engine mated to a six-speed auto as standard, driving the front wheels.
Mid- and higher-grade versions will feature the punchier 1.6 T-GDI turbo petrol, driving all four wheels via the seven-speed DCT.
Finally, the company can confirm a “comprehensive suite” of active safety features will be available across the range, including AEB – though it’s unclear whether the technology will be equipped as standard for the base model.
Hyundai also says the head-up display – which projects a virtual image onto a clear glass panel mounted behind the instrument panel – will be fitted on the flagship Kona model in Australia.
Full pricing and specification details will be confirmed closer to launch, so stay tuned to CarAdvice for updates over the coming months.