1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine also now available with front-wheel drive

Hyundai Motor Europe has expanded its powertrain offerings for the Kona small SUV, bringing a new diesel option, along with a front-wheel drive variant for the existing 1.6-litre turbo petrol.

The diesel comes from Hyundai's new Smart Stream engine family, claiming to offer "improved real-life fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions".

Additionally, the company claims the new oiler is lighter and quieter than its previous diesel motors, thanks to the increased use of lightweight materials.

The Kona's new diesel engine is 1.6 litres in capacity, and is available in two stages of tune – an 85kW (115PS) version and a 100kW (136PS) version.

In the lower-output tune, the torque figure sits at 275Nm (2000-2250rpm), while the higher-spec engine makes 320Nm in the same rev band.

Buyers of the 85kW diesel only have the option of a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, however, the 100kW version is mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and offers both front- and all-wheel drivetrains.

Fuel consumption for the low-output diesel is rated at 4.1-4.3L/100km depending on trim grade, while the high-output motor officially uses 4.2-4.9L/100km depending on trim and drivetrain – both figures use NEDC regulations.

In addition to the new diesels, the 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine – which is already available in Australia – can now be had with front-wheel drive. Previously, this engine was offered exclusively with all-wheel drive.

Outputs remain unchanged, meaning there's 130kW of power at 5500rpm and 265Nm of torque between 1500 and 4500rpm. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard, though fuel and emissions figures are still to be announced for the front-wheel drive petrol.

At the lower end of the Kona line-up, theres's the carryover 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, making 88kW (6000rpm) and 172Nm (1500-4000rpm). The base engine is solely available with a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive – probably the main reason it isn't offered in Australia due to our preference for automatic vehicles.

Rounding out the upgrades for Europe is a new 'shark fin' antenna on the roof, which Hyundai says "contributes to the car's bold character" – make of that what you will.

Australia

Speaking with CarAdvice, Hyundai's local communications boss, Bill Thomas, ruled out the new powertrain options for our market.

"Kona will remain AWD with 1.6 T-GDi in Australia. We won’t be taking the diesel – the two petrol engines currently available with Kona are highly capable, plus we will soon be offering Kona Electric for anyone who is super-keen to save on fuel with their Kona," he said.

Thomas added that there are some upgrades in the pipeline for local Kona models that will be "communicated shortly", though was unable to go into specifics – stay tuned for an update on that front.

Note: Overseas model shown. Head to the galleries section for more images