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2018 Hyundai Kona SUV

#22
in Fullsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$19,500 - $28,700

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Overview

Hyundai Motor Company have been largely absent from the ever-growing subcompact crossover segment, But, all that is about to change with the launch of what is possibly the most absurd looking vehicle ever from the brand and it's called the 2018 Hyundai Kona.

The Hyundai Kona is an all-new vehicle developed from scratch for the subcompact segment. It sits below the mid-size Tucson and Santa Fe SUV in the product portfolio. The exterior styling is bound to turn heads from day one due to its peculiar front and rear fascia.

For a base price of $19,500 for the FWD variant and $20,800 for the AWD variant, Hyundai Kona successfully undercuts most of its rivals in the segment by some margin. By the looks of it, Hyundai has arrived in the segment with what is perhaps, one of the better overall subcompact crossovers of the year.

See detailed review »

Pros

Modest performance

Feature loaded

Enthusiastic turbo engine

Intuitive Multimedia Interface

Cons

Rather expensive upper trims

Limited cargo space

Bumpy ride

Average ride quality

What's New?

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is an all-new vehicle for this year.


Features

Engine

i4 cyl

2 disp

MPG

27 city

33 hwy

Power

147 hp

132 torq

drivetrain

front wheel drive

transmission

Shiftable Automatic



Styles

 2018 Hyundai Kona SUV in Surf Blue color  2018 Hyundai Kona SUV in Thunder Gray Metallic color  2018 Hyundai Kona SUV in pulse red color  2018 Hyundai Kona SUV in Lime Twist color  2018 Hyundai Kona SUV in Chalk White color
Surf Blue

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Engine

6.7

Fuel Economy

6.7

Driving

7.7

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Hyundai Kona SUV SE

SE

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$19,500 - $20,800

Configurations
SE 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (27/30/33) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
SE 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (25/27/30) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm

 2018 Hyundai Kona SUV SEL

SEL

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$21,150 - $22,600

Configurations
SEL 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (27/30/33) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
SEL w/Contrast Roof 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (27/30/33) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (25/27/30) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
SEL w/Contrast Roof 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (25/27/30) Torque: 132 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm

 2018 Hyundai Kona SUV Limited

Limited

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$24,700 - $26,000

Configurations
Limited 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (28/30/32) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Limited w/Lime Accent 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (28/30/32) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (26/27/29) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Limited w/Lime Accent 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (26/27/29) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

 2018 Hyundai Kona SUV Ultimate

Ultimate

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$27,400 - $28,700

Configurations
Ultimate 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (28/30/32) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Ultimate w/Lime Accent 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (28/30/32) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Ultimate 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (26/27/29) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm
Ultimate w/Lime Accent 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Transmission: 7AM Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (26/27/29) Torque: 195 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor Last updated 22 days ago

7.3

Overall Rating


8.0/10
Features

 

6.7/10
Engine

 

6.7/10
Fuel Economy

 
 
 
 
 
 

For a base price of $19,500 for the FWD variant and $20,800 for the AWD variant, Hyundai Kona successfully undercuts most of its rivals in the segment by some margin. By the looks of it, Hyundai has arrived in the segment with what is perhaps, one of the better overall subcompact crossovers of the year.

Features

8.0/10

Hyundai Kona is available in a total of 4 trims namely the base SE, SEL, Limited, and the top end Ultimate. There are two engines on offer, a 2.0L petrol burner on the SE and SEL variants and a 1.6L turbocharged unit on the Limited and Ultimate variants. Both AWD and FWD powertrains are available in all the trims. A 6-speed auto shifter is standard on the lower pair of trims while a 7-speed DCT is standard on the upper pair of trims.

The base SE variant is up for grabs at a lucrative $19,500 and offer a fair bit of kit for a base trim. Features such as a 7-inch screen, cruise control and LED daytime running lamps to come as standard on the trim. One step up is the SEL variant which goes for a little more than $1,000 over the base variants.

Trim SE SEL Limited Ultimate
MSRP

(FWD)

$19,500 $21,150 $24,700 $27,400
MSRP

(AWD)

$20,800 $22,600 $26,000 $28,700
Key Features

Standard features- 

All features on the SE Trim Plus- 

All features on the SE Trim Plus- 

All features on the SE Trim Plus- 

7-inch display audio with AM/FM

Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off

Power tilt-and-slide sunroof

Wireless device charging

Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

Proximity Key with push-button start

Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode

Heads-up Display

Bluetooth and cruise control

SACHS Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers

SACHS Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers

Permanent Locking Hubs

LED Daytime Running Lights

Battery w/Run Down Protection

Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column

Black Grille w/Chrome Surround

Fully Galvanized Steel Panels

Blind-Spot Collision Warning with Lane Change Assist

Bluetooth Wireless Phone Connectivity

Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off

Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks

Permanent Locking Hubs

Black Grille w/Chrome Surround

Bluetooth Wireless Phone Connectivity

Integrated Roof Antenna

Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs

Radio: AM/FM/HD Radio/SiriusXM Audio System-inc: 7″ LCD touchscreen display, 6 speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Siri and Google Now support, USB/aux input jack and voice recognition Automatic Air Conditioning
 

 

   

Features such blind spot collision warning, proximity key with button start and projector headlamps become standard on the variant. Further step ups take you to the Limited and the range-topping Ultimate trims. Luxury features such as a power sunroof, wireless charging, heads-up display, and auto air conditioning become standard on these trims.

We Recommend

Out of the four trims, we would recommend you to buy the Select trim. It adds a lot of features plus the Turbocharged 1.6L engine. Just tag in the all-wheel-drive version to endure dynamic climates. 

Engine

6.7/10

"Overall, the Kona is a sporty subcompact SUV with above-average acceleration and handling. However, the turbocharged engine's transmission exhibits some bad behavior at low speed, and the braking performance is subpar"- Edmunds

Engine and Transmission 

There are two engine options available with the 2018 Hyundai Kona. One of them is a 2.0L unit good for 147 bhp while the other one is a sprightlier 1.6L turbocharged banger good for 175 bhp. The 2.0L unit is paired with a 6-speed auto tranny while the 1.6L unit is paired with a 7-speed DCT. Although both the motors are efficient at moving the vehicle, it is the turbocharged unit that is livelier amongst the two.

Models Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
MSRP $19,500 $22,500 $22,195 $19,670
Engine 2.0L l4 2.0L l4 2.0L l4 1.8L l4
Transmission 6-speed automatic continuously variable-speed automatic 6-speed automatic continuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6200 rpm 144 hp @ 6100 rpm 146 hp @ 6000 rpm 141 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm 139 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm 146 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm 127 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm

A brief comparison reveals that the Hyundai Kona is the most powerful and cheapest vehicle on paper. The second in line is the Mazda CX-3 while the CH-R and HR-V fall behind in terms of power.

Acceleration

The Hyundai Kona start at balmy pace but the vehicle quickly builds up substantial momentum. There is no sense of urgency at any time throughout which ensures that the passengers do not feel uncomfortable while the car is zipping through the road.

Models Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
0-60 MPH 10.0 10.8 8.5 9.5
Quarter mile 17.3 N/A N/A 17.1
Engine 2.0 L 2.0 L 2.0 L 1.8 L

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

5.9 6.0 5.7 5.7

It’s the Mazda CX-3 which sprints 60 mph from a standstill at 8.5 seconds. Second in line is the Honda HR-V with 9.5 seconds. Both the Hyundai Kona and CH-R fall behind in terms of the performance.

Ride and Handling

Ride and handling on the Hyundai Kona are nothing to boast about. The extra distance from the ground does take away some of the handling abilities but it still manages to be amongst the better handling subcompact crossover. The car grunts through the corner with a modestly less body roll for a vehicle its class.

But, going over big potholes reveals that the chassis does indeed produce noises and vibration that easily seep through to the cabin making the occupants uneasy.

Braking

Hyundai Kona features 11.0-inch rotors on the front and 10.3-inch rotors at the back. The braking performance is sufficient but it’s certainly some distance away from the segment leaders. The brake pedal is a little too spongy for the liking and disrupts immediate feedback from the calipers.

Model Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
Brake Front (in.) 11.0 11.8 11.0 11.5
Brake Rear (in.) 10.3 11.1 11.1 11.1
Curb Weight (lbs.) 2,890 3,300 2,809 2,902

Though its features a smaller rear rotors and its a nicely weighed car. Its fllas on the lighter section amonsgt teh lot. The Toyota CH-R take teh spot for the heaviest car in the lot. 

Fuel Economy

6.7/10

With the rise in fuel prices, fuel economy surely holds a lot of importance whilst the buyer look for a suitable vehicle. Hyundai has understood today’s buyers need as their vehicle is available to return a modest fuel economy of 30 mpg combined.

Model Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
MPG (city) 27 27 29 25
MPG (highway) 33 31 34 33
MPG (combined) 30 29 31 28

It’s the Mazda CX-3 that leads the charge in terms of FE but only by 1 mpg more than the Kona. There isn’t much difference amongst the other rivals either.

Interior

“The materials quality is average for the class. That means there’s a lot of hard plastic panels, but most are textured to look decent. The elbow touch points are well-padded. Overall, the interior looks a bit drab and lacks some visual appeal”- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

Although the Hyundai Kona crossover is not the biggest from the outside there certainly is no shortage of space on the inside. With a front legroom of 41.5 inches, the vehicle is actually one the better-spaced cars in the segment.

Model Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.6/55.5/41.5 38.1/49.0/43.4 38.4/53.5/41.7 39.5/56.8/41.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.8/54.5/34.6 38.3/52.5/31.7 37.2/50.4/35.0 38.3/54.5/39.3

The second-row legroom is where the Honda HR-V takes the game away from everyone with a segment-leading 39.3 inches against that of 34.6 inches of the Hyundai Kona.

Infotainment

A 7-inch screen is standard on the Hyundai Kona while the top end ultimate trim sports an 8-inch screen. All modern connectivity features such as Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto are available as standard throughout the trim line. The MMI is easily the most fluid in the segment. The screen takes a few moments to register the touch but there is not much lag while switching through the menus.

Interior Features

Some key interior features of the Hyundai Kona are

  • Leather upholstery
  • 7 or 8-inch screen
  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Color accented A/C vents
  • Steering mounted controls

Cargo Capacity

Cargo volume on the Hyundai Kona leaves a lot to be desired. Although the car brands itself as an SUV but it doesn’t even have the marginal utility of an SUV. Airport runs are certainly going to be of the problem and so are going to be long vacations.

Model Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
Cargo Volume with 2nd row up (ft.3) 19.2 19.0 12.4 24.3
Cargo Volume with 2nd row folded (ft.3) 45.8 34.6 44.5 58.8

Hyundai Kona is 2nd to only the CH-R in terms of the smallest boot. While the clear winner here is the Honda HR-V with a humongous 24.3 cube.feet of space behind the 2nd row.

Exterior

“There’s a lot going on with the Kona’s styling, but despite the multiple textures, lines and surfaces, it all works surprisingly well. We like the narrow LED running lights mounted atop the fenders, and the taper at the bottom of Hyundai’s grille refreshes the look without redefining it.”- Kelley Blue Book

Dimensions and Weights

Although the Hyundai Kona is a crossover it is actually the smallest vehicle in the segment. Its overall exterior orientation gives it a low slung look which makes it appear more like a hatchback. It is also one of the lightest vehicles in the segment at 2,890 lbs.

Model Hyundai Kona SE Toyota CH-R XLE Mazda CX-3 Touring Honda HR-V LX
Curb weight (lbs.) 2,890 3,300 2,809 2,902
Length(in) 164.0 171.2 168.3 169.1
Width(in) 70.9 70.7 69.6 69.8
Height(in) 61.0 61.6 60.7 63.2
Ground clearance (in) 6.7 5.9 6.2 7.3
Wheelbase (in) 102.4 103.9 101.2 102.8
Track width (in) F/R 61.9/62.3 60.6/60.6 60.0/59.9 60.4/60.6

Toyota CH-R is clearly the heaviest vehicle in the segment at 3,300 lbs. The CH-R, due to its large overhangs, is also the longest vehicle in the segment at 171.2 inches against 164 inches of the Kona.

Exterior Features

Exterior features on the Hyundai Kona subcompact include

  • Sunroof
  • Led DRL
  • Multi-Spoke alloy wheel
  • LED tail lights
  • Projector headlamps
  • Roof rails.

Safety

Major crash-testing agencies are yet to give a crash test score to the Hyundai Kona so nothing can be said of on that topic as of now. However, Hyundai has paid special attention to the safety of the passengers as they’ve fitted the car with numerous safety features as standard on the vehicle. There are a number of paid extra safety features on offer as well.

  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control

*NHTSA and IIHS have not yet rated Hyundai Kona SE

Competition

Hyundai Kona vs Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is a great vehicle but is certainly not an attention-grabbing vehicle like the Hyundai Kona. The interior and space on offer are quite good and quite frankly, no other car in the segment can beat the utility and ergonomics on the Honda.

Driving dynamics is where Honda loses out big time to the Hyundai Kona. Honda is just too comfort-oriented to be any fun to drive. Hence, if you a want a passenger-centric vehicle, look out for the Honda, otherwise, the Hyundai Kona is a cheaper and better choice.

Hyundai Kona vs Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is the most driver-centric compact crossover in the segment. The car is just a hoot to drive and is well complemented by the peppy engine and firm chassis. The contemporary styling also does well to add to the overall appeal.

The Hyundai Kona, on the other hand, a similar sort of vehicle with its driver-centric nature but the everything is just marginally better on the CX-3. Hence, in our opinion, the CX-3 is a better car indeed.

Hyundai Kona vs Toyota CH-R

The Toyota CH-R, just like the Hyundai Kona, follows a wild and whacky design philosophy. The exterior features sharp edges and big overhangs throughout the body. The engines are fuel efficient and are the chassis are modestly rigid.

But, the CH-R lacks the driving dynamics of the Hyundai Kona. Neither are the engines punchy nor is the handling anywhere near to the taste of an enthusiast. Hence, the Hyundai Kona is a better choice in the segment.

Final Verdict

The Hyundai Kona thrives on the fact that it is has a quirky exterior which is what most people in the segment look out for. Extra added bonus, it is fairly fun to drive around the town especially in its 1.6L turbo motor guise. The amount of kit for the price tag is modest as well. All in all, there are better styled or more practical vehicles in the segment but none of them show the flair of the Hyundai Kona which is what is going to a big factor in the sales of the vehicle.

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