Monday, 20 November 2017 13:29

Small SUV with huge potential

Written by  Mark Daniel
Hyundai Kona. Hyundai Kona.

Following the meteoric rise in the SUV market over the last decade, Korean manufacturer Hyundai has launched a small SUV.

It’s the Kona (a Hawaii place name) and if first impressions are correct it will mirror the success of the maker’s Tucson and Santé Fe models.

Though conventional in its overall shape, this wagon also has modern styling accents to make it a little different.

Overstated wheel arch surrounds blend into the front and rear light clusters with triple purpose: housing air ducts to engine and brakes, improving overall aerodynamics, and buffering day-to-day knocks.

Up front, several ‘slashes’ across the front grille and along the edge of the hood give a fresh look.

Two models are available in two levels of specification: the front-wheel-drive sports a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine producing 110Kw and 180Nm torque; the all-wheel-drive version uses a 1.6L turbo-petrol unit delivering 130kW and 265Nm.

The FWD has a 6-speed auto box; the AWD a 7-speed box with dual clutch technology.

Specification is standard or Elite: the former has 17-inch alloys, upholstery of cloth and pseudo-leather, manual air conditioning, keyless entry, daytime running LED lights, auto headlamps and a reversing camera; the Elite has 18-inch alloys, full leather, electrically heated seats, wireless smartphone charging, LED tail-lights, climate control and rear privacy glass.

Interestingly, neither spec is fitted with satnav, but instead Android Auto or Apple Car Play for guidance.

Safety is high on the agenda for all units -- blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, emergency autonomous braking, lane keep assist and driver attention monitoring.

First impressions of the interior are of good layout erring on the side of blandness, but countered by (optional) coloured seat stitching and piping, and extra-loud seatbelts and trim highlights.

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