Hyundai have officially revealed its new compact SUV, the Kona that’s set to take on rivals like the Nissan Juke.
The Kona has a reasonably bold design, not quite as cutting edge as Toyota’s C-HR perhaps, but still noticeable among the sea of compact SUVs.
It features twin headlights, a large cascading grille and some plastic black body cladding. The Kona also has a low roofline and short rear overhang to give it a distinctive profile, plus roof bars that come standard to give it that SUV look.
At launch the Kona is offered with a choice of two petrol engines. The entry-level front-wheel-drive Kona comes the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo mill found in the new i30, which produces 88kW and 175Nm of torque. This engine is mated with a six-speed manual transmission and this version is front-wheel drive only.
The other launch engine is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with 130kW, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
At a later stage, Hyundai will add a 1.6-litre diesel in two states of tune, either 84kW or 98kW. The 84kW version will be manual and front-drive only, while the more powerful 98kW automatic model can be ordered with front or all-wheel drive. The Kona features multi-link suspension set-up and a system called Advanced Traction Cornering Control.
Inside there are lots of recognisable features from the latest i30, with bright details on the vents, the gearshift surround and on the seats to match the exterior colour.
There is the option of an eight-inch touchscreen with sat-nav (from the i30) incorporated into the dash, or you can select the standard seven-inch screen that works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For the first time, Hyundai is introducing a head-up display in front of the driver, in the form of an eight-inch panel that flips up and displays speed and other driving data.
In an interview with Autoexpress, Hyundai’s head of product management Raf Van Nuffel admitted that the brand is ‘late to the segment’ and because of this, the company felt that it needed to make a bold statement with the design.
The Kona is slightly longer and wider than the Juke, but it’s not quite as tall. It’s dimensions are: 1 800mm wide, 1 550mm high and 4 165mm long. The Kona is bigger than the Juke on the inside because of the longer wheelbase and the boot is six litres bigger.
The Kona launches in the UK in November and the entry level version will sell for around £15 000 (around R244 000).