The small SUV 2018 Hyundai Kona stands out by the originality of its line, a surprise on the part of the Korean manufacturer Hyundai usually inclined to blend into the mass.
The family of small urban SUV’s has a new member who should not go unnoticed. The Hyundai Kona is, on the one hand, out with a name of baptism which, in Francophonie, could lend a smile. On the other hand, it is distinguished by a style for the least original that attracts the looks.
In the case of a Korean manufacturer, the approach is unexpected, but for a brand that joins the ranks of a burgeoning category in the late, it has a certain logic. Especially since the bias of a strong style has already proved itself.
The success of the Nissan Juke, the great initiator of the genre, attests to this, as well as the excellent reception for the Toyota C-HR. Sales statistics show that these small, extroverted SUV’s mostly seduce the feminine. We will, however, try a masculine and nonetheless objective perspective on novelty.
Unlike the cousin Kia Stonic, the 2018 Hyundai Kona is not derived from a city dweller (Rio), but a compact one, in this case the i30 sedan. The stylists took advantage of it to optimize its proportions, thanks to a significant widening of its bodywork.
The style is nonetheless cleaving, especially the front with superimposed lights, as typed as that of a Citroën. But the small Korean SUV also receives large crate protections that would not uncover a Jeep. On the outside, the Kona is a small SUV that takes over.
Inside, on the other hand, he goes into the ranks. Its dashboard is carefully finished, but the classic bill. The unique touch of originality, the orange color of the banding of the aerators. At the steering wheel, the large height of the crate, Audi-like, forces the seat to be lifted in order to better understand the outlines of the bonnet.
That said, a length of 4.17 m and equipment such as parking aid and the backup camera facilitates the development of the city. In urban use, the 6-speed manual transmission, coupled with the small gasoline engine of 120 HP proposed for launch, would be advantageously replaced by an automatic box. It’s planned, but probably not until late 2018.
Meanwhile, city dwellers can turn to the top of the line petrol engine 177 hp which, it, is delivered from office with a double clutch box and an integral transmission. We, for our part, tested a more modest version, 1.0 T-GDi of 120 hp in traction.
The response time of the 3-cylinder turbo 1 liter remains perceptible at startup. Once passed the 1 500 rpm, the thrust becomes more straightforward and the sound playful. Las, the mass of the Kona being superior of a good quintal to that of its European rivals, its performances, and its consumption prove to be a little disappointing. At the end of our test, the on-board computer indicated 7.5 l/100 km.
On the chassis side, Hyundai chose to move the cursor slightly towards dynamism. The direction of the Kona is incisive, the small SUV takes a minimum of roll, but its motorization under high acceleration turns out to be improved, a fortiori when the bitumen is wet.
On the wrong road, we also found it stiff, a defect that the sensitive backs can alleviate by avoiding the 18-inch wheels. Finally, the high-end positioning of the 2018 Hyundai Kona is worth an endowment justifying, in part, a high rate. It includes a complete range of driving aids, high head display, and induction smartphone refill.
Having passed the effect of surprise, the Kona convinces by solid performances, comparable to those of the compact sedan i30 from which it is derived. Focusing on road efficiency in comfort, it does not clean sensitive backs. In return, this real SUV has the advantage of being one of the few available with four-wheel drive.
The offer to launch, in terms of motorization, is limited. But Hyundai announces the next reinforcement of diesel versions and, even more surprisingly than its line, the introduction of two variants 100% electric on the horizon 2019.