Friday, June 30, 2017

Hyundai Kona

SUVs, the automotive equivalent of obesity, and by this decade 50% of the cars sold worldwide are mostly SUVs, meaning the cars of today are getting fatter and fatter and in the case of crossovers in the world, it's a case of "Supersize Me" in near-biblical proportions. However, there are some SUVs that doesn't look like they're suffering from automotive obesity and they behave like pretty much like normal city cars and in the case of Hyundai, their latest offering will make you go hmmm.

2018 Hyundai Kona

Meet the Kona, Hyundai's first-ever compact SUV sold in the Korean market and it's known to be a cheaper alternative to their latest offerings such as the Tucson, the Santa Fe, and the Maxcruz. The name "Kona" comes from a tropical island located in Hawaii, in tradition of calling their crossovers from American cities, and while it sounds like it's made to brew up your Monday brews like the finest beers from Kona Brewing (pun intended), you would never dare to say "Kona" and "me" on the same sentence because the result will be rather, let's just say depressing.

Depressing aside, the exterior of the Kona is somewhat a mashup between the Jeep Cherokee and the Citroen C4 Cactus and the end result is a compact crossover is promises to be proven around the world and while it looks so rugged, don't be fooled that this is basically a front-wheel drive car and cross-country isn't its specialty for the Kona. Although cross-country isn't its specialty, trailblazing and city driving is what matters for this compact crossover and that is just half of the story.

2018 Hyundai Kona interior

2018 Hyundai Kona interior

For a robust exterior, the Kona features a much premium, yet spacious interior that is very accommodating even for compact crossover standards. It maybe small but its five-seating capacity sounds very promising for the first-time buyers and its real beauty lies to its boot space that can accommodate the list of creature comforts you bought at your nearest grocery and for some extra stuff, the rear seats can be folded flat to accommodate bigger stuff, especially stuff you would need for your grandma's birthday party at a nearby three-star hotel.

As a car designed for millennials, the Kona features smartphone connectivity that is compatible with your iPhones or Androids (via MirrorLink). It even has a wireless phone charger, the HUD is where it should be in the windscreen's safe zone for health and safety purposes, KRELL Premium Surround System, and much more. Those stuff you would commonly get on luxury cars are right here in this smart and tiny little compact SUV built for the young urban professionals in mind.

2018 Hyundai Kona

The Kona utilizes on a brand new platform that promises to utilize its four-wheel drive layout without sacrificing interior space and in the case of this compact crossover, it handles like a city car, contrary to popular belief about SUVs are obese in the handling department. For a crossover of this size, the Kona really is somewhat above average for a fun-to-drive car but on normal circumstances, it is not too bad at all.

Under the bonnet, the Kona comes with two engine powerplants such as the 1.6L diesel engine which produces 133PS of power and 30.6kg-m of torque while the more powerful and very nippy Gamma 1.6L T-GDi engine produces 177PS of power and 27kg-m of torque, all mated to a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Take note that only the T-GDi variant of the Kona has four-wheel drive that suits perfectly well on any road condition at any weather condition, making it the ideal trailblazing partner for your quiet Sunday drives.

For safety, the Kona comes prepared with Hyundai SmartSense which comes with an array of safety tech such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind Spot Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, among many others.

Should you buy it? The Kona starts at 18,950,000 Korean Won and this is the cheapest SUV in the lineup. You can really afford one for starters but in comparison against noteworthy rivals in this category such as the Nissan Juke, Toyota C-HR, the Mitsubishi RVR, Honda Vezel, Peugeot 2008, Ssangyong Tivoli, and the others, can the Kona really stacks up. I think it can because with its handy-capable four-wheel drive, its nippy turbocharged engine, above average potential in the handling department, and its wide array of tech in store, the Kona might just be one of the most demanding compact crossovers of this late decade and because summer's already here, the Kona is always prepared for any kind of season for the drivers because for this one, it's going to be a long holiday for this newcomer.

Available colors: Chalk White, Rake Silver, Velvet Dawn, Dark Night, Phantom Black, Blue Lagoon, Ceramic Blue, Tangerine Comet, Pulse Red, and Acid Yellow.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

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