Australian specifications and pricing have been revealed for the 2018 Hyundai Kona range, the compact SUV that will allow Hyundai to compete in one of the market’s growing segments.
The Kona has been a long time coming, Hyundai has been slow to react to the demand for compact/small SUVs. The Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai and Subaru XV are all strong performers for their respective brands.
"Arriving fashionably late for the party means that Hyundai Motor Company has had the development time needed to deliver a small SUV that is right for its time and laser-focused on its target," said Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mr JW Lee.
Statements such as these will only serve to add pressure on a model that already carries significant performance expectations. The Kona will add another rung to Hyundai’s SUV offerings, sitting below the Tucson and Santa Fe.
The Kona is noticeably smaller than the majority of its competitors, it will look to win the battle of specifications to secure sales.
Like other Hyundai model lines, the Kona will be offered in three trim levels, Active, Elite and Highlander. Pleasingly, the best safety gear isn’t reserved for the top model and can be optioned on the entry variants.
There’s a choice of drivetrains beginning with a 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder engine with conventional six-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive, or a 130kW/265Nm 1.6-litre Turbo-GDI with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and all-wheel-drive.
As with the majority of new Hyundai vehicles sold in Australia, the suspension and steering have been calibrated to suit local conditions.
General Manager of Product Engineering, Hee Loong Wong said, "We tuned the chassis to make it more compliant and controlled for Australian country roads but also make it really responsive and great fun through the corners.
"We leaned towards the idea of the two-wheel-drive car being a fun and comfortable city dweller while the all-wheel-drive turbo is more of a go-anywhere vehicle with plenty of sportiness.
"Suspension development for the all-new Kona was a complex job but a rewarding one. Ultimately, I think we got it right."
On the inside, the Kona gets a 7-inch touchscreen across all model variants with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, iPod connectivity and smartphone connectivity through both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2018 Hyundai Kona pricing (excludes on-road costs):
Active 2.0 petrol 6AT 2WD – $24,500
Active 1.6 turbo-petrol DCT AWD – $28,000
Active with Safety Pack adds $1500
Elite 2.0 petrol 6AT 2WD – $28,500
Elite 1.6 turbo-petrol DCT AWD – $32,000
Highlander 2.0 petrol 6AT 2WD – $33,000
Highlander 1.6 turbo-petrol DCT AWD – $36,000
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