ANYANG, South Korea – Amidst Hyundai’s sprawling, metropolis-like studies and development center, a gaggle of 2018 Kona crossovers awaits at the test-song ahead. Camouflaged and black vinyl-classed prototypes zip by as finely-dressed protection employees hover silently, looking at as we hop into the driver’s seat for our as an alternative quick 8-minute runabout on Hyundai’s place of origin handling direction. frettboard
Hyundai won’t launch the Kona within the U.S. Until March 2018, well behind the now-established Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-three, Jeep Renegade, and more current Toyota C-HR. “We had to take the time to make sure we were given matters proper for the market and for our customers,” stated Hyundai vice chairman Chung Eui-Sun.
Based on our very limited drive of a pre-production Korean-spec Kona, Hyundai can have a strong shot at scooping up what’s left of this booming segment. Our check automobile is a loaded example that boasts the non-obligatory aggregate of a 1.6-liter faster-four and seven-pace twin-clutch automated.
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As in preceding models, including the Veloster Turbo and Sonata Eco, the engine makes a hundred seventy-five hp and a healthful 195 lb-feet of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 RPM. The base engine could be a 2.Zero-liter Atkinson cycle 4 accurate for 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-velocity computerized. Drive modes consist of Normal and Sport, with the latter including barely heavier guidance, sharper throttle sensitivity, and a sportier transmission mapping that downshifts in advance beneath braking and holds gears longer below heavy throttle input. Other markets may even get an Eco choice that, relatively amusingly, isn’t covered for U.S. Models; experience taught Hyundai that clients often unknowingly depart the drive mode in Eco after which complain the car is underpowered.
Down the lengthy straightaway at the start of our take a look at the run, the punchy little engine inspired with its beneficent low-stop torque and easy-transferring transmission. There’s a bit of hesitation at low speeds because the twin-grab tries to locate its footing, but once on the boil, it’s an adept and flawlessly suitable powertrain. Hyundai expects 35 to forty percentage of Kona buyers will spring for the uprated engine, as a way to be standard on SEL and Ultimate models. The base engine and transmission can be the only powertrain for the lower-stage SE and SEL trims. All-wheel pressure might be supplied as a stand-by myself option on all fashions, and Hyundai expects approximately forty-five percent of shoppers to tick that box.
Hyundai is up to now frustratingly mom on how exactly the suspension and steering will be tuned for U.S. Spec fashions, however, the Korean-spec Kona has a reasonably company suspension and pleasant heft to the steering. While no longer as sharp and responsive as the Mazda CX-three, the Kona is a far cry from the lethargic Honda HR-V, even in Normal mode. Body roll was important — however not immoderate — throughout fast navigation of numerous roundabouts.
Over enlargement joints and small bumps, the Kona suggests off very solid body manage and compliance, although Hyundai’s managing path is a global far from some of America’s more decrepit roads. (Engineered imperfection just isn’t similar to proper old’ original overlook and poor infrastructure management.) Our take a look at vehicle became geared up with all-wheel force, that means it featured a multi-hyperlink rear suspension in the location of the front-wheel-force model’s torsion-beam setup.
Dynamics are, however, not the most important appeal for subcompact crossover shoppers. Those would be fashion, device, and space. The Kona’s layout, led with the aid of a veteran cohort which includes leader Peter Schreyer, Sangyup Lee, and Luc Donckerwolke, is distinctive enough to attraction to the ones seeking out something sparkling and alerts a greater extroverted direction for Hyundai. It should thoroughly be too busy and incoherent for a few, though, specifically the scrunch-confronted the front stop. From the Jeep Cherokee-like eyelid-fashion day time strolling lamps to the fake air scoop, hundreds of “armor” cladding throughout, and Land Rover-ish D-pillar kink, there’s a lot to digest. Fortunately, the indoors is appreciably more restrained with its recognition of space performance and intuitive functionality.
Hyundai says the Kona rides on an all-new international B-section platform, that is zero.7-inch lower and wider than that of its Creta subcompact crossover, which has been on sale in rising markets for a few years. Executives were tight-lipped while it got here to details about the platform or what it’d yield down the street, but it did pop out that a few destiny B-section sedans could undertake the new architecture.
Bare-bones Kona SE models will come well known with electric seats, cruise manages, 16-inch aluminum wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a vintage-faculty ignition key. Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is trendy, as well. From there the SEL trim adds 17-inch wheels, roof rails, push-button start, a leather-wrapped guidance wheel, rear cross-traffic alert, and an optionally available package deal with automated emergency braking. Spring for the Limited model to get a leather indoors, sunroof, and LED headlights and rear lights. Goodies for the pinnacle-spec Ultimate trim encompass an 8-inch display screen with navigation, lane-hold assist, rear parking sensors, computerized emergency braking, and a phone-charging pad. There will also be an to be had a color head-up show, which flips up from the dashboard in a fashion similar to the Mazda3 or Mini Cooper.
Pricing won’t be introduced till in the direction of release, however, Hyundai’s U.S. Public members of the family team says it’ll be positioned competitively, and less expensive than the $23,460 Toyota C-HR. Expect the base model to start at approximately $20,000.
With its suitable chew of available tools, not to mention the pedestrian-detection safety generation that’s some thing of a rarity up to now in this space, the 2018 Hyundai Kona must gift a perfectly valid alternative inside an area that’s becoming ever more crowded with alternatives. It’ll be the first strike in Hyundai’s deliberate SUV product assault, as a way to encompass a smaller crossover under the Kona as well as a 3-row own family SUV above the Santa Fe.