Year

2018 Hyundai Kona Pricing

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Model Type

SUV

pros & cons

pros

  • Optional turbocharged engine provides quick acceleration
  • Nimble handling makes it enjoyable to drive
  • Lots of features for your money

cons

  • Weak base engine
Hyundai Kona 4dr SUV MSRP: $21150
Based on the SEL Auto FWD 5-passenger 4-dr 4dr SUV with typically equipped options.
EPA Est. MPG 30
Transmission Automatic
Drive Train Front Wheel Drive
Displacement 2 L
Passenger Volume 113.3 cu ft
Wheelbase 102 in
Length 164 in
Width 70 in
Height 61 in
Curb Weight 2890 lbs
Hyundai Kona 4dr SUV MSRP: $21150
Based on the SEL Auto FWD 5-passenger 4-dr 4dr SUV with typically equipped options.
  • Fold Flat Rear Seats
  • Bluetooth
  • Tire Pressure Warning
  • Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Keyless Entry/Start
  • Apple Carplay/Android Auto
  • Alarm
  • Rear Bench Seats
  • Trip Computer
  • Aux Audio Inputs
  • Stability Control
  • Heated seats
  • USB Inputs
  • Back-up camera

Hyundai Kona 2018

2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive

Edmunds Senior Writer Mark Takahashi somehow landed a trip to Hawaii to drive the latest entrant in the subcompact crossover SUV class: the 2018 Hyundai Kona. He's not a big fan of the exterior styling but considers the Kona one of the best-driving vehicles in the class. Add in plentiful features, an accessible price and Hyundai's industry-leading warranty coverage, and the Kona becomes a strong value contender.

Transcript

MARK TAKAHASHI: Aloha from beautiful Hawaii, where we're checking out the all new 2018 Hyundai Kona. [SURF MUSIC] The 2018 Hyundai Kona is the latest entrant into the subcompact crossover class. It competes against the Honda HR-V, Toyota CHR, and Mazda CX-3. Prices start right around $20,000 for the base SE trim. You get a two-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 147 horsepower. It's made it to a six-speed automatic transmission. Once you step up to the limited trim, you get an upgraded 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 175 horsepower. It's made it to a seven-speed, dual clutch transmission. That is the pick because it seems to get off the line a lot better with that engine and transmission. This, however, is the fully loaded, all-wheel drive, ultimate trim. Comes in just shy of $30,000. Admittedly, when this was first unveiled last year in Korea, I was not a fan of the design. Seems like it was designed by committee using spare parts from other cars. There's a lot of things that bothered me about it, but after seeing it on the road for the last couple days, I'm starting to warm up to it. The things that bother me are this fake vent here. It's completely blocked off. I feel like the car might be a little cleaner without it. These running lights up top remind me a lot of the Jeep Cherokee before the latest refresh. The actual headlights are down here, and they kind of remind me of a Nissan Juke. These unpainted gray plastic parts remind me of a Honda Element, and even this rear roof pillar has echoes of something from Land Rover. You may like it a lot more than I do, but honestly, I don't hate it as much as I did, either. As far as car capacity is concerned, the Hyundai Kona has 19.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats. That's a little less than the Honda HR-V, but a lot more than the very small Mazda CX-3. You have a nice little hook here for shopping bags, a compartment below to keep things out of view, and this floor actually drops down about three inches for even more capacity. From behind the wheel, the Hyundai Kona drives pretty much as you'd expect. This 1.6-liter turbo gets up to speed just fine. In fact, it's a lot more capable than what I've found in the Toyota CHR or in the Mazda CX-3. But of course, it is the upgraded engine. There is no laboring. It doesn't make you want to floor the pedal just to get onto the highway, and it cruises just fine. Brakes are also appropriate for this kind of car. Moderately firm, very controllable under heavy braking, and handling is surprisingly good. You can actually have quite a bit of fun on a twisty road with this car. One thing I am noticing, though, is there's quite a bit of road noise. It's not intrusive, and honestly, if you turn up the volume just a little bit on the radio, problem solved. On top of that, it has the Clarify audio system that we're used to seeing in the Genesis luxury line. That fills in some of the digital information on your files for a richer, and fuller experience. Seat comfort is pretty good. I'm getting a lot of support. Now the seat cushion's a little on the short side, but this powered driver's seat tilts up a little with the cushion, so I can make up that with a little bit of angle. Side bolstering is not super aggressive, but it holds me in just fine. And it's not constricting, so larger drivers, they won't have a problem getting comfortable in here. I do feel like I'm sitting a little high, though. I usually like being a little lower to the deck, and this seat is actually lowered down as far as it goes. That said, I still have plenty of headroom, and it's something you'd probably just get used to after a while. Visibility is great. This A pillar is well-contoured so that I can see almost right through it. The mirrors are well-sized and out far enough so that I'm not going to get surprised by something coming up. And the head-up display is incredibly bright. Now it's the flip-up screen, kind of like what we see out of Mazda, so on a bumpy road, it can get a little jittery, a little fuzzy. It's easy to read, and it gives you a lot of information. Not just speed, but also speed limit, as well as turn-by-turn directions for navigation. I do also like how the infotainment screen is mounted on top of the dash. It's right in the driver's sightline. Maybe not as well-executed as some of the other ones, where it looks like a tablet dropped right at the very top of the dash, but it's easy to see, and it actually looks better than some of those tacked-on tablet looking things. It is a hot, humid day here in Hawaii, and these perforated leather seats are breathing just fine. I'm comfortable. Ventilated, cold seats they're not an option. Judging from how well they're breathing, not really that necessary, either. For colder climates, you do get heated front seats. Overall, the interior of the Kona is pretty good for the class. You have your padded elbow touch points, and almost everything else is kind of hard or plastic, but that's to be expected for cars in this price range. And as affordable as it is, it looks fairly attractive. Everything works really well. All the buttons are placed where you expect them to, the infotainment is super easy to use, everything just works. And trust me, I'd rather have slightly boring over gimmicky that's hard to use any day of the week. Now even though the Kona is pretty decent at handling, the ride quality doesn't suffer. It's compliant enough, fairly comfortable. There's some jostling over some of the left-right undulations, but pretty much everything else in this class rides like this. It's not too stiff, not too soft, it's just pleasant. In the upper trim levels, the Kona comes with quite a few advanced safety features. That includes frontal collision warning and mitigation. That generally means it also has the hardware needed for adaptive cruise control. Unfortunately, that's not offered, either as standard or optional equipment, which is too bad, because on some of the longer stints I've been driving on, it would have come in really handy. In its defense, very few other cars in this class have adaptive cruise control. Here I am in the back seat, and I have plenty of room. I'm 5'10", and the driver's seat is set for me, and I have plenty of room for my knees, my feet slide under the seat just fine. All the elbow touch points are nicely padded. As far as visibility is concerned, well, I have a nice view outward to the side, and even this little cutout window here opens it up, makes it feel a little more airy. Like the front seats, these cushions are a little short for me, but I am getting a lot more support than I normally would from other cars in this class. What I mean there is those cars have their cushions mounted a lot lower to the floor, and it leaves me with almost no support for my thighs. All things considered, I'd be fine back here for a long road trip. It's a pleasant place to spend some time. Now, the Kona is by no means an off-road capable SUV, but it does have a locking differential that gives it a lot more ability than some of its competitors. I'm on this rough, volcanic, rocky trail here, and it's handling the climb just fine. Ground clearance, now that's not so great, so I'm avoiding anything that's poking up. Overall though, it's impressive for a subcompact crossover. I was fairly unimpressed with the Kona when it was unveiled last year. Now that I've spent some time and driven it quite a bit, I have to say it's pretty good. I'd consider it in a heartbeat against the Toyota CHR, the Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3. When you consider its price, it has an advantage in a number of ways there, as well as the features you get. The better than average car capacity, all of these things start stacking up. And on top of that, when you add in the industry-leading 100,000-mile warranty, well, it's hard to pass up. Styling aside, I think most people would be really happy with the Kona. For more information on the Kona, head on over to edmunds.com. You want to see more videos like this, hit subscribe. [SURF MUSIC]

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