2018 Hyundai Kona Review
Edmunds expert review
The subcompact crossover SUV class is gaining in popularity and the latest entrant, the 2018 Hyundai Kona, has a lot of potential to take the lead. Its exterior style may be somewhat polarizing, but it drives better than the competition. It also delivers a lot for the money and checks all of the boxes that shoppers want in this type of vehicle.
The Kona sets itself apart from the rest of the class with a powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that Hyundai offers on the top two trim levels. The Kona also gets high marks for the features you get for the price as well as Hyundai's strong warranty coverage. For these reasons, you should place it high on your must-drive list if you're in the market for a crossover in this class.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Hyundai Kona is a five-passenger subcompact crossover SUV that is available in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited and Ultimate. The SE and SEL models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (147 horsepower, 132 pound-feet of torque) that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. The Limited and Ultimate trims get a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (175 hp, 195 lb-ft) that's mated to a seven-speed automated dual-clutch transmission.
All-wheel drive is available as an option for all Konas. It comes bundled with a more sophisticated rear suspension design and a lockable center differential. The latter enhances off-road traction.
Standard features for the SE trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, a telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats and a split-level cargo area. Tech features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker audio system.
The SEL trim adds 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and satellite radio. A sunroof and a power-adjustable driver's seat are available as options.
Stepping up to the Limited trim gets you all of the above plus 18-inch wheels, LED taillights and leather upholstery.
At the top of the lineup is the Ultimate trim. It comes loaded up with automatic wipers, Hyundai's Blue Link communications, a head-up display, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, a wireless charging pad, and an Infinity premium audio system.
The Hyundai Smart Sense suite of advanced safety features, with forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keeping assist, a driver attention monitor and automatic high beams, is standard on this trim and available as an option only on the SEL trim (minus the automatic high beams).
Noise & vibration3.0
Ease of use5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0
Child safety seat accommodation3.0
Audio & navigation5.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.