Buyers' advice, crossovers, hyundai, Motoring News, new models

Hyundai Kona: One auto, one manual, two damn nice cars

  • Two-model range, family-car prices
  • Well specced, flexible load volume
  • Crash protection high on the features list
2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa are among best value for crossovers. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

LES STEPHENSON

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Hyundai has introduced to South Africa a pair of crossover family cars which, The Corner reckons, offer the best value in the country given their luxury levels and great engines.

Meet the Hyundai Kona – as I did recently (Oct 2018) for drives out of Stellenbosch and along the beautiful False Bay coast adjacent to Cape Town.

Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive SA, told The Corner: “The Kona is an important milestone in Hyundai Motor’s journey. The quality of the exterior and interior design and the fit and trim level in the cabin testify to the status Hyundai has achieved as one of the world’s top automotive brands.

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA: Two versions, one a six-speed auto and the other a six-speed manual, have just been launched in South Africa  Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

”The whole package is exciting and modern and represents our brand with pride.”

Soak up the prices (below) then read on to see how much value the two cars represent:

Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDI Executive (manual) – R379 900,
Hyundai Kona 2.0 NU Executive (auto, with paddle-shifts) – R399 900.

SIX-SPEED AUTOBOX

The Kona’s Kappa 1.0-litre (998cc) T-GDI three-cylinder turbo engine is capable of 88kW at 6000rpm / 172Nm from 1500-4000rpm and, where legal, 180km/h.

Possible fuel-consumption is listed as 6.8 litres/100km.

The Atkinson Cycle (a system also used in premium brands such as Lexus!) two-litre fuel-injected unit in the Kona 2.0 NU Executive delivers 110kW at 6200rpm / 180Nm at 4500rpm and spins a  six-speed autobox that can be set for comfort, economy or sport modes.

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA:  Decorative aircon controls and air vents will handle those hot summer days… and chllly winter mornings. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

The car can reach 194km/h and Hyundai has recorded a fuel consumption of 7.2 litres/100km on a combined urban/open-road test cycle.

So far, so good – but what about design? The Corner reckons the new Kona will prove to be one of the most attractive mid-range crossovers – as of course does Hyundai.


TEXAS, US : The 2018 Hyundai Kona has just been named (Oct 2018) Sub-Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas at the 2018 Texas Auto Writers Association annual Texas Truck Rodeo. The two-day test drive covered 59 vehicles in 18 categories for all types of trucks, SUV’s and CUV’s.


”The Kona has been designed to turn heads and raise pulses,” the automaker says. ”The bold exterior design catches the eye with muscular sculpted shapes, sleek diode lighting and one-of-a-kind details that highlight the DNA borrowed from its sport utility siblings.”

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA: Both versions of the new Kona crossover can handle a weekend away, a camping trip, or a perhaps taking a new fridge home thanks to folding rear seatbacks. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

A striking design feature of the Kona is its twin-headlights design with diode daytime running-lights. The combination, Hyundai says, ”creates an unmistakable front with the cascading grille and composite headlights”. Whether the low positioning of the headlights, intended to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, will survive Africa’s gravel roads remains to be seen.

All models run on 17” alloy wheel/tyre combinations and five body colours are available: Acid Yellow, Chalk White, Dark Knight, Pulse Red and Lake Silver.

The cabins come with two colour themes: Lime (for the Acid Yellow exterior) and Red, for the other four exteriors. The interior colour accents are on the air-vents, around the gear-shifter, engine start button ring, seat stitching and steering-wheel.

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA:  Clear and present controls for cellphone navigation, music, messages and other functions on a large display screen. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

A floating screen of the 19cm navigation / touchscreen high on the facia. The infotainment system, with excellent sound from four speakers and two tweeters, integrates satnav, media and connectivity or picks up from the driver’s smart phone with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Seats are excellent, each row with plenty of legroom and the 361-litre boot volume can be increased by removing a hidden storage tray. The rear seatback can be dropped in a 60:40 split amd passenger convenience has obviously absorbed a lot of thought, starting with aircon, rear armrest / cupholders combinations and of course the infotainment system.

READ MORE Hyundai features on Carman’s Corner

Buttons on the height-adjustable steering-wheel apply to cruise control and incoming phone calls and toggle through vehicle trip data – including instant and average fuel-consumption and tyre pressures.

MacPherson-type struts with a stabiliser bar, coil springs and gas-filled high performance shock-absorbers are standard up front; the rear suspension uses a coupled torsion-beam axle – also with gas-filled, high-performance, shocks.

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

The Kona makes no claims to off-roading but its 17cm ground clearance will handle South Africa’s gravel roads.

The Hyundai Kona also claims to be one of the safest cars in its segment with five stars from the European New Car Assessment Programme thanks to anti-lock brakes, stability control, blind-spot and rear-traffic alerts, pairs of front, curtain, and side-impact crash bags.

And a reminder on the prices (below image):

2018 KIA KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Kia Motors / Carman's Corner
2018 HYUNDAI KONA: Two versions just launched in South Africa among best value for crossovers. Images: Hyundai Motors / Carman’s Corner

Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDI Executive – R379 900
Hyundai Kona 2.0 NU Executive a/t – R399 900

Prices include a seven-year or 200 000km manufacturers’ warranty made up of:
Five years or 150 000km warranty
A two-year or 50 000km drive train warranty
A five-year or 90 000km service plan and five years’ or 150 000km roadside assistance

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