Car News

Hyundai Kona revealed… on-sale here from September

The Hyundai Kona has finally been revealed with the compact SUV set to go on-sale here from September this year.

THE HYUNDAI KONA has finally been revealed with Hyundai announcing we can expect to see it in Australia from September or early October. So, soon. The Kona is the Korean car maker’s compact SUV designed, as it said: “With a strong, impactful design and uncompromised individuality, the Kona is designed to appeal to modern customers with active lifestyles”.

Joining the Tucson and Santa Fe, the Kona is hoping to captialise on the growing compact SUV market. “With the Kona, we have created a stylish and highly functional compact SUV, perfectly suited to the needs of customers who pursue challenging, action-filled lifestyles,” said Euisun Chung, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company. “We aim to set new standards for the compact SUV segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class leading safety features.”

Hyundai Kona

The Kona cops Hyundai’s new Cascading Grille which we’ve already seen on the new i30 and which is meant to represent molten metal being poured out of a melting pot… Unlike a lot of faux rough roaders, the Kona isn’t trying to be something it’s not with its long wheelbase designed to maximize interior space and improve on-road ride and handling; and Australia will get a unique ride and steering tune.

It’s not a bad looking car and eschews the multiple creases of key competitors, like the Nissan Juke and the Toyota C-HR and clearly borrows from the i30’s design playbook. Like other makers, the Kona will be aimed at those who want to make the car their own and there will be many colour combinations available.

On the inside, and the Kona will go head to head with the new Citroen C3 Aircross, Hyundai is claiming the thing offers class-leading space. Like it does with the new i30, the dashboard has been designed to make the car seem wider than it is, with the infotainment screen ‘floating’ at the top and in the driver’s eye-line.

Hyundai Kona

In its statement, Hyundai said: “Kona offers occupants generous interior space by optimizing the underfloor layout, including the 4WD drivetrain and exhaust system, to reduce central tunnel intrusion. The suspension component layout is optimized at the rear, allowing for a lower floor and seating position to deliver class-leading levels of headroom and ease of access for rear occupants. 

“Designers also optimized interior space to maximize luggage storage capabilities, reflecting the requirements of customers with active lifestyles. The split-folding rear seats fold flat, with a two-level loading floor that allows easy access for a bicycle or golf club storage”.

The engine options just about mirror those of the i30 with a 2.0-litre petrol (for entry-level models here) and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine (available on all-wheel drive models and mated to a seven-speed DCT).

Available in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, Hyundai said it needed to tweak the chassis to suit all-wheel drive. “To integrate the optional four-wheel drive system, Hyundai Motor engineers created a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space”.

Like the i30, the Kona gets two rear suspension set-ups; the two-wheel drive runs a torsion beam rear while the on-demand all-wheel drive variant runs a multi-link setup. And, just like the i30, the Kona is made up of more than 50% high-strength steel to improve torsional rigidity and general strength.

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai claims the Kona offers class-leading active safety, running Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses the car’s front-facing camera and radar to detect imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. Three further systems also utilize the front-view camera to boost safety and convenience: Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); High Beam Assist (HBA); and Driver Attention Warning (DAW). The car’s radar systems also assist with the Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) to detect approaching vehicles that may be obscured from view during high speed driving. The Rear Cross-Traffic Collison Warning (RCCW) detects when another vehicle may have entered the car’s reversing path.

The Kona boasts three infotainment screen sizes (5-, 7- and 8-inches) and while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be an option in some markets, it’s likely to be standard fitment here. There’s also wireless phone charging (Qi system) and head-up display.

Pricing and final specification will be revealed closer to the local launch, but Hyundai Australia has said it will be highly-equipped and priced competitively against key players in the compact SUV segment.

  • Monty

    Looks great. I avoided the Tucson because to me it looks awful. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to SUV’s.

  • Mr Majestyk

    Compare this to that hideous and gutless Toyota C-HR and there is no comparison. In a normal world this would render that crap DOA, but no doubt it’ll outsell the Hyundai 3:1 just because it’s got a Toyota badge and it seems Aussies don’t give a damn about how bad their cars are as long as they believe they are reliable.

    • Jacques LaFeet

      Correct, Toyota’s reliablity reputation is a goldmine.

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.