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Hyundai Infiltrates the Subcompact Crossover Segment With Kona

(Credit: © Hyundai)

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Hyundai Infiltrates the Subcompact Crossover Segment With Kona

Hyundai is showing its dedication to the crossover segment with a new entry into the growing subcompact crossover segment. It’s entry into the arena will be the all-new Kona.

The Kona, which is named after the coastal region of the island of Hawaii, will take on the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR with its small footprint and aggressive looks. Speaking of that footprint, the Kona is just 164 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, and 61 inches high. All this will sit atop a 102.4-inch-long wheelbase.

In appearance, Hyundai went off-script, giving it a unique look that strays from its corporate design. Short of its Hyundai badges and hexagon grille, there is little that ties this crossover back to the Korean automaker. Powerful-looking plastic cladding protects the front fog lights, wheel wells and rocker panels while slim LED headlights give it an even more unique appearance relative to other Hyundais. These lights do, however, evoke thoughts of the Jeep Cherokee, but they fit this sleek crossover better than those on the Jeep.

There are no images of the interior, but Hyundai went in-depth in text about the cabin, calling its layout “sleek and simple,” which contrasts its sharp body. Inside, occupants will enjoy the typical higher seating position of an SUV, helping increase visibility, and plenty of space, thanks to its optimized underfloor layout. The latter feature optimizes the exhaust system, all-wheel-drive system, and center tunnel to reduce cabin infiltration.

Cargo room is also plentiful, thanks to its split-folding rear seats and two-level loading floor.

The Kona will have a full suite of available features, including 5- to 7-inch touchscreens, HD Radio, a rearview camera, 4G LTE, a head-up display, wireless charging, and more.

In terms of safety, look for forward collision warning with automatic braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, and driver attention monitor.

The Kona will be a global model, so there will be a range of engines, including one diesel. In the U.S., we’ll likely see the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque as the base powerplant. This engine will pair with a six-speed auto transmission The optional engine in the U.S. will likely be the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This engine will use a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

While the 2.0-liter engine won’t make the Kona a rocket, as Hyundai estimates its 0-to-62 mph time at 10 seconds, the 1.6-liter engine will make it quite lively at 7.7 seconds to 62 mph.

The Kona will hit showrooms in Korea in later in June, while the U.S. will get it later this year or maybe in 2018 — there are no official details on it U.S. arrival. Stay tuned for updates.

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