Hyundai’s Kona SUV Driven

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Korean manufacturer Hyundai currently offer eight different models within its car line-up, here we look at its smallest SUV, the Kona.
It’s a vehicle to suit the needs of many and, despite being slightly more hard-wearing inside them some rivals, Hyundai’s are incredibly well screwed together, providing an abundance of comfort and spec as standard.

On the Kona, two turbocharged petrol engines are available starting with a 1-litre, 3-cylinder unit producing 120ps, which will see 0-62mph in 12 seconds, with a top speed of 112 mph via a 6-speed manual gearbox.

This engine and ‘box is the only option available on all but the top trim level car, this model is equipped with a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder unit, mated to a 7-speed (dual clutch) automatic transmission with four-wheel drive.  This combination is no slouch and will see 0-62mph in a mere 7.9 seconds, with a top speed of 127mph.

There are, for the tree-huggers, or those who wish for a company car with decent benefit, a pair of eco-friendly models which I hope to report on at a later date, but for reference, a hybrid engined model starts from £23,160 whilst an all-electric version starts from £29,900.

So, what exactly do you get for your money from the varying trim levels?

Let’s start with the ‘Kona S’ which is priced from £18,250 and is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights, daytime running lights, full electric windows, air conditioning, a 5-inch audio display with Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB and auxiliary input and finally, cruise control.

An ‘Kona SE’ starts from £19,550 and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, rear parking sensors with reversing camera, a 7-inch touch screen with smartphone integration in the guise of Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a leather steering wheel and gear knob.  A ‘Kona PLAY’ which to be looks like great value for specification, starts from £19,300 and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, and rear privacy glass on top of all that the SE comes with. A ‘Kona Premium’ adds a chrome front grill surround, silver rear skid plate, keyless entry, automatic wipers, climate control, electric lumbar support on the driver’s seat, 8-inch touch screen and KRELL premium audio system and is priced from £20,850.

Next in the line-up is the model tested and photographed, a ‘Kona Premium SE’ which starts from £23,250 and adds a full leather interior, heated and cooled electrical adjusting front seats, rear central armrest, heated steering wheel and a head up display along with electric folding mirrors and blind spot detection.
Finally, a ‘Kona Premium GT’ comes with front and rear LED lights featuring automatic high beam, drive mode selection and automatic brake assist with pedestrian recognition, pricing on this model starts from £27,870.

Aside the standard specification that comes on the Premium SE, a glorious metallic colour choice is the only option added to this test car, and as such, this ‘Blue Lagoon’ coloured model costs £23,815.  Or, over a three-year term with a £2,000 deposit, you would be paying something in the region of £360 per month, and that’s with an annual mileage of 10,000.  Sitting in a very crowded segment, the Hyundai Kona faces stiff opposition from the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross or Mazda’s CX-3. However, I think it’s safe to say that the Kona will turn more heads with its styling.

Styling that is marmite, but a bold style that I like and, with a build quality that is right up there with the best of them, it is certainly a very viable, yet funky option, of a small SUV.  Having managed to cover around 500 miles during my week of Kona custody, the bulk of which was done in two 4-hour driving stints, I was not only smiling at how cool this car looks, but also at how incredibly comfortable it is to drive and how, for a small car, it coped with such mileage effortlessly.

The small engine is incredibly punchy around town, but for a driving enthusiast or for someone running very late for work, it may feel a little lacking.
With a real-world return of 40mpg during my time with this car, there isn’t a great deal to fault with the Kona, except perhaps it’s pricing once you start to rise up the trim levels.

Hyundai’s Kona is covered by 5 year, unlimited mileage warranty, and their website is one of the simplest I have had the pleasure of using, go check it out.


About Author

Graham is a professional photographer and motoring writer with over 15 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and rally events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers. See more at

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