Hyundai Kona 2017 car review

By Cade Wilson

Hyundai’s smallest SUV offering has launched in NZ and is not shy in boasting about its accolades in the areas of refinement, technology, safety and practicality. It’s great to see an impressive level of safety features included as standard, especially in a market segment that is experiencing significant demand and rapid expansion. 

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With the target demographic being those pre or post children, those seeking out the urban intrepids like visiting a towns bustling night markets, hunting out the perfect day trip with an unplanned overnight or injecting a bit of life into your daily commute, the Kona really can suit anyone. 

The ‘cascading’ front grille and split headlights immediately draw the eye and gives off a slightly European look similar to a new Citroen. Colour contrasts come from the grey ‘body armour’ and the nine paint colour options like Tangerine Comet and Acid Yellow - you can even have the roof in black as an optional extra. Racing stripes actually don’t look bad either if you want to pretend your vehicle is a Ford Cobra!

SafetySense® active safety systems are included as standard across the range. This is a big step in the right direction as these assist features make up a great package for a modern vehicle. This includes functions like the radar-based Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Collision Warning. The Kona also comes equipped with Driver Attention Warning which helps monitor driving patterns to prevent potential accidents. If the system detects inattentive driving patterns, an audible sound and message on the display panel will bring this to the driver’s attention. 

Interestingly enough Hyundai NZ locally fit a first aid kit and fire extinguisher to every new Hyundai sold, now that’s one of those things that is great to have in a vehicle!

The new Kona comes with Hyundai Auto Link™, a new connected driver service that enables drivers to access information and essential data in real time. The system provides an interface that joins the car’s own computers with the user’s smartphone, and can offer everything from vehicle diagnostics, tyre pressure monitoring and vehicle ‘health check’ status, driving stats and parking management (timer). At first I thought it might be a feature that would prove useful for the first 5 minutes and then be forgotten. But the more I used it, the more I loved it; the system was very informative and a feature that is actually useable. A prime example, during my test-drive, I found that the ride felt a bit hard, I checked the tyre pressure monitor and found the tyres to have very high pressure, wallah! problem solved. 

                           At a glance  
Models  Standard and Elite
Engine 1.6 Turbo, 2.0 Naturally Aspirated
 Price From $31,990
 ANCAP safety rating Not rated
 Power 110kW 2.0ltr, 130kW 1.6T
 Transmission 6-speed automatic (2.0ltr), 7-speed DCT (1.6)
 Fuel economy From 6.7 L/100km
Towing capacity  600kg unbraked, 1,250kg(2.0L) + 1,300kg(1.6L)
2WD/4WD/AWD  2wd 2.0ltr, AWD 1.6T
Seating capacity   5
Luggage capacity / payload  361L seats up, 1,143L seats down
                          Safety systems 
6-Airbags Driver Attention Warning
ABS with EBD Vehicle Stability Management

ESC, TCS

SmartSense® safety technologies

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