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This week we have another supermini in the compact crossover segment: the Hyundai Kona. 

 

Unique to look at. Interestingly, it was designed by Luc Donckerwolke, a Belgian car designer at Hyundai's Genesis luxury division and a former design director at Volkswagen Group's, Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi. This man has designed some incredible looking vehicles. 

 

The Kona slots in just above the i20 Active (which is a pseudo-crossover) and the value for money compact family SUV, the Creta while the accomplished Tucson and the plush mid-sized Santa Fe sit on the higher end of the Hyundai offering.

 

Love it or hate it but the Kona does stand out with its ‘split face’ frontal design. Its competition is the likes of the sassy Mazda CX3, the bold Toyota C-HR and friendly Renault Captur. There are more but you get the picture. 

 

This specific type of crossover is aimed for the road. It’s not going to wade through mud or climb a rocky hill. No, forget that. What it is going to do is seat four adults in relative comfort and provide decent storage throughout the cabin including the boot. It’s also nicely equipped - there is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with actual shortcut buttons to the car’s operating systems. This system is easy to use, and I enjoyed its user interface.

 

Things like Bluetooth connectivity, navigation system, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, reverse camera and parking sensors are standard. Additionally, you get automated headlamps, blind spot indicators in the wing mirrors, manually adjustable air conditioning and some nice electrical USB sockets. The Kona is fully loaded – catering to the trend consumer.

 

Locally we have two engine derivatives, a 1.0 TGDI Executive. This model is exclusively available in a light, smooth-shifting manual gearbox. This little compact engine is spritelier than you’d think. It offers 172Nm and 88kW. You’ll hit 100km/h in around 12 seconds and top out at 181 km/h. Next up is the 2.0 Executive, which is only available in an automatic gearbox. This respected engine offers 180Nm and 110kW. The 100km/h mark will also be reached in around 10 seconds and max out 194km/h. 

 

So, what is it like to drive? It’s targeted at a younger market who’d supposedly like a sporting drive. As a result, the suspension set is firm. Not hard nor supple, just firm. Steering is light and easy to use around the city; for simple parking manoeuvres. The manual gearbox is light in action, but the ratio between third and fourth gears is a tad long.  Overall, it’s a fun, nippy drive that’s easy to live with on the daily.

 

Plus +

  • Great standard specifications
  • Fun to drive
  • Good service plan

 

Minus –

  • Firm ride
  • Different styling

 

The competition

Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-3

 

Pricing 

1.0 TGDI Executive R379 900

2.0 Executive R399 900

 

Service and Warranty

The Hyundai Kona range comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km service plan.

 

My Choice

1.0 TGDI Executive R379 900

www.hyundai.co.za

 

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