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I’ve been to Kona beach! That’s right, an awesome tropical one in Hawaii, correctly known as Kailua Kona. Anyways, the Hyundai brand picked a beautiful place to name their spritely crossover after.
The Hyundai Kona is an unusual crossover in my mind. It slots in between the brand’s smaller Venue and the bigger Creta. Hyundai also offers the bigger Tucson and even bigger still Santa Fe.
What I like about the brand’s approach to SUVs and crossovers is its ability to create unique designs for each of their vehicles compared to other brands’ approaches, which are to scale a look from small, medium and up to large.
The Kona is more athletic in its appearance when comparted to family siblings. More so now, with-its midlife updates for the first time – a sporty N Line trim has arrived in South Africa.
The enhancements made to the refreshed Kona are aesthetic in nature and include protective cladding panels. For example, enhanced LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) provide a narrow, piercing look to the road ahead. The side body retains the muscular and sculpted shape with shoulder creases and the sharper, cleaner, more harmonious front end. At the rear, there are new taillights featuring horizontally stretched graphics. What’s more, the new rear bumper, which also follows the protective armour concept of the front and sides, is also built with a contrasting material.
In addition, the latest model comes with an updated 17-inch wheel design for the Kona 2.0 Executive, and different 18-inch wheels for the 1.6 T-GDi Executive and 1.6 T-GDi N Line respectively.
In its dimensions, the new Kona is 40 mm longer than the previous version, giving it a sleeker and more dynamic look to balance out its wide, strong visual stance.
The new Kona comes with six exterior colours: Surfy Blue, Ignite Flame, Cyber Gray, Phantom Black, Atlas White, Dark Knight and Pulse Red.
Every colour can be combined with the Phantom Black two-tone roof for the 1.6 T-GDi Executive and N Line derivatives. The two-tone roof also comes with matching mirror housings.
On the inside there is a new console, which is disconnected from the instrument panel to stress the horizontal layout, appearing wide for a spacious atmosphere. An electronic parking brake is now available in the N Line variant as a standard convenience feature. New ambient lighting illuminates the cup holder and foot wells, while an aluminium-like finish adds refinement. The Kona’s rear cargo area has been increased and second-row legroom has also been improved, along with USB-port access for second-row passengers.
The 2.0 Executive and 1.6 T-GDi variants come standard with an artificial leather seat trim, while the 1.6 T-GDi N Line features full leather seats with N Line red piping and stitching trim.
As standard, the new Kona has also been upgraded with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, meaning customers do not have to use a cable anymore to connect their phones to the 8-inch display infotainment system. A wireless cellphone charging pad in the centre console is also standard across the range.
Rear passengers can charge their cellphones from a USB cable port in a centre console, with a place to store the phone.
The new Kona N Line has been equipped with a range of Hyundai’s SmartSense safety and driving assist features for added peace of mind. They include Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Collision-avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist and Fatigue Detection/Driver Attention Warning.
All Kona derivatives are equipped with an Electronic Stability Program and Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Downhill Brake Control and Hill start Assist Control. The Hyundai Kona has received a full five-star safety rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme.
The Kona is driven by two engine variants, the top of the range, G1.6 T-GDi engine, linked to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT), which brings 146 kW/265 Nm maximum torque to the table.
There is also a 2.0 naturally aspirated petrol engine, delivering 110 kW/179 Nm peak torque, linked with an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). This engines IVT system boost economy up to 4% and 5% respectively. Combustion efficiency is also improved, decreasing gas emissions by up to 12%.
The Kona doesn’t only look better and function better, but it also offers a smoother ride compared to its predecessor. Not to mention, the car is now quieter and more refined, while steering efforts are more linear and well-balanced across the complete speed range. This setup is applied to the whole Kona range, including the Kona N Line.
Kona 2.0 Nu Executive (auto) R464 500
Kona 1.6 T-GDi Executive DCT R504 900
Kona 1.6 T-GDi N-Line DCT R579 900
Service and Warranty
Included in the prices are:
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