Hyundai Kona Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

For a city driver like me, Hyundai’s all new funky, fresh Kona is the ideal compact SUV for tooling around DC’s busy urban maze. Its turbocharged engine gives the Kona the boost it needs to maneuver for sudden city stop-and-go’s while giving plenty of acceleration ammunition to merge and pass other cars on the Beltway. The Kona is a groovy, fierce looking set of wheels. Hyundai hit it out of the park for its new entry into the sub-compact field. My tester, the upper trim Ultimate came in the color Pulse Red, which makes it even more wickedly slick


DC’s non-stop construction has meant far less parking spaces-- as if finding street parking wasn’t already bad enough. Recently, as I was looking for the elusive on-street parking near a DC restaurant hot spot, I watched in astonishment as a Texas-size SUV tried to squeeze into a teeny weeny spot while playing bumper cars with the unlucky vehicles parked in front and back. Before he did too much damage, he thankfully gave up. That’s when I was able to use the Kona’s standard rear back up camera to effortlessly swoop right into the spot with room to spare.


Inside, the Kona Ultimate gets trimmed in leather which I liked. The mix of high and low quality materials doesn’t diminish its cool points. It will leave folks in disbelief at the low price tag given all that the Hyundai delivers.


Five people can ride inside the Hyundai. While I found the front seats sufficiently roomy and comfortable, it may be a different story if your passengers in back are taller. Kids and shorter passengers will be just fine. Now just keeping it real. I’ll rarely have four people riding with me.


For my lifestyle, I need the space for hauling packages, groceries, and my small furniture finds from consignment shops. The Kona gives me the car measurements to make me a happy hauler. It provides more than 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats – enough for a printer that I bought and four folding tray tables. It increases to just under 46 cubic feet with the rear seats folded giving me ample room to add other household odds and ends.


Standard features in the Kona include Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB port and an infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen.


Step up to the top trim Ultimate, which I tested, and you’ll find even more goodies including 18-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, automatic LED headlights, heated side mirrors, a height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats and a split-level cargo area, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats,satellite radio, a head-up display (HUD),  automatic wipers, an eight-inch touchscreen, wireless charging pad, and an Infinity premium audio system.


In addition to this long list, you get the safety benefits of Hyundai’s Smart Sense suite of advanced safety features which include forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keeping assist, a driver attention monitor automatic high beams and  blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.


The Ultimate is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 175 hp and 195 lb-ft that's paired with a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive is available as an option for all Konas.


Pricing for the all-new Hyundai Kona starts at $19,990.

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