New Hyundai Kona brings out the urban intrepids
Hyundai’s new small SUV, the Kona, has arrived to fill an important position in Hyundai’s highly acclaimed range of SUVs and is arriving to significant demand.
It fits alongside the family-friendly Tucson and larger 7-seat Santa Fe. The Kona sets new benchmarks for agility, refinement, on board technology, safety and practicality in a market segment that is experiencing significant demand and expanding rapidly in response.
At this week’s launch, Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair said the Kona addresses a new group of motorists looking for a vehicle that complements their lifestyles.
“The Kona is created for those who have a taste for seeking out new experiences. Whether it be finding the latest night markets, in search of the perfect day trip with an unplanned overnight stay or simply bringing excitement to people’s daily destinations- the Kona offers a perfectly suited package. Our customers have been asking us for a smaller SUV and with its eye-catching design matched with power and tech, the Kona is our answer and initial customer reaction has been very very positive” he said.
Designed for those who have a sense of urban adventure at heart, the Kona arrives at Hyundai dealers throughout New Zealand on November 1. Sinclair said that “thousands of people have registered for more information in advance of the launch and we have had to request additional stock from the factory to respond to anticipated demand”.
From the outside, the Kona further evolves Hyundai’s recent styling direction in both cars and SUVs and brings a fresh approach to the segment. The ‘cascading’ front grille draws the eye down from a sculpted bonnet with front air intake to a deep grille space. Grey ‘body armour’ extends from the headlights and runs out each side of the vehicle extending to the wheel arches that acts as both stylish and practical high contrast cladding to protect the car.
Ducts draw air from the nose into each wheel arch, continuing the aerodynamic work first seen on the recently launched i30. The slimline headlight assemblies feature distinctively-shaped LED Daylight Running Light (DRL) clusters and HID headlights.
A distinctive scalloped line runs along the sides of the Kona at shoulder height to the rear, which echoes the styling of the Kona’s front end with split tail lights, a bash guard for those urban scrapes and a reversing camera to help owners avoid them from the outset.
There are nine exterior colour options, including striking new orange (Tangerine Comet) and blue hues plus an optional black roof to create an appealing two-tone finish.
Inside, the Kona’s design is sleek and sophisticated with smooth, contoured surfaces and controls that pay close attention to ergonomics. A large central tablet-style multimedia display on the dash is positioned in a ‘floating’ style that will be continued in other new Hyundai models in the future.
All Kona models have Apple Carplay™ and Android Auto™ on board to give ready access to the user’s preferred information and entertainment options. Drivers can access their familiar map functions, make calls, use subscriptions based music services such as Spotify and SMS’ can be read out to the driver.
The Kona model range begins with an entry two-wheel-drive, 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine with a six speed automatic transmission and steps up to the 1.6-litre turbo All-Wheel Drive model with a DCT seven speed auto.
The 2.0-litre engine produces 110 kW of power and 180 Nm of torque, returning fuel economy figures of 7.2 litres per 100 km.
The 1.6 turbo produces 130 kW, 265 Nm or torque and returns economy figures of 6.7 litres per 100 km. There is no manual option.
“With these two engines and our entry and Elite specifications, we are confident we have a Kona for all needs. We’ve responded to what customers have told us they need in a car and believe we have ticked all those boxes and more. I am particularly excited about our entry 2.0-litre model because it has a very comprehensive specification and a super sharp price which starts from $31,990 RRP. That’s a lot of SUV for the money and a lot of fun as well,” Mr Sinclair said.
Moving up from the entry specification, the Elite version offers a full leather interior, heated electric front seats, wireless smartphone charging, heads-up display, LED headlights and 18” alloy wheels. The Elite is priced from $36,990 RRP.
“The Elite adds to an already very well spec’d SUV with advanced technologies designed to enhance the urban adventuring experience.”
As always, safety – both active and passive – is a priority for Hyundai. All Kona models are built on a platform of high strength steel, creating a rigid and safe body shell to protect occupants in the event of a crash.
The new Kona arrives with a full array of active safety technologies known as SmartSenseTM, which includes the radar-based Lane Keeping Assist which assists the driver in keeping the car in its lane, Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Collision Warning. The Kona also comes equipped with Driver Attention Warning which helps monitor driving patterns in 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.
There is a comprehensive complement of airbags which work in concert with the other technologies to keep occupants safe in a crash.
“A focus on customer safety has always been a priority for Hyundai New Zealand. We were the first automotive brand in New Zealand to have ESC as standard across the range, first to add reserving cameras as standard to all of our vehicles and we locally fit every new Hyundai with a first aid kit. The safety technology found in the Kona is equally focussed on protecting occupants in the case of an accident whilst using the latest technology to prevent an accident from occurring in the first place. ”
Kona will also launch with Hyundai Auto Link™ – a new connected driver service that enables drivers to access information and essential data in real time. “This kind of real-time connectivity has always been a ‘holy grail’ for auto technology – and now it’s real and available exclusively to Hyundai owners. If you have a smartphone in your pocket, you can connect with your new Hyundai as never before” said Sinclair. Auto Link™ will also be available on the new i30 and will roll out to other models in 2018.
“As a New Zealand-owned company, we work hard at dealer level to be part of the communities we serve. We have been doing this for decades, and have won internal and industry awards that recognise our efforts. As Kona arrives we continue to offer that little something different that our customers appreciate,” Mr Sinclair said.