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Hyundai’s 2.0-litre Kona SUV – a vibrant and different small cross-over

Small SUV’s continue to be a popular choice in the car market with Mitsubishi well spec’d and well priced ASX the best seller. I’ve just driven the fifth best-seller, Hyundai’s Korean-built Kona, a sharp looking small SUV which takes its name from Hawaii’s Kona coast. Designed in California – its vibrant, different – an interesting small cross-over SUV with a very expressive exterior and slim headlights. The test car was in vibrant acid yellow, a highly fashionable colour which the girls in the house found very appealing – Kona comes in 4 – 2WD and 4 – 4WD grades – Go, Active, Elite and Highlander, 2WD grades feature a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated 110KW four-cylinder engine linked to a 6 speed automatic – the 4WD grades with a 1.6-litre 130kW turbo four and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. I’ve just driven the 2.0-litre automatic 2WD Highlander at $35,500 – the test car was in vibrant acid yellow, a highly fashionable colour which the girls in the house found very appealing. From a driving perspective the Hyundai Kona offers a very sophisticated performance– all variants get a Drive Mode select system with Comfort, Eco and Sport modes that changes the throttle mapping, gearbox shift points and power steering assistance levels. The personality of the Kona changes in each mode and as I said it feels sophisticated in all it does. The 2.0-litre engine and six-speed auto work well together however I would perhaps lean more towards the 1.6-litre turbo engine in the 4WD variants. The 1 6 turbo petrol Kona Highlander carries a premium at $39,000 in the flagship model but it’s loaded with features. I’m David Berthon

 

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