Hyundai Kona 2018 preview
It's an all-new SUV from the Korean company, Hyundai, joining the top-selling Tucson and the venerable Santa Fe in the line-up. The Kona will compete in the rapidly expanding small crossover segment, a part of the market that Hyundai hasn't occupied before. It is hoping to stand out from the crowd with loads of personalisation options and plenty of technology.
What will its rivals be?
It seems 2017 is the year of the junior crossover, as within weeks of the Kona's unveiling several other new models were also revealed. Key new cars to keep an eye on are the SEAT Arona, Citroen C3 Aircross, Opel Crossland X and Kia Stonic, though they will all have to do battle with the established players, such as the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, plus others like the forthcoming Volkswagen T-Roc.
Any tech info?
It's all about the interior technology and connectivity, here. The standard audio system uses a five-inch screen, but includes a USB port, Bluetooth, aux-in and a radio. Above that is the Display Audio system accessed by a seven-inch touchscreen, featuring a rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Topping the options list will be an eight-inch screen with satnav. Wireless charging will be available, as will a head-up display - for the first time in any Hyundai.
What will the range be like?
For the Irish market, the Kona will initially be offered with a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, producing 120hp. This uses a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. A brand new 1.6-litre diesel engine comes on stream in 2018 in 115- and 136hp outputs. The latter can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
Hyundai has moved on considerably in recent years with great products, which is being rewarded by strong sales. The Kona should help enhance that, especially if Hyundai can appeal to younger buyers with tempting finance offers to make the new crossover affordable.