Competition in the subcompact crossover segment is getting pretty heated. Leading the segment are the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, and the Toyota CH-R. New additions like the Nissan Kicks and the Hyundai Kona are hoping to grab a piece of the pie.
Now, most of these crossovers are available with an engine that produces around 140 horsepower, but the 2018 Hyundai Kona is one of the few models out there available with a second, more powerful engine option. The model we tested is powered by a 175 horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbo that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. So let’s take a closer look and learn all the new 2018 Hyundai Kona.
2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Exterior
When we first saw the Kona, we thought it was a bit polarizing, but as we spent some time with the Kona, it really grew on us. It seems to borrow the best styling cues from its competitors, and packages it up into a something that looks great. Since the Kona is catering to young buyers, it does a great job of balancing robust design cues with a young and attractive silhouette. The front-end is highlighted by dramatic headlamps and a large grille.
The new 2018 Hyundai Kona is also available in a total of seven exterior colors, three of which are really sharp, including the Surf Blue pictured here (or Smurf Blue as we like to call it ), Lime Twist, and Pulse Red.
2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Interior
Besides surprising with its performance figures, the Hyundai Kona also surprises with its quality interior and a long list of standard features. Every Kona model, starting with the $19,000 Kona SE, comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (not available on others), a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB/AUX, and 60/40 split rear seats. The Kona SEL adds heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic warning and more. You can add a Tech Package to the SEL which gives you 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and more.
The Kona Limited and Kona Ultimate not only give you the 175-hp 1.6L turbo engine but a bunch of extra interior features. Our test model, the Kona Ultimate, comes standard with leather seats, an 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, heads-up display, the BlueLink connected system, a 4.2-inch instrument display, optional wireless smartphone charging, and a bunch of extra driver assist tech. Our favorite feature was the button located on the rear view mirror that activates the BlueLink system. You can simply push the button and say “find the nearest coffee shop,” select your desired destination, and instantly start the navigation route.
Dimensions wise, the Kona gets a 41.5 inches of legroom for front passengers and 34.6 inches for rear passengers. Cargo capacity for the Kona comes in at 19.2 cu.ft. feet with rear seats up and 45.8 with the rear seats down.
2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Performance
The 2018 Hyundai Kona we tested here is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The mill is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and it’ll get the Kona can run from zero to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, and continue to a top speed of 129 mph.
For reference, take a quick look at how the Hyundai Kona 1.6T compares to other models in this segment:
– 𝗝𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗥𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗱𝗲 1.4𝗧: 160-hp / 0-60 in 8.7 seconds
– 𝗛𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮 𝗛𝗥-𝗩: 141-hp / 0-60 in 9.5 seconds.
– 𝗛𝘆𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗶 𝗞𝗼𝗻𝗮 1.6𝗧: 175-hp / 0-60 in 6.6 seconds.
– 𝗠𝗮𝘇𝗱𝗮 𝗖𝗫-3: 148-hp / 0-60 in 8.1 seconds.
– 𝗡𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗶𝗰𝗸𝘀: 125-hp / 0-60 in 9.7 seconds.
-𝗧𝗼𝘆𝗼𝘁𝗮 𝗖𝗛-𝗥: 144-hp / 0-60 in 10.5-11 seconds.
Prior to driving the Hyundai Kona, the Mazda CX-3 was our favorite B-Segment crossover due, to its handling and agility. However, we always wished that the CX-3 had a little more power — and that’s where the Hyundai Kona 1.6T really delivers. The other aspect we really appreciate about the Hyundai Kona 1.6T is that it comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. While most automakers in this segment go for a CVT transmission, the Kona’s 7-speed dual-clutch offers quick gear shifts, and really shines. Handling wise, the Hyundai Kona 1.6T is pretty agile, and the suspension does a very good job of damping out bumps on the road.
As for fuel economy, the 2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T gets an EPA-rated 27/29 mpg* (city/highway).
2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Safety
Depending on the trim-level you pick, the 2018 Hyundai Kona can be had with a range of driver assist technologies including a rearview camera, lane keep assist, lane departure alert, blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, a heads-up display, and much more.
2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T Overall
Overall, the Hyundai Kona is a solid pick for this segment, especially for those that care about performance, as it’s the quickest in the segment. In fact, to put it in perspective, it can do zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which puts it in the same league as the Elantra GT Sport, Civic Si, and Fiesta ST. Another great attribute? It’s also one of the few B-segment crossovers to offer AWD. Prices for the 2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T (Limited trim) start at $23,700*. Visit your local AutoNation Hyundai dealer for a test drive today!
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.