Hyundai is the latest automaker to enter the small crossover segment with the debut of the 2018 Hyundai Kona. It might get its name from the “Big Island” but the Kona will now be the smallest SUV in Hyundai’s lineup.
The 2018 Hyundai Kona rides on a new platform that will also be used for the Kia Stonic crossover.
The subcompact crossover segment is getting quite crowded with just about every mainstream automaker having an entry in the segment. Hyundai obviously decided that it needed to stand out, which explains the Kona’s funky styling, which immediately looks like Hyundai’s designers were inspired by the Nissan Juke and Jeep Cherokee. Thankfully the Kona’s face isn’t nearly as polarizing as either the Juke or Cherokee.
Even though small crossovers are anything but rugged, Hyundai uses words, like strong, armored and confident to describe the Kona’s exterior. There’s even be a unique Kona Iron Man special edition.
Under the hood, don’t expect anything too strong, since the 2018 Kona will be offered with two four-cylinder engines in the U.S. The base engine will be a 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson engine that generates a modest 147 horsepower and can accelerate the Kona from 0-62 mph in a not very fast, 10 seconds. The 2.0L is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The more powerful option is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 1.6L engine can get the Kona from 0-62 mph in 7.7 seconds. Buyers in Europe will also have two diesel options: a 1.0L three-cylinder and 1.6L four-cylinder. Neither diesel is expected to come to the U.S. Four-wheel drive is optional.
The 2018 Hyundai Kona is going to go on sale later this month in South Korea, before it arrives in the U.S. and Europe.