New Hyundai Kona offers affordable urban crossover convenience and adventure

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona subcompact crossover joins the growing number of offerings in the segment.  Kona is a very nimble, well powered, nicely featured sporty CUV that offers a range of affordable options for younger and/or entry level drivers, new families and even empty nesters.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona CUV starts at $19,500 for an FWD base model and just $20,800 for it in AWD. A good vehicle with a nice starting price that gets ever better as you move up the trim line to a well featured top model in AWD – including the best warranty in the segment – all for under $30,000.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
As Tested – Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD

Hyundai sent us a new Kona recently for our evaluation.  Our test Kona was the top-of-the-line Ultimate AWD in Thunder Gray with a Black/Black interior.  The MSRP was $28,700.


The Ultimate is powered by their Gamma 1.6L turbocharged engine delivering 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Notably the peak torque on this powerplant starts at just 1,500 rpm and runs to 4,500 rpm giving it some nice pop off the line – mitigated slightly by its turbo spool-up.  Most folks will not notice.

The turbo is mated to a seven-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission which sets up and delivers the power to the road quickly and efficiently.

2018 Hyundai Kona

With Drive Mode Select, the driver can opt to use the SPORT Mode which enhances acceleration and gives quicker downshifts when braking.  Nicely done – giving a sportier feel to the drive experience.  Frankly, though we typically love SPORT modes, the Kona NORMAL Mode was quite satisfactory.

The powertrain is well suited for this vehicle in all types of driving and across all manner of drivers.

For the record, fuel economy ratings for the turbo AWD are 26/29 mpg city/highway and 27 mpg combined.

2018 Hyundai Kona

Underneath the Kona is nicely balanced for around town and highway driving.

Riding 6.7-inches off the ground, our Kona was equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/45 R18 tires.  The suspension features MacPherson Strut with coil springs and gas filled shocks up front and a dual arm independent multi-link with gas shocks rear.

Steering is motor-driven rack and pinion.  Braking is 4-wheel/channel/sensor ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution. Front brakes are 305mm ventilated disc front and 284mm solid disk rear.

We found the Kona easy driving and very maneuverable around town, on the highway or rolling over and through the hills, mesas and canyons of Hill Country Texas.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Exterior elements of note included the cascading grille with sporty mesh pattern, boldly styled fenders and body cladding side and rear, Power Tilt/Slde Sunroof, LED Headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights and LED Rear Taillights, Fog Lights and Dual Power Heated Side Mirrors with turn indicators.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

On the inside, Kona is roomy in the front with sport type seating, good sight lines and all controls well placed for ease of use.  The second row is not quite so good with a slightly low roof entry and short legroom for taller persons.  Seats were comfortable front and rear and the 19.2 cubic feet of storage behind the second row is reasonable.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
Convenience Features

A rather full array of convenience features includes the likes of Remote Keyless Entry, Proximity Key Push Button Start, Automatic Headlamp Control, heated front seats with leather seating surfaces, 8-way Power Driver Seat, Front Passenger seat slide and recline feature, 60/40 split fold down rear seats, Dual Level Cargo Floor behind the second row and more.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
Technology and Infotainment

Technology on our Kona Ultimate included a Color Active Heads-Up Display, 4.2-inch Color Multi-Information Display and wireless charging.

The infotainment was anchored through the 8-inch LCD center stack Touchscreen with Navigation and Traffic Flow embedded and Blue Link Connected Car.  The 325-watt Infinity Audio 8-speaker system featured AM/FM/MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM/HD Radio, USB and MP3 auxiliary jacks, 12volt power outlet and Android Auto plus Apple CarPlay capability.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Hyundai is known for their safety and the Kona Ultimate reflects that.  Included are Hyundai Smart Sense features including Forward Collision-Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist and Drive Attention Warning.  Also included were Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic Warning, Rearview Camera w/Dynamic Guideline Assist and Parking Distance Alert.

Other features included Rain-Sensing Wipers, Tire Pressure Monitoring, Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control and Brake Assist along with Hill Start Assist.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
All for under $30,000
Adding only Kona logo carpeted floor mats, our 2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD priced at just $29,775 delivered.  A whole lot of well-featured sub compact crossover for very reasonable money.
2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
2018 Hyundai Kona Line

The 2018 Kona subcompact crossover is the first of eight all-new or redesigned crossovers from Hyundai coming to the U.S. by 2020.

The Kona rides on a new global platform derived from their emerging-market Creta mini-SUV platform. Just 164-inches long, it features a longer wheelbase and short overhangs which give it handling capability well-suited to urban markets.

Four trim levels are available with choice of FWD or AWD.  Trim levels are SE MSRP $19,500, SEL MSRP $21,150, Limited MSRP $24,700 and Ultimate MSRP $27,400.  AWD is $1,300 additional. Delivery and prep are $950.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

The SEL trims offer contrasting color (Black or Dark Gray) roofs for $150 while the Limited and Ultimate offer a Black w/Lime interior accent choice at no additional charge.

The standard powertrain in the SE and SEL is a 2.0L four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission delivering 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Limited and Ultimate trims are powered by a 1.6L turbocharged engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission producing 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.

Both powertrains are equipped with a NORMAL and SPORT driver selectable drive mode.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

The base SE will feature keyed ignition, 16-inch wheels, daytime running lights, cruise control, Bluetooth and 7-inch infotainment screen.  The SEL offers push-button start, 17-inch wheels, roof rails, and more including blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

The top-of-the-line Limited and Ultimate trims feature 18-inch wheels, leather seats, power sunroof and LED headlights and tail lights.  The Ultimate also includes rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, rain-sensing wipers, an 8-inch display screen with navigation and (first for the segment) wireless phone charging pad.

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
Hyundai Assurance Warranty

Hyundai offers the most comprehensive warranty in the U.S. with its Hyundai Assurance program. It provides a 5-year/60,000-mile, fully transferable, new vehicle limited warranty plus their 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

See the entire Hyundai Kona line here:

2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate
Kona Iron Man Edition

Hyundai is offering a special edition Iron Man inspired Kona that can be ordered now.  The Iron Man Kona, a collaboration between Marvel Studios and Hyundai, will come in an exclusive Iron Man red with matter gray.

It will feature a number of styling cues drawn from the legend of Iron Man/Tony Stark.  We do not have any pricing, so you will have to see your dealer if interested.  The production run will be limited – if interested check it out now.

2018 Hyundai Kona
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