Hyundai Kona to take on Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka
AFTER the teaser shots, Hyundai has finally revealed its new Kona SUV.
Hyundai hopes it will bring the fight to the established Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka, Mazda CX-3 and Renault Captur, as well as upcoming entries like the Citroen C3 Aircross, when it goes on sale in October.
The Kona gets the chunky bodywork, raised ground clearance and upright driving position that is typical of the class, with distinctiveness arriving courtesy of full-LED headlamps, a two-tone roof and the paintwork options.
Front-wheel-drive models will be the big sellers, but the Kona will also be offered with four-wheel-drive and a range of engines and gearboxes that provide further evidence that Hyundai is capable of matching European manufacturers' drivetrains.
Advanced in-car technology has been identified by Hyundai as important for buyers of these sorts of cars, so the Kona gets a head-up display and a range of connectivity options that, it says, allow "passengers to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto", as well as a high-end sound system and wireless charging.
Safety equipment include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, driver attention alert and automatic main beam.
Hyundai is in the midst of an ambitious growth plan, and cars like the Kona - which capitalise on the current SUV and crossover boom - are key to making it happen.
"The all-new Kona is not just another car among Hyundai Motor’s established SUV range - it is an important milestone of our journey to become Asian automotive brand number one in Europe by 2021," explained the company's boss in Europe, Thomas A. Schmid.
"With its true SUV genes, a progressive design and premium features, Kona reflects the lifestyle of modern customers, enhancing the brand's appeal and attracting new customers."
Hyundai says it has sold 1.4 million SUVs in Europe since it launched the Santa Fe in 2001, and the current Tucson is a sales smash - it has regularly been the top-selling car in both Northern Ireland and the Republic since it arrived in 2015.
Advanced in-car technology is important for buyers of these sorts of cars, so the Kona gets a head-up display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a high-end sound system and wireless charging
Kona engines include two small turbocharged petrol units: a three-cylinder 1.0-litre with a six-speed manual transmission and 118bhp, and a four-cylinder 1.6-litre with 175bhp and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.
Hyundai will fit the Kona with its new 1.6-litre diesel engine from summer 2018, offering 113bhp or 134bhp.
The boot's volume is quoted as 361 litres, swelling to 1,143 litres when the back seats are folded. To underline the lifestyle vibe, Hyundai says this is ample for "weekend escapes and longer trips"...