Why Hyundai






Elantra GT






Santa Fe


Santa Fe XL




Sonata Hybrid










Why Genesis

















Santa Cruz

















Hyundai Kona









Here is Hyundai's official page for the Kona.


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The Insurance Institue for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Kona a Top Safety Pick+, it's top award.


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The Kona was named 2019 North American Utility of the Year. The winner will be announced in January and is voted on by a jury of automotive journalists from the US and Canada.


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Remember how one famous poltician promised that you are going to get tired of winning. Well, it is starting to get there. Car and Driver Best Subcompact, 2019 North American Utility of the Year, and now KBB has named it their 2019 Subcompact Best Buy of 2019. The awards just keep coming.


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So it is no surprise, then, that US News named it their 2019 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money. They compile reviews from around the web and then rank cars in classes based on those compiled reviews. Lest you think that the Kona is simply best "for the money", they also have it ranked #1 in its class overall as of this writing.


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Automobile Magazine drove a couple of Kona's around the Big Island in Hawaii and came away "mightily impressed". They loved the refined ride which absorbed bumps well, had very little body lean, had responsive and properly-weighted steering, and had a quiet interior. They praised standard amenities like a 7" touch screen with Android Auto and Apple Car Play as well. Fuel economy and cargo space are both good for the class. They wrap up by saying that you can't go wrong choosing whichever trim level and equipment suits you.


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Thinking about a subcompact crossover like a Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, or Honda HR-V? This Autoweek automotive journalist says that the Kona is an easy winner to him if you want one with an automatic transmission (the only way the Kona is offered). The Kona is fun to drive, comparably roomy for pasengers and cargo, and has easy-to-use connectivity.


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In this video review, AutoBlog makes the argument that the Kona may make for a better alternative than a compact sedan like a Civic or Corolla (or Elantra). For a little more money you have the option of all-wheel-drive and sitting up higher and more cargo space than a compact sedan, while not sacrificing much fuel economy.


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AutoGuide author Jodi Lai test drove the Kona in Vancouver. She believes that the Kona will become the segment benchmark and that "the Kona is the whole package." She praises great driving dynamics striking a balance of handling and comfort: "comfortable without being too squishy, and athletic but not crashy". She feels it offers the best ride/handling/power combination in the class. She feels it is among the top three in class in looks and has the best infotainment system other than the UConnect in the Renegade. She wraps up saying it "easily outshines a lot of itsd competition in nearly all areas".


And AutoGuide's award for Best Subcompact Crossover goes to...


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MotorTrend says that the Kona is fun to drive and fun to look at. They praise the operation of the dual-clutch automatic transmission and ease-of-use of the multimedia system. The Kona's exterior dimensions are at the smaller end of the subcompact crossover spectum so there are some that offer more cargo room or rear seat legroom, but they point out that this entry in the segment is more about style and an engaging driving experience.


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Car and Driver congratulates Hyundai on delivering a subcompact crossover that isn't just fun to look at, but also fun to drive in the in-depth review. They say "Well done, Hyundai" and then proceed to give the Kona a Car and Driver Editor's Choice award in the subcompact crossover category. Highlights include nearly sports-sedan agility combined with a well-damped and comfortable ride, which can be combined with a zippy tirbo engine. They also like the interior, calling it refined with really good ergonomics. They also liked the roominess for front seat occupants. And, like all Hyundais lately, they praise how easy it is to use the controls.


Car and Driver went on to give the Kona their 2019 Best Subcompact SUV award. They say in a segment where mere goodness woulds suffice due to the not-so-exciting competition, Hyundai instead chose to make an excellent vehicle.


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In this video review of the Kona, explains that the thing that really sets the Kona apart from its main competitors is its combination of ride and handling. They are one of the few that I have read that do not seem to like the exterior appearance, and they rightly point out the small back seat and cargo area. But what is fun to watch is how he still love the car despite those quibbles.


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Car and Driver talks in superlatives about the handling and acceleration of the 1.6L Turbo with all-wheel-drive in the Kona. Shockingly, it accelerates more quickly than the Civic Si in their tests. Then it also goes on to pull the same .88g of lateral grip on the skid pad that the Civic Si does. What does that mean? It means the Kona is really quick and is a blast to drive around corners, even outperforming one of the more popular performance compact sedans on the market. Add to that a suspension that absorbs bumps well, easy-to-use controls, and nice materials for the class, and you have a car that you want to spend time behind the wheel with.


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AutoBlog drove the Kona Turbo for a week, which led to effusive praise of it. They highlight the amazing power (at least 3 seconds quicker to 60 than most everything in its class) and fun to drive chassis. They call the interior attractive and functional, with a lot of standard and available equipment (moreso than most of the rest of the class). Add in the value and warranty and they highly recommend the Kona.


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AutoGuide, for fun, put together a pretty interesting list of 5 vehicles that the Kona surprisingly is quicker than (with the 1.6L Turbo). Mini, Audi, and Lexus' subcompact crossovers find themselves on the list as well.


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While we won't see any here in PA (but NJ and NY gets them, and we can order them or dealer trade one in), I thought it would be good to include an article on the Kona EV. In this article, Car and Driver says it may be the best mass market EV due to its solid driving characteristics, long EV range of 258 miles, and its cost-effective price.


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Copyright 2015 Tim Bergey
The views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of my employer.
Images copyright John Barclay, Hyundai.
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