Hey, you know what? We don’t have enough compact SUV crossover thingies in our market, we need more compact SUV crossover vehicles. Inhale, feel the sarcasm, exhale. Hyundai is all-too-happy to assist us…
What you need to know: The Kona is Hyundai’s fourth (and smallest) SUV in the southern African market and as a funky-looking pavement hopper it competes with the likes of the Nissan Juke, Audi Q2, Honda HR-V and probably a million other compact SUV crossover jobbies that have weird c-pillar designs.
…comfy and predictable.
To keep up with the Joneses, Hyundai finally caved in to the (sometimes misguided) trend of engine down-sizing so this car has a one-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol generating up to 88kW (120hp) or 172Nm for the six-shot manual gearbox to send to the front wheels. The ride is comfy and predictable.
|Compact SUV (Petrol)||Engine||kW/Nm||Warranty / Serv Plan||Price (ZA)|
|Ford Ecosport 1.0T Trend||1L i3 Trb||92/170||4Y 120k / 4Y 60k||R293,500|
|Mazda 2.0 Active||2L i4||115/206||3Y unlim. / 3Y unlim.||R299,400|
|Kia Soul 1.6 Start||1.6 i4||91/152||5Y unlim. / 4Y 90k||R318,995|
|Renault Captur 88kW Dyn.||1.2 i4 Trb||88/190||5Y 150k / 3Y 45k||R320,900|
|Nissan Juke 1.2T Acenta+||1.2 i4 Trb||85/190||6Y 150k / 3Y 90k||R343,900|
|Honda HR-V 1.5 CVT||1.5 i4||88/145||5Y 200k / 4Y 60k||R354,900|
|Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip||1.6 i4||86/151||3Y 100k / 4Y 60k||R374,900|
|Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus||1.2 i4 Trb||85/185||3Y 100k / 6 serv. 90k km||R376,600|
|Hyundai Kona 1.0T Exec.||1L i3 Trb||88/172||7Y 200k / 5Y 90k||R379,900|
|VW Tiguan 1.4TSi Trendline||1.4 i4 Trb||92/200||3Y 120k / 5Y 90k||R412,000|
|Mini Cooper Countryman||1.5 i3 |
|100/220||2Y unlim. / 5Y 100k||R458,024|
|Audi Q2 30TFSi (DCT)||1L i3 |
|85/200||1Y unlim. / 5Y 100k||R461,000|
|BMW X1 sDrive18i (DCT)||1.5 i3 |
|103/220||2Y unlim. / 5Y 100k||R518,539|
|Lexus Ux Ex||2L i4||126/205||7Y 105k / 7Y 105k||R599,000|
N.B.: Comparitive chart not according to vehicle specifications.
More facts: Our best 0-100 time was 11.3 seconds at sea level (with a fresh tail-wind) and 400m flew by in 17.85 seconds at 127.25km/h. A single emergency stop from 100km/h was absolved in 2.76 seconds and 38.78 metres. All these values are impressive considering the car’s size, weight (1,230kg) and fairly unknown Nexen 215/55R17 tyres.
There’s another model available but our Executive-spec test car arrived with metallic maroon paintwork, cool alloys, a funky interior with Kia-esque touchscreen media system, ferocious (manual) air-con, multiple cup holders and charging ports, red seatbelts and contrast stitching on its half-leather-half-cloth seats.
Where we went: The highways and byways of our hillside home where every driver quickly noted that the teeny-weeny little engine doesn’t have any low-down torque. Duh. It does have serious mid-range punch and with six ratios in its gearbox, you just need to stir the gear lever a bit more to keep the Kona zipping along nicely.
Watch out for: Besides overtaking at high speed or conquering steep hills, the maker’s quoted average fuel use of 6.8L/100km will only be possible if you coast along a quiet highway at 90km/h all day. If, like us, you live in an undulating landscape with countless speed bumps and intersections, you will need to add a few litres to that figure.
Why you’ll want one: Its current novelty factor and the cool design – inside and out – should be this cross-dresser compact SUV’s strong points but it loses out in terms of space, power, fuel consumption and value-for-money to most of its rivals and its dowdier sister, the Hyundai Creta. There’s an excellent warranty and a small service plan, too.
Engine: 1L i-3 turbo-petrol
Transmission: 6-speed Manual, FWD
Max. Power: 88kW
Max. Torque: 172Nm
Avg cons.: Approx. 8.5L/100km (claimed 6.8)
0-100km/h: 11.30 seconds (claimed 12.0)
Top Speed: (claimed 181km/h)
List Price: R379,900