The Hyundai Kona subcompact SUV offers just about everything you are looking for in a new car. The cabin is comfortable and roomy, with superb driving dynamics.
The 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine is mated to a 7-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch transmission with Drive Mode Select. Fuel consumption for the AWD powertrain is rated at 29 mpg highway and 26 mpg city, for a combined average of 27 mpg.
Shifting was quick and smooth, but when starting up, there appeared a certain brief hesitation.
The 7-inch color touchscreen audio system with Rear View Monitor supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Higher models like this Limited comes with wireless charging and 8-speaker Infinity Premium Auto with Clari-Fi technology. Audio sources include AM/FM/HD radio, aux input jack, one USB data port, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Hyundai offers its Blue Link connected services with a 3-year trial on SEL Plus and higher models as well.
The 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display and Bluetooth hands-free provided an excellent balance with the touchscreen. I would have preferred larger gauges and dials when it comes to fuel levels and other vital indicators.
Kona’s suspension helps to overcome rough roads with independent McPherson Struts in front and multi-link design for the back. They absorb shocks from potholes and bumps, giving a smooth ride.
Steering felt a little tight, requiring the driver to focus and be more attentive on the curve or winding roadway.
Hyundai Kona is well-equipped with advanced safety technologies. Even the base SE comes with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Warning. Move one up to the SEL and you also get Blind Spot Collision Warning, Land Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning. All these items work together, making Kona one safe car.
That safety attitude is reflected in the government 5-Star Safety Ratings. Kona received a perfect score of 5 stars in overall vehicle safety, frontal crash for both driver and passenger, and side crash for front seat and rear seat. A 4-star score was awarded for rollover.
The Kona rests on 18-inch alloy wheels, and the front is easily recognizable thanks to the premium grille. Sleek headlights, handsome daytime running lights, fog lights, and taillights add to a quality exterior. The shark-fin antenna provides the driver with excellent radio reception inside, while the power tilt/slide sunroof brings in some of the outside.
The interior is of great quality considering the MSRP for the Limited AWD is under $28,000. The leather surface on the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob makes the luxury touchable. The driver’s seat is 8-way power-adjustable with power lumbar support.
The 60/40 split folding rear seat with center arm rest and automatic temperature control add to the spacious and comfortable cabin for everyone aboard. Cargo space behind the back seat was adequate.
Reflecting on my week of driving, the Kona could have not been more enjoyable.
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Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or email@example.com.