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Hyundai Kona (2017–)

Last updated 18 January 2018

Good to drive. Low fuel costs. Impressive 1.0 T-GDI petrol engine. Five year warranty as standard. Five star Euro NCAP rating.
Cramped and cheap cabin. Poor ride quality on larger wheels. No diesel engines until summer 2018.
Updated 18 January 2018

Hyundai Kona UK deliveries delayed until late March 2018.

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The Hyundai Kona is an affordable and quirky rival to the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc. However, while good to drive and value-packed, Hyundai's smallest and cheapest crossover falls short on quality with its cramped interior and poor ride making it an underwhelming daily driver.

Built in South Korea (not Europe), the Hyundai Kona crossover does have has some golden feathers in its cap when it comes to all-important value. Prices start in the region of £16,000 plus it gets a five year unlimited mileage warranty as standard. Equipment levels are good too with even basic models getting LED daytime running lights, DAB audio, touchscreen infotainment, a parking camera and cruise control. 

The Kona should be relatively inexpensive to fuel too, thanks to its efficient range of petrol engines. Most buyers will opt for the excellent turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI, which provides 120PS and 50+mpg according to the official figures. A more powerful 1.6-litre T-GDI is also offered, with 177PS, but lowers advertised economy to 42.2mpg. From mid-2018, Hyundai added a 1.6-litre diesel to the range. 

For a small crossover, the Hyundai Kona is surprisingly rewarding to drive. The steering is smooth and direct and the chassis stays flat though the corners, which means things generally are calm and composed, even when tackling the tightest of turns. However, owing to the rather firm set-up of the chassis, the ride quality can get bumpy and uncomfortable on 18-inch wheels. 

The interior is something of a mixed bag. The cabin is logically laid out and easy to use, but the abundance of thick and dark plastics give the Kona a low-rent, hire car feel. Buyers can spend extra on optional styling packs, to add coloured surrounds to the air vents and gear stick, but they do little to distract from the general cheap and dreary feel of the interior.

Legroom is poor for those sitting in the back too - and it's unlikely that adults will enjoy a long journey in the rear seats. To make matters worse, the front seatbacks are covered with more hard plastics which press uncomfortably on the knees.

As a value-focused crossover, the Hyundai Kona gets lots of things right, with its low running costs and comprehensive warranty being its two standout selling features. However, the cramped interior and so-so ride quality leave the Konda feeling distinctly short on quality and comfort compared to its rivals. 


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