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Does a larger engine and self-shifter make the halo Kona an automatic choice?

After our first taste of the Kona, it’s fair to say the CAR team was quite enamoured with Hyundai’s quirky little crossover, levelling particular praise at its bold styling and engaging road manners. The turbocharged 1,0-litre inline-three’s low-end peppiness and refinement was also a pleasant surprise but, with something as town-bound as the Kona, we were left hankering for a means to give the left loafer a rest in traffic.

Cue the range-topping model, replete with a more powerful 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It’s got all the ingredients for an ideal Kona but, as ever, the proof is in the pudding and the end result isn’t quite to all tastes.

Barring a couple of transmission-dictated differences, there’s virtually nothing separating the 1,0-litre model from its higher-placed stablemate. You still get a very distinctive shell – here finished in retina-searing Acid Yellow – perched atop 17-inch rims, while Executive specification means there’s little to want for in terms of convenience and safety features.

Inside, echoes of that attention-grabbing paintwork are restricted to some dash and upholstery trim, plus the seatbelts. Like many of its ilk, the Kona’s interior packaging leans more towards rear occupant space than it does luggage capacity, with the 224-litre boot being sufficient for the weekly shop but hardly cavernous. In all, it’s a solidly constructed and reasonably roomy cabin with just enough visual pizzazz to keep things interesting.

The main change is nestled in the engine bay, in the guise of Hyundai’s long-serving 2,0-litre, four-cylinder Nu MPi (multipoint fuel injection) unit. This particular version doing service in the Kona is a more recent iteration adopting the Atkinson cycle in a bid to address the fuel thirst that sometimes afflicts Hyundai’s naturally aspirated powerplants, especially when coupled with a torque-converter auto ‘box. While this particular engine meets the efficiency proviso, clocking a respectable 6,7 L/100 km on our mixed-use fuel run, the Atkinson cycle sacrifices power density in the name of frugality, hence the rather modest 110 kW output.

Throw the six-speed torque shifter into the mix and the result is twofold. A leisurely approach is rewarded with smooth, scenario-matched shifts, making the Kona a doddle to drive round town and a pleasure to pilot on the open road. However, leaning on the throttle to overtake or build up a head of steam for a steeper section of road occasionally flummoxes the gearbox, making upshifts a bit of a lottery. Consequently, the engine sounds gruff and somewhat strained as the 180 N.m of peak torque only chimes in at 4 500 r/min.

Regular cut-and-thrust driving also sees much of that fuel efficiency go out of the window, with a couple of taxi-dodging, gap-stealing motorway stints sending the fuel consumption into the high eights and early nines. It’s a pity, as the transmission generally acquits itself well, only giving over to some recalcitrance when trying to provoke oomph from the engine. But if our experience with Hyundai’s naturally aspirated engines is anything to go by, this unit should prove mechanically robust to shoulder that strain without bursting.

Occasional transmission foibles aside, the 2,0-litre Kona remains a pleasurable car to pilot. With just 170 mm of daylight between axle and asphalt, not to mention a reasonably well-sorted chassis and steering that, although light, has some life to it, there’s certainly the means to have some fun behind the wheel. That little bit of extra weight in the 2,0-litre’s nose hasn’t eroded any of the directional dartiness we so enjoyed in the 1,0-litre model, but slightly more power and low-end torque to fully exploit the chassis wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Latest Resutls for Hyundai Kona

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Cloth upholstery: partial cloth + artificial leather
  • Leather upholstery: partial cloth + artificial leather
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Driving mode switch eg sport comfort: Eco, Comfort, Sport
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Optional
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front
  • Central locking: remote
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Camera for park distance control: rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 694 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 6
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Front tyres: 215/55 R17
  • Reartyres: 215/55 R17
  • Length: 4165 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1800 mm
  • Height: 1565 mm
  • Wheel base: 2600 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 170 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 10.6 m
  • Approach angle: 17.5
  • Break over ramp angle: 16.7
  • Departure angle: 29.6
  • Load volume / capacity: 361 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1290 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 540
  • Gross weight (GVM): 1830 kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 1100
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 50l
  • Fuel consumption average: 7.2 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 166g/km
  • Emission control phase Euro EU level: Euro 4
  • Power maximum: 110 kW
  • Power maximum total: 110 kW
  • Power peak revs: 6200 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 85.3 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 180 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 4500 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 180 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 140 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 10.0s
  • Maximum top speed: 194 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1999 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0
  • Engine + detail: 2.0
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Cam: dohc
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Warranty time (years): 5 vehicle / 7 drivetrain
  • Warranty distance (km): 150000 vehicle / 200000 drivetrain km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 5
  • Service plan time (distance): 90000 km
  • Roadside assistance time: 5
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Hyundai
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 26532310
  • MMVariant: KONA 2.0 EXECUTIVE A/T
  • MMintrodat: 2018-09-14
  • Introdate: 2018-10-09
  • DuoportarecordID: HyunKona1e2

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