Is the 2019 Hyundai Kona Indeed the Best Subcompact Crossover SUV?



While there is a whole market for SUV enthusiasts who love the thrill and power of handling a huge machine, subcompact crossover SUVs have slowly been stepping into the limelight with their unique mix of practicality, cargo space, fuel economy and sporty feel. Hyundai has been one of the first brands to join this bandwagon. When it launched the Kona which soon became a favourite with the masses, we were not surprised given that Hyundai is a pioneering brand. The Kona received immense popularity with its launch, so we were excited to see what the 2019 generation had in store.
An overview of the 2019 Hyundai Kona
The exterior of the 2019 generation looks as bold and charming as its predecessors, and despite its multifaceted sheet-metal does not appear too cluttered. The cabin looks like a good mix of the SUV style and some classy comfort. Of the two available engine options, the turbocharged four-cylinder turned in the best performance.
For 2019, a new colour option: Sunset Orange is available. The Kona comes in 4 trims and they are priced as follows:
SE: $21,035
SEL: $22,845
Limited: $26,595
Ultimate: $28,545
Engine and configuration
Starting with the make of the car, the SE and SEL models are equipped with 147-hp four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine option was not the quickest at hitting the 60-mph mark in 9 seconds and had us asking for better. The Limited and Ultimate models are fitted with 175-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engines paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which performed much better. They hit the 60-mph mark in 7 seconds and had us more impressed than the lower variants.
On the whole, the Kona is nimble, swift and easy to handle and a lot of fun to drive. The fuel economy is average at 32 mpg.
Interior and technology
This is the part we were the most eager to see, considering Hyundai had created a lot of buzz about the upgraded interior feel. Indeed, the interiors are comfortable and convenient, with quality materials and good ergonomics, which makes long drives an absolute pleasure. The leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrast stitching pattern looks very stylish; and offers integrated controls for cruise control and audio settings.
The touchscreen infotainment system on top of the dashboard is easy to use with shortcut buttons that allow for easy jumping between common menus. The system is quite intuitive but could be a little faster. The SE, SEL, and Limited trims come with the smaller, standard 7.0-inch touchscreen, while Ultimate model is fitted with the larger 8.0-inch unit that also features navigation with real-time traffic updates. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard are in all 4 trims, so whichever trim you opt for you are assured of driving directions and nonstop music.
As far as cargo space is concerned, the Kona does not disappoint-it manages to hold around 13 to 14 standard carry-on suitcases, ranking almost close to the cult favourite Mazda CX 3.
Safety features
Hyundai leaves no stones unturned to follow all protocols and grant you ultimate safety with the 2019 Kona. With automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and a driver-attention monitor as standard equipment, you can be rest assured that the Kona will offer you a failproof drive every single time. Some more optional safety features that you could go for, include:
  • Standard automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-keeping warning
  • Available automatic high-beam headlamps
In conclusion, we are quite impressed with the 2019 Hyundai Kona in terms of functionality and ease of driving. If you are not bent upon buying a car with extra high-tech features and want a sporty feel mixed with some practicality, this car is the perfect option for you.

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