Hyundai unveiled the latest vehicle in its expanding line-up of stylish SUVs, the Kona compact CUV. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 18, 2017 2018 Hyundai Kona Exterior The Kona is a B segment CUV with a long wheel base, short overhangs, and protective hard-plastic cladding surrounding the lower body create a sense of toughness. The Hyundai Kona incorporates the brand-new cascading grille with an internal mesh pattern is highlighted by modern LED lighting and thin daytime running lights (DRLs). The roof is floating with a two-tone color scheme. Out back, the slim brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamp are placed in a separate configuration that begins at the C-pillar garnish. The CUVs ground clearance and an elevated seating position ensure better visibility for drivers and increases comfort on long journeys. 2018 Hyundai Kona Interior Moving inside, the Kona is said to have the largest passenger and cargo volume in the segment although no specs for these attributes were released. The volume statement arises thanks to an optimized underfloor layout, including the 4WD drivetrain and exhaust system, a new intercooler layout and setting for the transmission to minimize intrusion into the cabin space to reduce central tunnel intrusion. The rear suspension component layout is optimized for a lower floor and seating position to deliver class-leading levels of headroom and ease of access for rear occupants. Designers also optimized interior space with flat folding split rear seats with a two-level loading floor that allows easy access for a bicycle or golf club storage. The global 5”, 7”, and 8” central displays incorporates Hyundai’s latest advanced infotainment. We may see the 7” on the base trims and 8” with the NAVI equipped Kona’s just as we see in the Elantra, Tucson, and Sonata. The mechanical air vents and functional button arrangement reflect the functionality of the exterior. The Display Audio and HVAC controls are surrounded by soft touch plastics. 2018 Hyundai Kona Drivetrain(s) The new Kona is offered with the Elantra’s 147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque Atkinsonized 2.0L I4 mated to a 6-speed AT allows a 0 to 60 time of 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph. It can also be equipped with the Elantra Sport’s 175 hp and 195 lb-ft. of torque 1.6T-GDI mated to the same 7-speed DCT offering a 0 to 60 time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. I suspect we will receive these two engines while Europe will also receive both a 3-cylinder 1.0-T GDI and 1.6L TD I4. Like most Hyundai’s, there are three different driving modes (Sports, Normal and Eco) changing gear-shift patterns. 2018 Hyundai Kona Chassis Underpinning the Kona is a 51.8 percent Advanced High Strength Steel chassis with McPherson struts up front. The optional AWD drive system includes a multi-link rear end whereas the FWD variant receives a much less expensive Torsion beam system. That was not an inexpensive design decision. Like the Elantra, the Kona uses almost 375 linear ft. of structural adhesives providing additional torsional rigidity and reducing weight. 2018 Hyundai Kona Safety On the safety front the Kona can be equipped with a Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system using the car’s front-facing camera and radar to detect imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. The Kona can also be equipped with Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); High Beam Assist (HBA); and Driver Attention Warning (DAW). The car’s radar system(s) also assists with the Blind-Spot Warning (BSW) to detect approaching vehicles that may be obscured from view during high speed driving. I am not sure how the forward-looking radar detects potential Blind Spot intrusion so I suspect the (s) includes two radar modules under both sideview mirrors. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is also available. 2018 Hyundai Kona Infotainment The Kona includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. HD Radio, rear view camera, 4G Wi-Fi connectivity, and Qi wireless smartphone charging. I am a huge evangelist for this tech and if you are looking, do not skip it no matter what car, truck, or CUV/SUV you are considering. An optional Heads-Up Display (HUD) will also be available. 2018 Hyundai Kona Basic Dimensions (in) Overall length: 164” Overall width: 70.9” Overall height: 61.0” Wheelbase: 102.3” The Kona joins Tucson, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport in a growing line-up of Hyundai CUVs. It will go on sale in Korea later this month, followed by North America and Europe soon after.