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Significantly updated Hyundai Kona here, but dearer

Hyundai adds size, power and efficiency to new facelifted Kona compact SUV

1 Feb 2021

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia’s (HMCA) significantly updated Kona compact SUV has arrived Down Under brandishing an all-new look, all-new powertrains, new variants and a new opening pricetag of $26,600 plus on-road costs.


Now $2300 more expensive than before, the base-model Kona along with the Active ($28,200), Elite ($31,600) and Highlander ($38,000) are all now powered by an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-litre petrol engine developing the same 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque as the previous model, however fuel consumption has been slashed by a claimed 14 per cent to 6.2 litres per 100km (combined).


A good portion of this improved economy figure can be chalked up to the new continuously variable transmission (CVT) which replaces the outgoing model’s six-speed torque converter automatic, but still sends power to the front wheels.


Those chasing an all-wheel-drive configuration for their Kona will now have to step up to the – new – performance-minded N-Lines, both of which are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine good for 146kW/265Nm which drives all-four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


As with other N-Lines in HMCA’s portfolio, the Kona N-Line ($36,300) and N-Line Premium ($42,400) ride on a sportier multi-link rear suspension set-up than the rest of the range and brandish more aggressive styling all-round courtesy of bigger (18-inch) alloy wheels, lower ride height, N-Line-specific bumpers and side skirts as well as gloss-black mirror caps.


The regular versions have been made to look more aggressive and ‘sophisticated’ in their own right with a completely new front fascia headlined by the redesigned – wider and thinner – grille and headlight design.


Adding to the new look is a fresh range of alloy wheel designs and a tweaked rear bumper featuring an imitation skid-plate.


What’s more, the whole package has grown by 40mm (length) resulting in improved legroom and rear cargo space, however exactly how much extra room is yet to be confirmed.


In keeping with the higher asking price, HMCA says every variant has been treated to more standard equipment than before, with the base Kona now featuring an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, 4.2-inch TFT colour supervision cluster, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, Qi wireless smartphone charging, electronic park brake, 16-inch alloy wheels, ‘quiet mode’, rear USB charging port, passenger seat height adjustment and driver’s one touch auto up/down window.


Other (carried over) features consist of automatic headlights, rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, power windows and roof rails.


Safety has been stepped up too with forward collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist and rear occupant alert joining the existing six airbags, driver attention warning, electronic stability control, downhill brake control and hill-start assist control.


Things are predictably stepped up throughout the range with the Active adding 17-inch alloys, rear park assist, heated exterior mirrors, leather-appointed seats and steering wheel, rear privacy glass, front seat back pockets, solar control glass, rear centre armrest, leather gear knob and power folding exterior mirrors.


The Elite goes one step further with a bigger 10.25-inch infotainment system paired to an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, blind-spot collision-avoid assist, front foglights, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and start, gloss black radiator grille, collision-avoidance assist, remote start, grey exterior cladding, safe exit warning, climate control, tailgate and side garnish insert and rain sensing wipers.


As usual the Highlander is the most generously specced offering.


Compared to the Elite, the non-sporting range-topper adds 18-inch alloys shod with premium Continental tyres, 10.25-inch instrument digital cluster, head-up display, front park assist system, power adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, ambient lighting, LED headlights, front indicators and tail-lights, sunroof, heated rear outboard seats, high beam assist, heated steering wheel and an electrochromatic interior mirror.


Also using the Elite as its basis, the N-Line comes with the aforementioned performance-oriented underpinnings and more power as well as other sporting paraphernalia including Continental rubber, sports front seats, red stitching, red interior accents and alloy pedals.


The N-Line Premium meanwhile aligns more closely with the Highlander, blending many of the luxury offering’s features with the sporting theme of the N-Line.


Standard kit here over the regular N-Line includes the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, head-up display, power adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats and steering wheel, electrochromatic interior mirror, ambient lighting, front park assist system, LED headlights, front indicators and tail-lights, high beam assist and sunroof.


HMCA chief executive Jun Heo said the Kona had grown to become one of the brand’s most popular models in just three years with the new model sure to build on that success.


“New 2021 Kona builds on the qualities that have drawn small SUV buyers to the model, with an eye-catching new look, new N Line sports variants, and additional standard comfort, convenience, technology and SmartSense safety features,” he said.


HMCA sold 64,807 new cars nationally last year, 12,514 of which were Konas, making it HMCA’s third best-selling model behind the i30 (20,734) and Tucson (15,789), occupying 12.9 per cent of the sub-$40,000 compact SUV segment.


2021 Hyundai Kona pricing*

Kona (a) $26,600
Active (a) $28,200
Elite (a) $31,600
Highlander (a) $38,000
N-Line (a) $36,300
N-Line Premium (a) $42,400

*Excludes on-road costs

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