AFTER several years absent from the small SUV segment it helped create with the original Tucson and later its iX35 replacement, Hyundai returned with all guns blazing in the form of the Kona.
Designed in America and built in South Korea, the compact crossover launched in late 2017 with two basic formats – a naturally aspirated 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre with six-speed torque-converter auto front-drive and a more expensive 130kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto AWD. No manual or diesel were made available.
Aimed at the Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX and Honda HR-V set, the Kona was based on the company’s GB light car/supermini platform also underpinning the Kia Rio among others, but shared many hardware features with the PD-series i30 small car.
The 2WD versions were fitted with a torsion beam while AWD variants featured a multi-link arrangement. Some degree of local tuning went into the Konda’s chassis, for the sake of compliance and control.