Hyundai's assault on the fast-growing compact SUV segment has grown further with the introduction of a diesel variant of the Kona.
The entry-level car is priced from £16,450, while the new variant costs from £19,750. Its arrival means Hyundai's compact SUV, a rival to the Nissan Juke, now has a comprehensive range along with a fresh design.
The diesel car uses a 1.6 CRDi engine offering 113bhp or 134bhp, and drives the front wheels exclusively. The entry price is for entry-level SE cars, although the Kona, which shares a platform with sister firm Kia’s Stonic, comes in five trim levels: S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT.
The Kona is also available with a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines: a 115bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 123bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit.
The 1.0 enables a 0-62mph time of 12.0sec and a top speed of 112mph. It produces 127lb ft of torque at 1500-4000rpm. The more powerful 1.6 has 174bhp with 195lb ft of torque at 1500-4000rpm. It can achieve 0-62mph in 7.9sec, with a top speed of 127mph.
A six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic are available, as is all-wheel drive — although front-wheel drive is standard. When fitted with the seven-speed 'box, two driver modes are offered: Normal and Sport, the latter of which holds onto gears for longer between shifts.
There is also a fully electric version of the Kona that, when the UK Government's plug-in grant is applied, costs from £24,995.
In entry-level form, the Kona, which sits below the Santa Fe and Tucson in Hyundai’s SUV line-up, gets 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and cruise control, as well as a 5.0in LCD display and a DAB radio. Higher-spec models get 17in or 18in wheels and an 8.0in touchscreen complete with satellite navigation — all of which are optional for cheaper models.
In some markets, the Kona will also be offered with a 2.0-litre MPI Atkinson engine, although this won't be coming to Europe.
Fresh design: Hyundai’s new exterior styling, rugged looks
The Kona features a fresh design for Hyundai, with the adoption of the marque’s new 'cascading grille’ front. Hyundai says it is designed to merge high-tech looks with sophistication to appeal to millennial buyers. The styling was developed at Hyundai's Califonia facility.
Sangyup Lee, Hyundai's head of styling, said when the car was revealed late last year: “We wanted to create a character that was strong. As a design, creating an icon is a tough challenge. The overall first impression is about dynamic character.”