The latest model is a hybrid
The Kona takes its name from the Kona district on the Big Island of Hawai. Launched in 2017, the Kona is now available as a petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid model. Let’s take a look at the hybrid version.
This further extends the range of engine versions on offer from Hyundai, so individual customers can go for the one that suits them best. After test driving the 100% electric Kona, we’ve now put the hybrid version through its paces.
This SUV is a real looker, its off-road style accentuated by the many body colour combinations. In terms of interior design, the hybrid version has its own colour pack, plus touches of white and black in strategic places: fabric/seat leather stitching, gear lever, air vents etc. The slightly elevated driving position, heated steering wheel and heated/ventilated seats all add to the comfort. And Hyundai also gives you the option of heated rear seats. As for the functional features, the boot has the same capacity as the non-hybrid version, ranging from 361 to 1,143 litres, which is a plus when the total vehicle length is 4.165 metres.
With virtually the same technology as the Hyundai Ioniq, the new Kona Hybrid is powered by a Kappa 1.6 GDi four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine, delivering 105 maximum hp and torque of 147 Nm at 4,000 revs/min. The engine comes with a 43.5 hp (32 kW) electric engine and maximum torque of 170 Nm. There is also a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh storage capacity and the petrol tank holds up to 38 litres.
When it comes to driving, there is a marked difference between the electric car with its strong acceleration and the hybrid model, which is much less responsive. The Kona Hybrid has a dual clutch automatic transmission that feels quite lively, but don’t expect a sporty performance, even in sports mode. A slow start-up gets you going pretty quickly in electric mode, but don’t put your foot down too hard, as the petrol engine is very quick off the mark. Stated fuel consumption is 4.3 litres, but our test drive showed an average 5.8 l/100 km. Actually quite low for a weight of 1,453 kilos.
There is a full range of safety features, with Forward Collision Avoidance Assist for detecting pedestrians and cyclists, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Automatic High Beam Assist, head-up display, Adaptive Cruise Control and automatic braking etc. This pioneering technology uses radar sensors. And infotainment features are evolving, with new remote communication and interaction options via smartphone.