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Hyundai has very successfully transitioned from product offerings such as hatchbacks and sedans to crossovers and SUVs.
Since its market debut in 2018, the Kona is a crucial part of that. Its outrageous styling and bright colours were experienced as a bit ‘un-Hyundai’ for local followers of the Korean car company. But despite that, the Kona has been a notable brand builder.
Former Lamborghini designer, Luc Donckerwolke, was the creative director for the Kona and it shows. For the last few years, this has been the Hyundai to challenge conservative perceptions of the brand.
Designs at Hyundai applied themselves to the project of a mid-lifecycle update. This version of the Kona is now available in South Africa.
Hyundai Kona interior and performance
It retains the split headlights but the bonnet now features a tri-slot design feature at the grille shutline. That lower section of the front bumper is also new and so are the wheel designs.
Korean electronics and UX design influence the cabin with the typical theme of efficiency, revolving around your smartphone.
As you would expect from a Korean company, Hyundai does excellent device syncing. Whether you are on an Apple or Android device, the Kona makes it desperately easy to mirror most of the most useful features of each.
The Kona benefits from a full artificial leather cabin trim as part of its latest upgrade. Although some of the plastics aren’t that attractively shaped or tactile, the steering wheel and transmission shifter impart a feeling of quality.
But, who is this updated Kona aimed at? If you want a five-door vehicle from Hyundai that is smaller than the Tucson, but larger than the Creta, the Kona is where it is at.
The proven platform offers two engine options, both four-cylinder configuration and fueled by petrol. If you live at the coast, where altitude doesn’t influence performance, the 2-litre engine is entirely adequate.
For those potential Kona owners who wish to experience a touch more driving verve, and enjoy a safer margin of overtaking performance, the TGDI 1.6-litre turbocharged engine should be your choice. Especially if you live in Gauteng or any of the inland provinces.
It boasts 146kW and 265Nm which are decent engine outputs. They happen to be harvested by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which delivers rapid shifting to enhance the sense of performance.
It is capable of mild gravel road driving and excellent in its size and driving agility as an urban family vehicle.
Hyundai Kona price in South Africa
Prices for the updated Kona Executive 1.6 TGDI start at R499 900.
If you are taking a long view at owning a Kona, Hyundai offers a seven-year/200 000km mechanical warranty and a five-year/75 000km service plan.
Featured image: Lance Branquinho