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Hyundai Kona SUV

Hyundai is doing well in the SUV business with its mid-size Tucson selling up a storm. The Korean car maker has now launched a smaller SUV, the Kona, a sharp looking small SUV that will compete with the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX. The Hyundai Kona, takes its name from Hawaii’s Kona coast, and was designed in California – its vibrant, different and appealing in nine body colours – an interesting small cross-over SUV with a very expressive exterior and slim headlights. 3 – 2WD and 3 -4WD grades – Active, Elite and Highlander, the 2WD grades come with a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated 110KW four-cylinder linked to a 6 speed automatic – the 4WD grades with a 1.6-litre 130kW turbo four and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The turbo all-wheel- drive also gets a more sophisticated multi-link suspension. Pricing is competitive with Mazda 3 – the entry 2WD Active kicks off the pricing at $24,500 with the AWD variant another $3,500. Given Hyundai’s 5-year unlimited kilometer warranty the Kona should find favour fairly quickly with a buying public with a seemingly insatiable appetite for SUV’s. It may be small but it’s sophisticated – all variants get a Drive Mode select system with Comfort, Eco and Sport modes that changes the throttle mapping, gearbox shift points and power steering assistance levels. Equipment is impressive apart from the lack of autonomous emergency braking on the Active model – all get a rear view camera, Apple car play and android auto and power front seats. I’m David Berthon

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