We drove a $30,000 Hyundai Kona SUV to see if it's ready to compete against Jeep, Honda, and Toyota. Here's the verdict.
- The Hyundai Kona is one of the newest contenders in the subcompact crossover SUV market.
- Its rivals in the market include the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, Toyota CH-R, Nissan Kicks, and Mazda CX-3.
- Kona comes standard with a 147 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A 175 hp turbocharged engine is available as an option.
- We were impressed by the Kona's peppy turbocharged engine, sporty driving dynamics, and its solid array of standard tech features.
- We aren't quite in love with Kona's quirky styling and limited cargo capacity.
From the armada of Cadillac Escalades invading mall parking lots across America to the millions of the car-based crossovers dotting the nation's driveways, SUVs are everywhere these days
While the idea of the SUV within the collective conscious may be that of a rugged off-roader, the vast majority of SUVs sold in the US are actually car-based crossovers. In many cases, they are nothing more than economy hatchbacks with some extra ride height.This is especially the case for entry-level subcompact crossovers SUVs.
But, these "cute utes" have become increasingly popular thanks to the recent tidal wave of demand for SUVs.
According to data from Kelley Blue Book, the segment accounts for 3.6% of the American auto market. While it doesn't have the sheer sales volume of the compact SUVs and full-size pickup trucks, it is still a rapidly growing segment.
Over the first 11 months of 2018, manufacturers have sold more 560,000 sub-compact crossover SUVs in the US that's up more than 30% over the same period last year.
One of the newest additions to the segment is the Hyundai Kona.Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a few days behind the wheel of a 2018 Hyundai Kona complete with a Thunder Gray paint job.
The base 2019 Hyundai Kona SE starts at $19,990 while the top spec Kona Ultimate starts at $27,500. The mid-grade SEL and Limited trims start at $21,800 and $25,550 respectively. All-wheel-drive is available as a $1,400 option. With options and fees, our 2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD carried an as-tested price of $29,850.
Here's a closer look at the 2018 Hyundai Kona.