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Read and compare reviews on the Hyundai Kona 2017 – 2019 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

2018 Hyundai Kona Elite – Intrepid Adventures

Hyundai Kona review from DriveLife


The Kona is Hyundai’s all-new crossover SUV, and you’ve probably seen the ads saying it’s aimed at a group of people who they call “The Intrepids” who like to go on weekend adventures, and value experiences over possessions, but still want a new SUV to get there.

I have to admit I’m not normally a fan of crossover SUVs, but in this case I’ll make an exception. I think the Kona is a great-looking car from all angles. I like the modern-style slim headlights with larger fogs underneath. I like the way they’ve carried this over to a similar design at the rear. Even the chunky grey plastic wheel arches suit it well, and I normally hate those.

The 18” wheels look great, and I like the black roof and pillars, which contrast with the body and give it a different look to other cars in this class. And the colour options are excellent. As you’ll know, we like cars to be an actual colour here at Drive Life, and Hyundai have gone all-out, especially with the Acid Yellow on our 2.0l test car.

2018 Hyundai Kona Elite review – Coffee Cart

Hyundai Kona review from NZ Autocar


Named after an area on the big island of Hawaii famed for its coffee, Kona is a double shot in the arm for Hyundai with two drivetrains available. We test the big kahuna of the range.

While there are some pros to going AWD (better off-road and wet weather ability) the main con is the extra weight and drag of the four-paw drivetrain. However, being performance and dynamics oriented we’d say if you take any pleasure from the simple act of driving then seek out the 1.6T versions of Kona. Not only do you get extra grunt, go and grip but also better handling. It’s enough to make the Kona amongst the best (though also amongst the most expensive) in its compact crossover class.

The icing is the seven-speed dual clutch transmission which is not only much quicker shifting than the six-speed auto but also dithers less. If you’re value led, go for the base model 1.6T, though most will probably think it worthwhile spending the extra $5k upgrading to the Elite model on account of the gear added, including leather trim, LED headlamps, head-up display and more.

Hyundai Kona is a baby-SUV that’s born to be mild

Hyundai Kona Review by Stuff


The Hyundai Kona is the wacky SUV for the risk-averse. Really don’t mean that in an unkind way. Might even be quite a compliment.

But there’s definitely a dichotomy in the Kona. Because it really does go out-there in styling terms, especially if you compare it to Hyundai’s other, rather conservative SUV offerings: the larger Tucson and even larger Santa Fe.

Adding some ride height and bulky black plastic bits to a a hatchback body shape is an old crossover/SUV trick. But full marks to Hyundai for tackling the the job with bravery and enthusiasm.

This “stacked” light look gives the Kona a strong visual identity. With apologies to the Citroen Cactus perhaps, but you’d never mistake one for the other. Nor can you argue that all small SUVs look the same. Not with this one around.

Actually, the Cactus is an interesting point of reference. I love it, but buy the Citroen and you have to embrace weirdness not just in the styling, but in a general sense. Don’t get me started.

There’s absolutely none of that in the Kona. Nothing to be feared and really nothing new to learn if you’ve just stepped out of a “normal” hatchback.

That’s should not surprise, because the Kona is very much a normal hatchback underneath. It’s based on the platform of the latest i30 small-car: same basic architecture, mechanical layout and electronic systems.

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