Hyundai Kona: The Korean answer to the Proton X50?

Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has introduced its latest B-segment compact SUV, the Kona. In case you were wondering, it is named after the Big Island of Hawaii. It will be sold alongside the five-seater Tucson and seven-seater Santa Fe.

Features and spec

The fully imported Hyundai Kona enters the very competitive B-segment SUV landscape in Malaysia. It will face off against the likes of the newly launched Proton X50 and other models like the Honda HR-V and Subaru XV. It should be noted that the Kona launched in Malaysia is the prefacelift model, as opposed to the new Kona.

In Malaysia, there will be three variants on offer starting with the 2.0 Standard moving up to the 2.0 Active and top of the range 1.6 Turbo.

Both the base and mid model are powered by a 2.0 litre Nu MPI Atkinson naturally aspirated engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic torque converter gearbox. The engine is rated to offer 149PS and 179Nm of torque, a top speed of 194km/h and the ability to sprint from 0 – 100km/h in 10 seconds. 

At the top end of the spec-list is the 1.6 litre T-GDI Turbo petrol 4 cylinder engine, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It offers a considerable boost from the standard model, outputting at 177PS and 265Nm of torque. It has a higher top speed of 210km/h and is claimed to complete the century sprint quicker at 7.7 seconds.

Comparing the Kona 1.6 Turbo and Proton X50 Flagship side-by-side, the Kona has a similar power output but with slightly more torque compared to the X50. It should be noted that both compact SUVs use a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Looking at their ability to go from 0-100km/h, the Kona is marginally quicker than the X50 by 0.2 seconds.

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In terms of wheel size, the base model rides on 17″ alloy wheels while the two higher variants use 18″ alloy wheels.

In terms of lighting equipment, the standard 2.0 model gets halogen headlamps and bulb combination tail lamps while the 2.0 Mid variant gets a bi-function projection-beam LED headlamps and LED combination tail lamps. Meanwhile, the 1.6 T-GDI High has the same set of LED lights as the Mid variant with the inclusion of smart high beam assistance.

Safety-wise, the new Kona comes with six airbags across all three variants. Both the 2.0 Active and 1.6 Turbo come with a blindspot collision warning system. Though, the top-spec model comes a host of other safety features with Hyundai Smart Sense that provides forward collision avoidance assist (AEB), lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic collision warning and Smart Cruise Control. 

For the most part, both the Kona and X50 offer similar safety features. However, Proton’s model has one additional feature that the Hyundai lacks: Auto Park Assist, which is used to help get the vehicle in and out of perpendicular and parallel parking spaces.

Hyundai states that the Kona has an inviting interior that features contrasting elements all around the cabin. This includes stitching on the steering wheels, seats and coloured seatbelts.

The base model comes with manually adjustable front seats. Meanwhile, both the Mid and High variants benefit from an eight-way power adjustment with lumbar support though this is only for the driver’s seat. It should be noted that the Kona does not come with rear aircon vents, while the X50 does.

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Interestingly, the top two variants come with a head-up display, that shows you driving information like the next turn to take while navigating. Meanwhile, the infotainment system will be the same across the three variants. All models also come with wireless charging to keep your smartphone charged while you drive.

The Kona’s infotainment system centres around a 7″ touchscreen display which is slightly smaller than the X50’s 8″ touchscreen. Though smaller, the Kona actually supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, the X50 uses the QDLink smartphone connection function to mirror the screen of Android and iOS devices.

As for boot space, the Kona can accommodate 361 litres. If you require more space, you can expand to 1,143 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded flat. 

Price and availability

The Hyundai Kona is available for viewing at all Hyundai showrooms nationwide. As mentioned earlier, the Kona comes in three variants with the 2.0 litre Nu MPI Standard and Active as well as the 1.6 Turbo priced at RM 123,888, RM138,888 and RM151,888 respectively (for Peninsular Malaysia, on the road excluding insurance).

For a limited time, HSDM is offering a special introductory price for the Hyundai Kona, inclusive of tax savings. The three models: the 2.0 Standard, 2.0 Active and 1.6 Turbo are priced at RM115,888, RM130,888 and RM143,888 respectively (for Peninsular Malaysia, on the road excluding insurance).

Just to note, the top line Proton X50 Flagship is priced at RM103,300 which is RM40,588 cheaper than the introductory price Kona 1.6 Turbo.

The Kona will be offered in Chalk White, Lake Silver, Phantom Black, Pulse Red, Blue Lagoon. One additional colour, Ceramic Blue is only available on the 1.6 Turbo.

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Kona owners are entitled to a five-year or 300,000km (whichever comes first) warranty. 

For more information go to Hyundai’s official website.

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