On the Road: Hyundai Kona Ultimate [VIDEO]
Well, this is literally a perfect example of a trend I’ve been talking about for a while.
Other than pure sports cars, and we can add pony cars to that, this lovely little Hyundai Kona is why the traditional sedan is frankly dying.
Yes, it is basically a small, all-wheel-drive SUV, but it is also the personal/family car of today. I can rave about all the gorgeous Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Cadillac, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Alfa sedans of the past, but even those automakers have come to the realization that folks want crossovers and SUV’s, and that’s why all those storied manufacturers have bitten the bullet and started making them.
I know, a Jag and Alfa SUV seems sacrilegious, but they are out there, and selling better than their sedan siblings.
And driving this nifty little Kona is an example of why it is the wave of the future, no Hawaiian pun intended.
The Kona is very attractively styled, though a little busy, but not as quirky as the Nissan Juke. That sedan pushed the envelope a little too far, and its envelope has been stamped and mailed into oblivion.
The Kona though manages to have all the currently popular styling cues without overdoing it, and the result is a very pretty car…er…trucklet…er…whatever it is.
Inside, though, it’s much more subdued, and traditional, and frankly lovely. The Kona is roomy and well-appointed with leather trim in our Ultimate model, has a solidity that is the hallmark of modern Korean cars, and has taken them to almost Japanese levels of workmanship.
Power comes in two forms, a turbo or non-turbo engine, with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four cylinder producing 145-horsepower, which you can read as not quite enough for a region with a lot of up and down topography. The turbo charged 1.6-liter four cranks out 175 ponies, which is a lot more like it. Save the 2.0-liter for Texas or Kansas. Out west, you’ll need the extra grunt.
All-wheel-drive is also necessary out here, with the base 2-wheel-drive being just fine for those flat states. The Kona Ultimate handles well, if not quite Corvette-like, but then, that’s not its mission in life.
For just a hair under $30K all loaded up, the Hyundai Kona is a very good vehicle, whatever you call it, and an example of what the market wants today.
Hard for an old boomer to realize that kids today will look back on this like I do my Dad’s old ’58 Belair, but that’s progress. In short, time marches on and the Hyundai Kona is a frankly great little machine.