2022 Hyundai Kona Elite review

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These little SUVs are some of the best selling vehicles in the country, and we put one of the top options to the test.

Small SUVs are some of the best selling vehicles in the country and we put one of the best to the test.

Here is everything you need to know about the Hyundai Kona.

VALUE

The Kona small SUV is priced from $28,990 drive-away for the base version and tops out at about $46,500 for the top-spec N Line Premium.

There are six different model variants with either a non-turbo petrol engine and two-wheel drive or a turbo petrol engine and all-wheel drive.

We tested the mid-range Kona Elite with a non-turbo engine and two-wheel drive priced from about $35,400 drive-away.

You get plenty of goodies for the spend, including a 10.25-inch central display loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you want a fully digital instrument display you have to step up into the Highlander grade.

Snazzy 17-inch alloy wheels add some pop as do a spattering of chrome and black exterior highlights.

Hyundai covers its vehicles with a five-year/unlimited km warranty. Servicing is reasonable at about $1600 over five years.

COMFORT

Passengers are greeted by manually adjusted, leather appointed seats that are soft and supportive. A faux leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter add a bit of charm.

The cabin is made up of a mix of hard and soft touch materials.

A simplified dash layout is highlighted by easy to use airconditioning buttons and dials and essential function buttons on the steering wheel.

Up front there are a pair 12-volt outlet, a solo usb charging point and wireless device charger.

Back seat passengers are taken care of with a usb outlet and rear airconditioning vents.

The rear pew has decent room with respectable head and leg room for adults, but it’s pretty snug with three people in the back.

A 374-litre boot is on the small side and is outdone by several hatchbacks, including Hyundai’s i30.

Well sorted suspension irons out most bumps making for a smooth and comfortable ride and engine noise is only noticeable under heavy acceleration.

SAFETY

Hyundai has gone all out on the safety front.

The Kona will automatically brake if it detects a potential collision with a car, pedestrian or cyclist.

It’ll conspire to keep you in your lane by sounding an alarm when it senses you wandering and tug the steering wheel to direct you back into place.

It’ll warn you if a car is approaching from the side as you reverse and let you know if something is in your blind spot.

Rear occupant alert means you’ll never leave your precious cargo in the car and a safe exit warning lets you know if a car is approaching as you open the door.

DRIVING

The Kona Elite’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine makes 110kW and 180Nm. Its non-turbo nature means you’ll need to up it for the rent to get the most out of the engine. This combined with a CVT automatic transmission can lead to some intrusive engine noise under heavy acceleration.

Once up to speed the Kona is a capable highway cruiser and its compact nature makes it handy in the city and in tight car parks.

The Kona handles adeptly for an SUV with well weighted and direct steering. There is noticeable lean through corners, which is normal for a high-riding SUV.

Claimed fuel use is 6.2L/100km, we experienced mid-7s in our test in a mix of conditions. The Kona wins back points by only needing cheaper unleaded petrol.

VERDICT 3.5/5

Safe, well-equipped and capable all-rounder that is the sweet spot in the Kona range.

ALTERNATIVES

Mazda CX-30 G20 Evolve, from about $36,500 drive-away

Good looking and well equipped, but let down by a snug interior and small boot.

Kia Seltos Sport Plus CVT, priced at $36,290 drive-away

Mechanically identical to the Kona, longer warranty but not quite as well equipped.

MG ZS T Essence, priced at $32,990

Packed with gear, turbo engine and seven year warranty. Not as refined to drive.

HYUNDAI KONA ELITE VITALS

Price: About $35,400 drive-away

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, 110kW/180Nm

Warranty/servicing: Five years/unlimited km, $1595 over five years

Safety: Auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning, safe exit warning

Fuel use: 6.2L/100km

Spare: Space saver

Cargo: 374L



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