Spied! Hyundai Kona Caught Testing, Interior Shown
Our spy photographers have caught the upcoming Hyundai Kona testing, and no, they didn’t spot it in Hawaii. Despite being covered in some camouflage, we can see some details of the upcoming subcompact crossover’s design. First and foremost is its stance; the Kona doesn’t have a high ground clearance, making it look more like a hatchback with a small lift rather than a crossover. The Kona will be more akin to sportier entries in the growing subcompact crossover segment like the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke.
Even with the black covering, the Kona’s polarizing front fascia is clearly visible with headlights placed low and LED accent strips similar to the ones found in the Jeep Cherokee and Nissan Juke positioned higher up. Below the headlights, there also appears to be fog lights but they’re positioned below the new cascading grille, which first appeared on the 2018 Elantra GT and will be used on future Hyundai vehicles including the refreshed 2018 Sonata midsize sedan.
This prototype’s rear end is still covered with camouflage, but it looks a little more conventional compared to the Kona’s front end, which will likely be the most polarizing part of the car. Despite the rugged-looking body cladding on the side, the Kona looks like a raised hatchback and its side profile highlights its subcompact size even more, hinting that it will be significantly smaller than the Tucson. Despite all the covering in its interior, the Kona’s center stack features a similar design to the Elantra GT’s, including that free-standing tablet-like touchscreen. Under the touchscreen are two air vents and the HVAC controls, while the steering wheel also appears to be taken straight out of the Elantra GT.
It’s unclear what will power the Hyundai Kona, but the 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 in the Elantra sedan could possibly serve as the base engine paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Hyundai/Kia’s 1.6-liter turbo-four, which comes in multiple flavors, could also find its way into the Kona’s engine bay as the optional powertrain and will likely be paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Like the Tucson, the Kona could possibly come standard with front-wheel drive and have an all-wheel-drive option. However, some subcompact crossovers, like the 2018 Toyota C-HR, are only offered in front-wheel-drive configuration, so don’t be surprised if the Kona arrives without an all-wheel-drive option.