Hyundai brings added value to Kona crossover

Serving-up style and value-for-money has become central to both Kia and Hyundai operations in the UK, writes Iain Robertson, which makes the latter brand’s latest PLAY version of its multi-purpose Kona fit well in a cash-strapped market sector.

Although Hyundai’s business in the UK has been overshadowed slightly by its sister brand, Kia, Hyundai has determined that its version of ‘conservatism’ is worthy of exploration. The Kona PLAY joins the marque’s i10 PLAY and i20 PLAY, in offering customers the combination of high equipment levels allied to an affordable price tag (listed at a pre-discount £18,355). 

Based on the firm’s SE trim, Kona PLAY adds attractive 18.0-inch diameter alloy wheels, privacy glass and metallic, or pearlescent, paint to a specification that already includes a 7.0” touchscreen DAB radio, with subscription free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors with rear-view camera, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning and a leather steering wheel and gear lever. Packed with safety features that include Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Hill Start Assist and Downhill Brake Control, the Kona PLAY is conspicuously great value for money. A space saver spare wheel is fitted for additional peace of mind.

Powering this version of the Kona is the punchy 1.0 T-GDi 3-cylinder petrol engine mated to a front-wheel drive platform, driving through a sweet 5-speed manual gearbox. Developing a cool 117bhp, with almost 130lbs ft of torque, its performance is sparkling, despite a chunky 1.2-tonne kerbweight. It despatches the 0-60mph sprint in around 11.7s, topping out at a moderate 112mph, while sipping fuel at between 44.1-50.4mpg and emitting CO2 at a rate of 126g/km, which equates to an annual road tax at the standard rate of £145. 

Customers have a choice of seven colours, with no additional charges for metallic or pearl paint finishes and the colour choice includes Acid Yellow, Blue Lagoon, Chalk White, Lake Silver, Phantom Black, Pulse Red, or Tangerine Comet. According to Hyundai, both the i10 and i20 PLAY have been incredibly popular since their introduction just a few months ago, which makes the introduction of the Kona PLAY that offers a similar mix of high specification at a value for money price highly apposite. The demand for Kona PLAY should be just as strong as the other models. 

There is bags of space in the Kona, with a multi-adjustable driving position that is accommodating for a wide spectrum of driver sizes. Within its 4.1m long body, it manages to slot a 334-litre boot that can be expanded to 1,116-litres by folding forwards the rear seat backrests. The ride can be a bit choppy on some surfaces but the Kona’s overall balance is excellent and its handling is neutral.

All Kona models come with Hyundai’s industry leading Five Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty, Roadside Assistance package, Five Year’s of Annual Health Checks and 12 Years’ worth of Anti Corrosion Warranty.

FCD Summary

With Kia having grabbed most the headlines in the UK, it is almost too easy to side-line Hyundai. Yet, while a lot of hardware sharing takes place between the two manufacturers, Hyundai offers a distinctive array of attractions and the Kona is a prime example.

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