2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T


Hyundai's Kona is their first entry into the compact crossover market. They're a bit beyond the competition with releasing a vehicle so this week we take a look to see if its worth the wait.

Disclosure: Hyundai Canada & JS Auto provided me with the 2018 Hyundai Kona for a week to test drive, and photograph. All photos in this blog post was taken by me.


  • 175 HP @ 5500 / 195 lb.-ft. @ 1500-4500

  • 1.6L (1591cc) DOHC Inline 4-cylinder

  • 7-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission

  • 6.6 seconds 0-100 km/hr

BRAKING: 8.5/10

  • Great braking scores thanks to its wide tires!


  • Does an excellent job of road handling and sticks to the road in the AWD version we have that comes with an independent rear suspension.

RIDE: 7.85/10

  • The trade off for having such good handling is of course, a much stiffer suspension. When you go off road it can feel rather bumpy

ECONOMY: 8.5/10

  • 26/29/27 - City/Highway/Combined

  • For a vehicle that is one of the fastest in the segment, the fuel economy scores are impressive!


  • Average amount of cabin sound for a CUV under $30,000. The noise might be reduced in lower trims that have smaller wheel bases.

EXTERIOR: 7.5/10

  • In such a popular market, the Kona is designed in a way that stands out. I ended up liking how it looked as time went out but this is all up to personal taste.


  • Blind-Spot Detection

  • Lane Change Assist

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

  • Parking Distance Warning - Reverse

  • Lane Keeping Assist System

  • 4 km/h bumpers

  • Driver Attention Assist

  • High Beam Assist

  • Body side reinforcements

  • Electronic stability control (ESC) w/ traction control system (TCS)

  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake assist and Electronic brake force distribution (EBD)

  • Vehicle stability management (VSM)

  • Front crumple zone

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) w/ Pedestrian Detection

  • Steering wheel locks when key is removed

  • Electronic Shift Lock System and Ignition Key Interlock

  • Anti-theft system integrated with remote keyless entry and panic alarm


  • Very comfortable leather seats with a good amount adjustments for a vehicle in this segment

  • Ergonomically the button placements are logical and intuitive to get use to

  • Most vehicles in the sub compact crossover market use a ton of cheap materials but the Kona feels pretty good!

  • The interior has a lot of hard plastics which is normal in this class. I think this is fine in the base trim but the highest end trim is $10,000 more but the materials don't improve much.


  • Rear seats offer one of the lowest leg and head room in the segment.

  • Overall size of the rear seats are more fitted for children rather than taller adults.


  • Storage room is average for vehicles in this segment


  • Hyundai's infotainment system is one of the easiest to use although it may not look super modern with its graphics.

  • Supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto


Hyundai is a bit late to the compact SUV market but they've definitely done their homework and studied what's worked and hasn't for the other brands. The interior feels nice for a sub compact SUV in this class and the 1.6L Turbo engine beats out the 0-100 times in it's competition.

It is both fun to drive, excellent handling, and very functional as a utility vehicle. Unlike some competitors which were really fun to drive but not practical as a utility car like the CX3, or a very functional vehicle but boring to drive like the HRV. The vehicle stands out on the road.

Personally, I think Hyundai’s Kona is a really successful compact that checks a lot of boxes. Props to Hyundai on making me put the Kona at the top of the list in its segment. I would get the AWD 1.6L Turbo which comes with independent rear suspensions. This is at the top of my list for subcompact crossovers under $30,000. I do think the Kona is going be a winner.