HYUNDAI KONA 16 TGDI PREMIUM GT 177 PS 4WD DCT review header shot
Hyundai Kona: compact SUV adds a welcome choice in the expanding supermini sized SUV sector
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  • P11D Value: £24,875
  • BIK Band 2018/19: 32%
  • 5-door compact SUV
  • 177 PS/265 NM, 1.6-litre 4cyl petrol turbo, 7-speed auto transmission
  • Economy/CO2: 40.4/158 g/km
  • Performance: 0-62 mph, 7.9 secs/127mph

What is it?

WE’RE checking in on the Hyundai Kona, one of the bright new breed of compact SUVs that are all the fashion right now. (These are often referred to as a B-SUV, referring to the segment they sit in ie supermini sized.)

The Kona, launched at the tail end of last year, comes with that adventurous mini SUV look, true to form. It’s light, easy to manouevre and to personalise.

Distinctive looks give it its own presence on the road, no doubt, plus there’s generous kit and decent space to back up its all-round appeal.

In short, the Kona is another competitive new age compact SUV package, but is it a car to tempt the UK business community?

Looking at the range, the bulk of interest may well centre on the 1.0-litre petrol model or for longer distance company car drivers the Kona diesel could well be the right answer. There’s also the option of the  Kona electric model, too, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Here, though, we’re looking at the current Kona petrol range topper which is to say the 1.6-litre turbo Premium GT model with 177 ps, 7-speed DCT transmission and 4WD.

That’s quite an exotic spec to grace the supermini size SUV class, so the question is how does it fare as a business motoring companion? Let’s find out….

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HYUNDAI KONA 16 TGDI PREMIUM GT 177 PS 4WD DCT review rear three quarters
Neat looks, flared arches and big wheels give the Hyundai Kona real road presence

Why would you want to drive a Kona?

  • Simple answer, because it’s one of the cars of the moment: a practical new age B-segment SUV, set up to be more interesting and fashionable than, say, a regular Hyundai i20 hatch.
  • Funky looks give the Kona a visual edge on the road, instantly setting it apart from the likes of Citroen’s C3 AirCross, SEAT Arona and the Kia Stonic. So not a car to be lost in the crowd, if you like that kind of thing.
  • Decent speed from the Kona’s turbine smooth 1.6-litre T-GDI turbo engine, with Hyundai claiming a quick 7.9 secs for 0-62 mph. The engine is also proves to be both punchy and torquey.

    HYUNDAI KONA 16 TGDI PREMIUM GT 177 PS 4WD DCT review interior
    Fill it up! Rear seat room might be limited but boot is a good size
  • Kit, kit, kit. Along with Driver Attention Alert (DAA), it’s commendable that Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) feature on all Kona models, along with DAB and Bluetooth.
  • Premium SE add Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Step up to this Premium GT and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition (AEB) features on the spec.
  • Inside, the Kona is Android Auto and Apple Car play compatible. There’s an easy-to-use 8-inch Touchscreen for satellite navigation/Mapcare/Live Service. Our car even came with a leather wrapped heated steering wheel, surely a rarity in the B-SUV world.
  • As tested, with 18-inch alloys, the Kona handles and grips well and the alloys nicely beef up the visuals without harming ride comfort.
  • With this 7-speed DCT box, there’s also a Drive Mode Select function, giving you the choice of Sport, Comfort and Eco settings.
  • The presence of 4WD will obviously be a boon for anybody contemplating off-road action. Come winter and the onset of another batch of snow, the same will apply.
  • Given the performance on tap, combined economy of 40.4 mpg is perhaps quite reasonable but CO2 emissions of 158 g/km are one trade-off….
HYUNDAI KONA 16 TGDI PREMIUM GT 177 PS 4WD DCT review interior
Did we say kit? There’s plenty, including a heated steering wheel for those cold winter mornings

What might put you off a Kona?

  • Clearly, the price and running costs of this top end Premium GT Kona versus the more commonplace 1.0-litre petrol models. Go for the 1.0 Kona and at base level with only two-wheel drive and you’re talking about a 25% company car tax banding charge and monthly company car tax from £70 per month as opposed to benefit in kind from £133 a month
  • While Hyundai has put some work into jazzing up the cabin, mainly through detail colour accents and kit, at heart, the cabin ambience is still more functional than, say, the C3 AirCross. On the outside, the Kona’s characterful of body creases and cladding may be polarizing.
  • Although the Kona offers a comfortable and roomy driving position, space in the back is more limited. Boot space is fine and practical, however.
  • You can’t get this Premium GT spec with conventional manual box and front-drive. It has to be DSC+ 4WD.

Verdict on the Hyundai Kona

The Kona is a fun, characterful compact SUV which looks like none other. We happen to like things like that but doubtless there will be some who would prefer a more conventional looking car.

In this particular spec, the Kona is quite specialized and as such could appeal to some drivers deciding to come out of a company car car where the kit is more important and the CO2 emissions less so.

Adding to the mix, the availability Kona diesel and Kona electric adds to the appeal of Hyundai’s compact SUV and should be considered by business motorists.

In the meantime, while it doesn’t do anything that revolutionary, the Hyundai Kona is out there as a credible and likeable contender in the booming B-SUV market.

HYUNDAI KONA 16 TGDI PREMIUM GT 177 PS 4WD DCT review side profile moving
Hyundai Kona range offers a full suite of alternatives for business motoring: petrol, diesel and EV

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