By Patrick James
The success and progress of Hyundai in the last 20, no, even 10 years, has been remarkable. From cheap and cheerful and little known, to a mainstream brand producing quality cars.
It has delved into the electric vehicle challenge with gusto and with the Kona, has produced an eye-catching, funky looking crossover.
Eye-catching in many ways. To this observer it appears to borrow styling cues from some of the best of its competitors including DS/Citroen, Nissan and Infiniti and SEAT.
It has a bold, wide stance, cascading grille, full LED light cluster set-up, two tone paintwork, high ground clearance and wheel arch cladding protecting this model’s 18-inch alloy wheels, plus rear privacy glass.
It certainly provoked interest wherever it was parked.
It comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engine with both manual and automatic gearboxes with four-wheel drive also available.
The Korean car maker is no longer bargain basement, with this model setting you back more than £21,000, but it is lavishly kitted out.
The interior is dominated by an eight inch LCD touchscreen, part of a well laid out and intuitive set on controls and which includes navigation system, rear view camera, infotainment through a premium Krell sound system and connectivity that includes LIVE services with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other goodies included wireless charging front power seats with ventilation and heating function and heated steering wheel.
Three colour packs to personalise the interior include black interior with colour accents in lime, orange and red which are standard on Premium SE and Premium GT, with corresponding exterior colour.
On the road the 115ps diesel engine is a lively performer, belying the relatively pedestrian 0-60mph time of 10.5 seconds.
It feels quicker and torque is excellent for overtaking. Claimed official economy of 67.3mpg seemed near the 50mpg, but emissions are on the low side at 112g/km.
It is a fun car to drive, and despite sitting high off the ground, there’s little body roll on corners and the steering is responsive, although the turning circle is not great, while the ride is firmish, but comfortable.
Families looks for practicality and the Kona delivers impressively. Boot space offers 334 litres with the seats in place, which increases to 1,116 litres with the seats folded.
And with a large rear opening width, it’s been designed to be easy to load. There are plenty of other useful little cubbyholes, drinks holders and side pockets for extra practicality, while the integrated roof rails offer further potential load carrying capacity.
SE models and above feature electric driver lumbar support for comfort on long journeys, while Premium SE models and above offer the convenience of both heated and ventilated seats.
Safety kits is comprehensive with a full array of airbags, stability control, assisted braking together with lane alert, driver attention alert, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. At times the car feels like it is driving itself. It also features SmartSense with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition.
A funky looking motor that has plenty of variations to offer potential buyers.
Hyundai Kona 1.6 CRDi Premium
Mechanical: 115ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 114mph
0-62mph: 10.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 67.3
Insurance Group: 14
C02 emissions: 112g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles