The Kona Ultimate offers unique styling and its appearance stands out from the crowd with its swoopy body lines The Kona Ultimate offers unique styling and its appearance stands out from the crowd with its swoopy body lines Photos by Tim Miller

Award-winning Hyundai Kona Ultimate SUV Sports Dual-Clutch Transmission

Written by  Tim Miller on Tuesday, 07 May 2019 19:36

The Kona may be the smallest vehicle in Hyundai's SUV line-up, but there is a wide choice of powertrain, comfort, and convenience options to suit everyone. There are eight versions of the Kona, starting at $21,099 up to the Ultimate tested here for $32,099.

The Kona is Hyundai's entry into this hot small SUV sector and was introduced into the market last year. It offers unique styling and its appearance stands out from the crowd with its swoopy body lines. With the Ultimate model, Hyundai has thrown its entire bag of power and high-tech into the mix, including a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

LIKES
The Kona Ultimate provides more than enough engine power for any situation, and there is a solid positive feel with the transmission which is not present in the CVT transmissions of its competitors. For a small family the Kona's interior space is sufficient. The controls and switches are well-placed and easy to use, and the sight lines are good for a vehicle with such a rounded roofline.

WHAT'S BEST
Comfortable interior entry, large and well-finished cargo area, and solid road feel for such a small vehicle. The Ultimate also comes with a HUD (heads-up display), something unique in this price class.

WHAT’S WORST
Funky styling comes close to being over the top, but that is subjective. The design cues could be toned down a bit.

OVERALL
Hyundai should have a winner with this SUV designed and built for active customers who want a small vehicle. The Ultimate is certainly well-equipped with a host of conveniences found on much more expensive vehicles, such as heated seats and steering wheel, eight-inch navigation system, and push-button start. A fully-electric version was launched last year. Providing a host of options in a well-rounded package at a decent price, the Kona has not gone unnoticed, as it was named the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

DETAILS
Price as tested: $32,099
Engine: 1.6-liter four cylinder, turbocharged
Power/Torque: 175 horsepower, 195-lb-ft
Fuel Mileage: 8.6 L/100km combined city and highway
Drivetrain: AWD platform, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, suspension consists of MacPherson struts on front and multi-link on rear, electric power steering with 2.5 turns lock to lock, 235/45/R18 tires/rims
Specifications: Wheelbase 2600 mm (102.3 inches), weight 1477-1515 kg (3256-3344 pounds), total cabin space 3208 liters (113.2 cubic feet), cargo capacity with rear seat down 1296 liters (45.7 cubic feet), fuel capacity 50 liters (11 gallons).

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