2019 Hyundai Kona review – a better small SUV than the Seat Arona? | What Car?

2019 Hyundai Kona review – a better small SUV than the Seat Arona? | What Car?

If you were to write a recipe for the
perfect small SUV, then Hyundai appears to have followed that to the letter with
its Kona. You can think of it as… a raised up i20 hatchback, which has got a high
driving position, extra practicality, and the rugged looks that buyers are looking
for in this market. There’s no denying this is a crowded
market, and the Kona finds itself competing against rivals such as the
SEAT Arona, Citroen C3 Aircross and Stonic from
sister brand Kia, just to name a few. Can Hyundai make its mark with the Kona
then, or will it be lost in the crowd? In this video review we’ll take a look at
that, as well as what it’s like to drive, and how easy it is to live with.
Remember if you are thinking about buying one, go to What Car? New Car Buying,
where we can help save you thousands. First though, let’s see what it’s like on
the road. The Kona’s engine range is refreshingly simple in
that there are only two to choose from. The first, and the one we recommend, is the 1-litre
petrol, which may seem like a very small engine to lug around the weight of an
SUV. However, it gets up to motorway speeds without any problems, the only
downside is that it is quite vocal, and sends some vibrations through the pedals. The other engine option is a 175bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol,
teamed with an automatic gearbox, and 4-wheel drive. Yes, it’s considerably
faster, but it’s also considerably more expensive. When it comes to ride quality,
the Kona isn’t as comfortable as rivals including the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen
T-Roc, and you’ll feel most potholes and lumps in the road. For the best
experience we recommend sticking with either, 16 or 17 inch wheels. While the
Kona isn’t especially agile through the corners, it does change direction
remarkably well, there’s enough grip and it stays upright to feel
pretty stable. If you’d like something that’s a little more engaging to drive
through these twists and turns, then go for a SEAT Arona, and when it comes to
the brakes… Well, they’re a little bit spongy, and not quite as sharp as we
would like. And at those motorway speeds the Kona generates more wind and
road noise than the best in its class. You sit higher up in the Kona than you
do in the rival Arona, and it still doesn’t feel like a proper SUV. That said,
the driving position is good, and there’s plenty of adjustment in the
steering wheel and seat, so you should be able to get a comfortable
driving position. Visibility is excellent thanks to the thin pillar, and deep
windows, the only problem is looking out the back. Thanks to the chunky styling, it
does hinder the rear visibility somewhat. Although if you go for SE and above you
do get rear parking sensors as standard, and a camera, and if you go for Premium
SE you get front parking sensors. In terms of the overall look of the
interior, this one is rather dull, although you can spec some customisation
to jazz it up a little bit, in line with the bright colours of the exterior bodywork. Trouble is, you only get those options on
the top two trim levels. In terms of infotainment you get a 5-inch monochrome
touchscreen as standard which comes with DAB radio, and bluetooth connectivity.
Upgrade to Premium and above and you get a 7-inch touchscreen, and Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto. Then if you’d like built-in sat-nav, go for the
eight-inch touchscreen, which gets you an upgraded stereo and a charging pad. There’s plenty of room in the front of the Kona, even if there’s not quite as much
head and leg room as there is in the rival Arona. There’s also plenty of
storage spaces, so we’ve got quite a large one here, which will accommodate
a banana, and two cupholders. One, two, a little bit smaller, and decent-sized door bin. Aaaaand, the glovebox is a good size. And somewhere for my phone. Move to the back
seats and there’s not quite as much space as there is in some of its key
rivals, in fact if you’re six-foot, you’ll probably find that your knees are
rubbing against the seat in front. Headroom could be a bit of a compromise,
but if you’re 5ft 4 1/2, like me, you’re absolutely fine. It’s a similar story with the Kona’s boot. While you can just about squeeze a couple
of carry-on suitcases, it is smaller than average for its class. On the plus side
though, it does have a wide opening, and you can fold down the rear seats for
those weekend trips to IKEA. The Kona is priced pretty much in the middle of the
market so there are some more expensive rivals, but then, there some cheaper ones as well. We recommend the 1-litre petrol engine
that we’ve got in this car, although CO2 emissions and MPG figures
are not quite as good as you can find elsewhere, and this car won’t hold on to
its value as well as some of its key rivals either. Standard equipment on the
Kona includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, and electric
windows, but we think it’s worth upgrading to SE specification, which
brings: a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, larger alloy wheels,
automatic lights, rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera. Premium cars get
luxury extras such as climate control, keyless entry and start, but at this
point the Kona starts to look quite pricey. In terms of safety equipment,
there’s a plethora of airbags and lane-keeping assistance as standard, but
you have to go for the range-topping Premium GT model if you’d like automatic
emergency braking. It managed the full five stars in the
EuroNCAP crash tests, and performed better than rival SEAT Arona for
child seat occupancy. Ultimately, the Kona fails to stand out in this most
competitive of markets, but that being said, we like its decent performance, it’s
good infotainment system, and generous standard equipment. For plenty more on
the Hyundai Kona – including our full online review – head to WhatCar.com, and
whilst you’re there, why not check out our New Car Buying and see how much
money we can save you, it could be thousands. But before you go anywhere, hit
subscribe and never miss another video! [Music]

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Wow! Great outfit, the belt goes well with your hair. In the U.S., the 1.6 turbo is pretty decent. Drives well enough. The price is good too.

  2. So, the question is, what car would have to feature on here for the car to be at least as interesting to listen to and look at as Rebecca ?
    I'd have to suggest a 1989 V8 Vantage.

  3. Spec level compared to Australian version is poor. We start we have a 150HP 2.0 NA with 6 speed auto FWD. with 7" Display reverse camera, all around parking sensors and for $1500 AUD more all the active safety, AEB, Lane keep etc. for $28000 AUD (GPB16000) . The top of Range is (40k) (GBP22k) with a 185HP 1.6Turbo 4 7spd DCT and AWD.

  4. So is the an ADVERT or a Review. Its hard to know, with what car and autoexpress for that matter.
    Click bait hot chick reviewers is sexist, not professional and I find it hard to believe she is a petrol Head and not just click bait.
    Yes fire all that male shove-nest stuff back at me but you know I am right. just read the comments.
    If she was short, fat and ugly with grease under her nails I might believe them.

    Reviews by car enthusiasts please, which for the me too brigade is 95 usually a man.

  5. The Kona has faaar too much plastic cladding on the wheel arches etc so nearly a nice car it’s bad enough to put people off one of the best all electric cars on the planet ( I know this one is not all electric) thanks

  6. We have a brand new Ulitmate 1.6l turbo and it's the business for sure. 5th Hyundai and we have never been disappointed.

  7. The bad points are… all that black plastic cladding is gonna fade after a few months
    The good points are…. she had wicked muscle tone in her thighs….

  8. What a pleasant surprise, I just stumbled across this review and found Rebecca!
    Unsubscribed to Telegraph cars (which had gone quiet for a while) and subbed here!

  9. It's funny how after so many years of experience, car designers manage to screw up several details or don't get the basics right.
    I suggest it is possible to make the perfect car, but too often the latest car is worse in several areas than the car it replaces.
    I simply don't understand why this happens.
    A good looking car but not a contender.

  10. It is not pronounced Hi-un-die with all that extra nonsense. The simplest way for English speakers to get really close to the correctly pronounced name is just to say "hunday" like Sunday. Accent is irrelevant if you just don't add any syllables.

  11. I see you from Spain and I love your videos you are a great perisodista of the engine, to demas of a great pilot, a greeting

  12. Love those rims🔅🏎🏁🚍🌠👀🌬 in fact they are the ones on my 2019 Kona SEL trim!

  13. If you would write a receipe for the best small lady, then Rebecca appears to have followed that to the letter

  14. I could not watch the car to be honest because of the beauty speaking and I just love her accent…what a beauty you are Rebecca 😘

  15. A hideous looking car and bland interior and so much plastic adornments around the wheel arches and elsewhere how the blue version ain't alf bad.Hmmmmmmmmmmm!

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