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2018 Hyundai Kona: LA Auto Show

What Is It?

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is a brand-new subcompact crossover. Up until now, Hyundai hasn’t had a horse in this particular race. And the subcompact crossover segment is expanding like crazy right now. So the Kona arrives in the United States just in time.

Propulsion comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Or an optional 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that’s turbocharged to generate 175 hp and 195 lb-ft. The standard engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the hotter version connects to a 7-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional with either setup.

In true Hyundai fashion, the Kona pushes the boundaries of what counts as subcompact. Built on an all-new platform, it’s only a fraction under 3 inches shorter than the compact Tucson. But that means a good amount of passenger space and a generous 18 cu ft. of cargo area behind the rear seats.

Tech features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Wi-Fi, wireless device charging, selectable driving modes, a head-up display, rain-sensing wipers and advanced safety features.

How Much?

Too soon to tell. One of the top rivals is the Honda HR-V, whose 2018 price range starts around $20,000. Don’t be surprised if the Kona comes in under that.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is expected to go on sale early 2018.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

Hyundai always makes a quality product at a reasonable price. Anyone considering a new subcompact crossover should absolutely have the Kona on their short list.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Chevrolet Trax — Priced to compete, but rivals have more going for them.

2018 Honda HR-V — Based on the excellent Fit, the HR-V has a versatile and relatively roomy interior.

2018 Jeep Renegade — Revised for 2018. The Renegade is remarkably spacious thanks to its boxy design, and it has some of that Jeep ruggedness.

2018 Mazda CX-3 — Engaging to drive, less than thrilling to sit in the back.

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport — A shorter version of the Rogue, offering a more conservative alternative to the soon-to-be-discontinued Nissan Juke.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek — All-new for 2018. All-wheel drive comes as standard, and interior materials are better than those in the previous generation. Could still use a bigger engine, though.

2018 Toyota C-HR — A completely new model with lots of safety features, but otherwise a herd-following attempt at making a funky subcompact.

See all 2017 LA Auto Show articles


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Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top Gear magazine for several years.

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