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Hyundai Kona Premium SE On Test
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The last few months has seen a raft of new compact SUVs go on sale in the UK. The latest manufacturer to join the fray is Hyundai. Its new Kona model follows hot on the heels of its sister company Kia’s Stonic.

There are however plenty of differences, not least of which is the fact that the Kona sits on an all-new platform, which allows for the optional fitment of an all-wheel drive system and boasts the capability to accept full electric propulsion in the very near future.

The design is certainly distinctive and a world away from the company’s more usual staid offerings. A sensible approach I would suggest, as buyers of this class of car are generally younger and are likely to consider design and image at least as important as driving characteristics.

As I have already mentioned, a fully electric Kona will grace our shores in the not too distant future. Also coming somewhat sooner will be diesel variants.

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The choice for now therefore is either a 1.0-litre turbocharged three cylinder engine boasting 120PS, front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox or a 177PS 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The larger engine is only available in top Premium GT Trim and will cost from £24,995.

On test here is a Premium SE model fitted with the perky 1.0-litre motor which feels eager and keen to perform. It boasts excellent green credentials (52.3mpg combined and 125 g/km CO2). Price a not unreasonable £21,760 as tested in ‘Acid Yellow’.

There is a choice of four trim variants and prices start at a competitive £16,195.

All models are well equipped with air conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity fitted.

By the time reach the rarefied heights of Premium SE, such delights as leather upholstery, a high-end Krell audio system, satellite navigation, head-up display and keyless entry are there to be enjoyed. Big car features in a smaller package.

Customisation is important in this burgeoning sector and there is plenty of scope to personalise a Kona. Bright colours and contrasting roofs are the order of the day, amongst other things.

So what is the Kona like to drive? Accept that the three-cylinder engine is no ball of fire and there’s a little fun to be had. The Kona will ultimately understeer if pushed hard into a corner, but for the most part it corners with a little more spirit than some of its rivals.

Ride comfort is up to scratch with only the very worst stretches of tarmac disturbing the calm of the cabin. As is so often the case, the smaller the alloy wheel dimensions, the better the ride quality.

High speed cruising is a relaxed affair with wind and road noise pleasantly muted.

The interior boasts space for four reasonably sized adults to spread out and the boot offers 361-litres of space.

As an ownership proposition, the Kona is likely to shine. Undoubtedly well made, the Korean SUV should prove to be as reliable as other models in the manufacturer’s range and should the worse happen, there is a comprehensive five-year warranty to fall back on. I doubt you will need it.

I expect most Konas will be bought on PCP finance. My pick of the range is the 1.0-litre SE model and with a deposit of £3,549 (plus a dealer contribution of £1,500) on a three year deal you can expect to pay around £195 per month (APR 4.9%). An optional final payment of £7,167.47 must be made if you want to eventually own the car, and why wouldn’t you?

Fast Facts (as tested)

Hyundai Kona Premium SE
Price £21,670
120PS 1.0-litre 3 cylinder petrol engine
Front wheel drive & six-speed manual gearbox
0 to 62mph in 12 seconds
Combined economy 52.3mpg
Emissions 125g/km CO2
5-year comprehensive warranty

Hyundai Kona Premium SE On Test, 19th February 2018, 9:04 AM