2018 Hyundai Kona First Drive: Ready For Your Active Lifestyle
– Waimea, Hawaii
The burgeoning number of tiny crossovers on the market are all very different, and so far, each of them has had an equal number of cons as pros. Some are incredibly spacious but deathly bland to drive. Others look fabulous but offer almost no interior space. And some don’t even offer all-wheel drive, inexplicably alienating Snowbelt buyers. So after two days at the wheel of the 2018 Hyundai Kona, the newest entry in this class, it’s refreshing that there’s no obvious way in which it forces buyers to compromise.
For starters, the design is pretty cool both outside and in. Don’t call it weird, call it different: with multi-tiered lighting elements, huge amounts of plastic cladding, and a sporty “rip-curl” C-pillar, it’s got plenty of Instagram appeal. The front overhang is notably longer than the rear one, which Hyundai Design Center Senior Chief Designer Chris Chapman says prevents the car from looking too small on the road. He likens the jagged, opposed diagonal lines on the body sides to the unpredictable flows of lava, and even further stretches belief by linking that to the “urban adventure” lifestyle of potential buyers.
“There’s a certain kind of unpredictability to the way these people [Millennials] live their lives,” he says. “These lines were to represent these sorts of changes in direction in their daily living.”