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Hyundai Kona: Small SUV with big aspirations gets set for late 2017 launch

By Toby Hagon, 28 Apr 2017 Car News

Hyundai Kona: Small SUV with big aspirations gets set for late 2017 launch

2WD and 4WD and the potential for a 150kW turbocharged engine will catapult Hyundai’s new small SUV into the big league.

Hyundai’s upcoming Kona small SUV looks set to boast a broad model range with multiple engine options, the choice of two- and four-wheel drive and a range of trims – all wrapped in a boldly styled five-door wagon body.

As the latest front-on teaser image shows, the Kona will usher in a new look that separates it from other cars in the Hyundai range, potentially flagging a new design language for SUV models.

Key to its design DNA is a new split headlight treatment similar to that used on the Jeep Cherokee. It positions the slim LED daytime running lights in the usual headlight position and the regular headlights below them in separate units.

According to Hyundai, “the separated lights at the front deliver a confident, progressive appearance with sleek and sharp shapes”.

A short press release also claims Kona “offers customers a true SUV experience”, presumably referencing its dimensions, which are expected to be among the more generous in the small SUV segment.

2017 Hyundai Kona spy images

Based on the all-new i30, codenamed PD, the Kona will be larger than the Mazda CX-3, instead targeting the likes of the Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Suzuki Vitara and Holden Trax.

Hyundai says “its elevated seating position ensures better visibility for drivers and increases driving comfort”.

But it’s beneath the skin where the most interesting developments could take place.

While most rivals drive only the front wheels – Trax and HR-V being prime examples – Hyundai has confirmed it will offer two- and four-wheel drive variants.

Being based on the i30, the Kona should also have some interesting engine options, including the possibility of the 150kW 1.6-litre direct injection four-cylinder turbo that graces the i30 SR.

Also expect a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder as the price leader to ensure it comes it at a competitive price, with $25K a logical starting point.

The Kona is due in Australia around September, 2017.

Expect more information and pictures within the next couple of months.