While the other Style Award finalists impressed our judges with their subtle sophistication, the Kona’s brash, look-at-me, aesthetics also managed to appeal.
Real Living editor Emma Vidgen said she liked the way the extroverted Kona wasn’t like anything else in the room and that it seemed happy to stand out.
WhichCar’s Ryan Lewis was impressed with the more practical elements of the Kona’s design including its clever packaging with the wheels pushed out to the corners, giving it a longer wheelbase than the Mazda CX-3, despite shorter overall length, resulting in more interior and cargo space.
Automotive design consultant Paul Beranger said the Kona is an example of Hyundai’s growing self-confidence as a brand.
The integration of exterior and interior colours, although not a new idea, is really taken to a new level with this car.
The ability to customise the Kona’s interior trim also won plaudits.
“This is people who have their name on their phone case, or their initials on their sneakers. This is for someone who wants to express themselves,” said Elle’s Amy Starr.
Belle editor Tanya Buchanan agreed. “The new luxury is all about customisation, bespoke tailoring and everybody wants a unique experience. Hyundai have offered people the chance to customise with colour choices,” she said.
The Kona’s quirky design elements and clever engineering give it an edge over many of its crossover rivals, but will they be enough to see off its Style Award rivals from Europe including the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi Q2 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe?
We’ll find out when the 2018 WhichCar Style Award winner is announced at the Australian Motoring Awards on January 24, along with the 2018 4x4 Australia 4x4 of the Year, 2018 Motor Performance Car of the Year, and the 2018 Wheels Car of the Year.