TEST DRIVE: 2018 Hyundai Kona is the perfect SUV for Millennials

The 2018 Hyundai Kona small SUV is photographed in downtown Detroit.

DETROIT — I had the opportunity to test drive the 2018 Hyundai Kona on the streets of metro Detroit. It is a cute small SUV designed for Millennials. As a 31-year-old, I appreciate the Kona and give it two thumbs up.

Our test drive route took us along the curvy Hines Drive. The Kona handled very well on the curves. We also drove it on the freeway and it had no trouble getting up to speed with the rest of the traffic. It also performed well on the busy streets of downtown Detroit.

The SE and SEL trims are equipped with a 2.0L MPI Atkinson engine producing 147-hp. It is rated 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. Meanwhile, the Limited and Ultimate trims come with a 1.6L Turbo GDI engine making 175-hp. Those models achieve 28 mpg city/32 mpg highway/30 mpg combined.

AmericaJR’s Jason Rzucidlo inside the 2018 Kona

The Kona also comes with lots of advanced safety features. I appreciate the heads up display with the blind spot monitor warning. It also comes with forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic collision warning and much more. Another safety feature is a rear view monitor with parking guidance to help you back up into a parking space.

Other cool features include Bluetooth capability, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It features Blue Link Connected Car Service complimentary for three years. Car owners can remotely start their vehicle, set the climate control and defrost the windshield.

Two weeks ago, the Kona with the black and yellow interior was awarded one of the Top 10 Best Interiors by WardsAuto. Hyundai’s Trevor Lai said the automaker has received lots of unexpected demand for that model of the Kona.

IHS Automotive’s Stephanie Brinley predicts that Hyundai will sell about 40,000 Kona units per year. So far, the automaker has sold 10,953 Konas from January through May.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona will be manufactured in South Korea.

The entry level model starts at $19,000 and goes up to $26,900 for the “ultimate” top of the line model. The SEL model starts at $20,650 and the limited model starts at $24,200.

Hyundai is also working on an EV model of the Kona. It will feature an all electric range of up to 250 miles. The Kona EV will be equipped with a 150 kW engine producing 201 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft of torque. Look for it to arrive at Hyundai dealerships this fall beginning in California.

I would definitely purchase the Kona if I was in the market for a small SUV. It has plenty of space for what I need and just enough horsepower and torque to satisfy my needs.

Special thanks to the great folks at Hyundai for allowing me to participate in the two-day test drive event in Detroit.


The 2018 Kona featuring the Acid Yellow interior trim won the Wards Top 10 Best Interiors Award.


The rear of the sporty, fun-to-drive 2018 Hyundai Kona.


Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s Vice President of Corporate Planning, Product Planning and Digital Business speaks to journalists in Detroit.


The 2018 Hyundai Kona comes in candy colors such as chalk white, sonic silver, thunder gray, surf blue, lime twist, pulse red and ultra black.


Our group of automotive journalists stopped for lunch at The Sardine Room in Plymouth, Mich.



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