Hyundai Kona now available in Australia, priced from $24,500

As highlighted in our Top 10 best small SUVs feature, Hyundai is launching its all-new Kona this week, ready to give the popular Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR a run for their money in the small SUV market.

Ever since the ix35 departed and the Tucson came in as a larger SUV to target the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai hasn’t had anything for the smaller class. But now it does. And doesn’t it look good? The Kona infuses some of the company’s latest design elements.

At the front is an inverted grille with shiny chrome trimming, similar to the new Hyundai i30’s grille, while the body is supported by some dark plastic wheel arch flares that give it an adventurous and rugged look. At the rear it blends in some of the i30’s design as well but more perched up for an SUV presence.

Like other Hyundai models in the local showroom, the Kona is being presented in three trim levels in Australia, ranging from the Active, Elite to the top Highlander version. These are split up with two powertrain combinations.

For the more affordable variants the Kona gets a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder unit producing 110kW and 180Nm, matched to a six-speed automatic with front-wheel drive. Hyundai says 0-100km/h can be taken care of in 10 seconds. With 110kW on tap it becomes one of the more powerful options in the class.

If it’s power you want though you’ll be wanting to step up to the 1.6-litre turbo version, available in all variants. The engine produces 130kW and 265kW, sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto with all-wheel drive. Covering 0-100km/h in this takes a very impressive 7.9 seconds, which easily makes it the quickest in the non-premium small SUV class. Equipped with all-wheel drive is also rare for this class – most rivals are front-wheel drive.

Fuel economy for both versions is respectable, with the 2.0L model getting a 7.2L/100km rating for the official combined cycle, with the 1.6 turbo using a touch less at 6.7L/100km despite being all-wheel drive.

Some of the highlight features, such as 170mm of ground clearance, a 361L/1143L boot capacity, Australian-tuned suspension and steering, and a host of advanced safety mechanisms such autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot warning, should make the Hyundai Kona a very popular option in the small SUV class.

Prices for the Hyundai Kona kick off from $24,500 for the base model Active, and top out at $36,000 for the turbo Highlander. See below for the full prices (before on-road costs). Premium paint is an extra $595 on all, and a two-tone roof is available for $295 on the Elite and Highlander. Showroom entry commences this week. A special $27,000 drive-away deal is on offer for a limited time.

Hyundai Kona Active 2.0L FWD 6spd auto – $24,500
Hyundai Kona Active 1.6L turbo AWD 7spd DCT auto – $28,000

Hyundai Kona Active Safety Pack 2.0L FWD 6spd auto – $26,000
Hyundai Kona Active Safety 1.6L turbo AWD 7spd DCT auto – $29,500

Hyundai Kona Elite 2.0L FWD 6spd auto – $28,500
Hyundai Kona Elite 1.6L turbo AWD 7spd DCT auto – $32,000

Hyundai Kona Highlander 2.0L FWD 6spd auto – $33,000
Hyundai Kona Highlander 1.6L turbo AWD 7spd DCT auto – $36,000