Earlier this year, Hyundai revealed its first entry into the increasingly competitive compact crossover segment with the 2018 Kona. That car, though, wasn't configured for the North American market, and it was unclear what sort of specs it would have in the U.S. Now we have an answer to that question, as Hyundai unveils the U.S.-production version of the Kona at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Americans will have their choice of two gasoline powertrains for the Kona. One is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine running on the Atkinson cycle. It's good for a peak 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The 2.0-liter will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and an overdrive lock-up torque converter for highway efficiency.

The second powertrain option is a turbocharged 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This setup provides 175 hp at 5,500 rpm, and 195 lb-ft available from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. The turbocharger uses electronic wastegate control, and oil jets and a water jacket insert help cool pistons and the top of the cylinder block, respectively. These features help preserve the engine and provide more efficiency. The 1.6-liter turbo will be available in the Limited and Ultimate trim levels.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips


The Kona will be available in front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive models, each with its own suspension setup. Both will feature MacPherson struts up front. 2WD models will have a rigid torsion beam in the rear, while AWD models benefit from an independent multi-link suspension. The Kona also offers 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheel options, depending on trim level.

Inside, the Kona provides a variety of technology features. It has a standard 7-inch touchscreen display, with an 8-inch nav touchscreen also available. It offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, Hyundai's Blue Link LTE connectivity technology and wireless smartphone charging. An available head-up display helps keep eyes on the road where they belong. Other safety features include forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and high beam assist.

Hyundai will offer the Kona with "extroverted" paint colors. An optional color-contrasting roof will help it stand out even more. The Hyundai Kona will arrive in U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2018. Hyundai hasn't revealed fuel economy figures or pricing for the Kona yet, but we'd expect it to start in the $20,000 ballpark.

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