When does a car become interesting? To some it will be practicality, others economics, driveability will hit the spot for some and of course style plays a big part too. So many things make a car interesting but as the car industry continues to contract and merge, with the onset of EVs, many cars share the same underpinnings and consequently drive very much alike. Therefore style becomes a particularly strong selling point to differentiate one purchase from another.
Korean manufacturer Hyundai is part of a large manufacturing group that incorporates Hyundai, Kia and Genesis in their automotive arm. Hyundai in particular has garnered a reputation for styling eye catching cars that don’t tend to fall into being marmite cars i.e. you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. While styling is always down to personal taste most people I have met when driving Hyundai cars, and my own acquaintances, view them as pleasingly different and or very stylish.
The Kona range may not be as radical as the Ioniq 6 but still has head turning ability with its chunky looks and bold stance. Prices start from £25,725 and the whole gamut of engine power is on offer. There are petrol, mild hybrid, hybrid and all-electric with either a 1.0T 3-cylinder petrol engine in both manual and automatic transmission or a 1.6-litre petrol. In EV form there’s a 48.4 kwh or 65.4 kwh battery with a range of 234 miles or 319 miles respectively.
Looking like a mini SUV the Kona has practicality on its side with decent luggage space, very good interior space for passengers and storage for all the in-car oddments that seem to accumulate from nowhere. There’s a distinctly premium feel in both the look and feel of the Kona, it drives with a refined and comfortable ride and while no performance machine it is more than capable of holding its own.
Standard fare across the board includes climate, smart cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, auto lights and wipers and powered, heated and folding door mirrors. On my N-Line S this was upgraded to include such items as heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, Bose sound system and a nicely done external styling kit. Such things can look a little downmarket but Hyundai have endowed the N-Line with a subtle and stylish aesthetic upgrade.
If you want practicality, while dipping your motoring toes into greener motoring, then the Kona Hybrid is a perfect package.
Words by Mark Slack