By on April 28, 2017


Hyundai has teased its entry into the subcompact crossover segment in the past but only acknowledged that it would have at least one thin LED headlamp, be called the Kona, and finally serve round out the company’s SUV lineup. On Friday, the company released another teaser to give us a better sense of what the little crossover will actually look like.

For starters, the thin LED strips are now running lamps positioned above the vehicle’s actual headlights, à la Nissan Juke. However, Hyundai appears to have accomplished it in a much more understated manner than Nissan. Unlike the Juke, the Kona has its light strips running just below the hood opening and very near the actual illumination sources. It’s a lot less funky, but should be interesting enough to set it apart from the rest of the segment — an important consideration, as there’s much more stylistic variation between subcompact crossovers than between their compact equivalents. The Kona will also sport a meaner mug than many of its competitors, something the brand plans to implement across the rest of its SUV line in the future.

“The new twin headlamp enhances the visual impact, with the LED daytime running lights positioned on top of the LED headlights,” Hyundai said in its release. “The separated lights at the front deliver a confident, progressive appearance with sleek and sharp shapes.”

If spy shots of thinly disguised test vehicles are anything to go by, the rest of the Kona won’t be quite as bold as its face — not that you’d expect it to be. The front end is just a byproduct of the brand’s evolved styling, not a anomalous statement like the Juke. Hyundai says it wants to deliver a practical daily driver with above average visibility, superior comfort and agile handling.

The company didn’t include any hardware specifics but, since we know the Kona will use the same platform as the Creta, it will likely use the four cylinder Gamma engines. It’s probable the crossover won’t see anything more raucous than the 1.6-liter forced-induction four-cylinder found in the Kia Soul Turbo, but expect tamer options as standard equipment. Front-wheel drive will be the default setup, and the company has stated that all-wheel drive will be available at extra cost.

Hyundai’s Kona will enter the Korean domestic market in the summer of 2017 and the U.S. market in early 2018.

[Image: Hyundai]

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12 Comments on “The Little Kona Crossover is the Future Face of Hyundai’s SUVs...”

  • avatar

    The only thing modern stacked headlights do is make the car look frikkin’ weird as all get out. A handsome car needs a conventional human-ish “face”, which means two eyes (headlights) a mouth (grille) and maybe a nose (marque badge). Mess with that formula, and you turn off a lot of people. I’d say though that the Cherokee has normalized it a lot more than the Aztek or Juke, which have other design issues besides too many eyes. Lynk & Co goes too far, though.

  • avatar

    Espresso, Cappucino, now the Kona. The trend now is to name cars after coffee drinks. Next to be revealed at the Beijing Auto Show: the all-new Yuanyang Caffe Corretto.

  • avatar

    But will there be fog lamps on the bottom?

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I think it’s less Juke and more Cherokee.

  • avatar

    This will look fine on a little chunky subcompact CUV, but as for being the face of their lineup, I’m not sold.

    • 0 avatar

      But that’s just how the face of a lineup is chosen. get a design that looks good on one particular specialized model, and put it on everything. In the old days, the design on the top of the line model trickled down, with similar ridiculous results for some smaller models, but at least the expensive models looked good, unlike Lexus.

  • avatar

    Why does every OEM hate the most innocuous things? First it was visibility, gone. Then normal sized wheels, gone. Then buttons, gone. Now headlamps too?

    • 0 avatar

      I first observed the contagion of stupid ideas in college. The best looking girls at Virginia Tech tended to follow the AGR guys, which wasn’t that silly considering that their farm families had land and wealth that exceeded that of any other abundant demographic at the school. Lorrie Morgan was a break-through popular country star with terribly short hair. Almost overnight, most of the beautiful girls cut off most of their hair. I wonder if anyone ever had the heart to point out that she was considered attractive because of her abundant breasts and not because of her ’83-era Pat Benatar hair tragedy?

    • 0 avatar

      Still has headlamps, just that the running lights are now above it instead of the more usual below positioning.

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