Not So Scantily Clad: 2018 Hyundai Kona Accidentally Drops the Towel

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
not so scantily clad 2018 hyundai kona accidentally drops the towel

The 2018 Hyundai Kona, which American subcompact crossover aficionados will be able to drool over in person in early 2018, will see its first spotlights during a Korean launch event tomorrow. However, much like private celebrity photographs, the Kona has bared all on the internet a day before the big reveal.

Hyundai hasn’t provided much in the way of specifications, though it has teased us with ever-revealing photos of its new global model for some time. For the automaker, a B-segment crossover isn’t timely — it’s overdue. Utility vehicles are the company’s top focus as the market moves away from the vehicles that sent Hyundai sales surging in the post-recession era.

So, what do you think?

The low-resolution images, which look sourced from a manufacturer’s media package, appeared on Hyundai-blog, providing us with a a good, hard look at the Kona. First impressions? Wow, that’s interesting — many might say “questionable” — use of cladding.

While the short overhangs and fender bulges are commonplace among the segment’s occupants, the industry has more or less moved away from garish overuse of cladding. Thank General Motors excess for that. However, the Kona’s cladding is apparently so voluminous, some of it has migrated onto the rear doors and fascia — the taillamps seem unable to wrestle themselves free from its matte gray grip.

The front displays the same face we’ve seen before, albeit in purposely shadowed form. Thin LED running lights are positioned atop the main headlamps, flanking a broad mouth filled with black honeycomb. An air inlet in the lower fascia carries a third set of lights — foglights — tucked into the corners of the slit.

All told, it’s a lot of lights and openings. Funky? Busy? Buyers will be the judge. Wearing pea soup-like yellow-green paint, the vehicle seen here clearly wants to show off an all-black roof that extends down the A-pillars but leaves the C-pillars mainly untouched. No doubt Hyundai believes this gives the little Kona a dash of sporty flair.

So, what engine can Americans expect? We’ll have a better idea tomorrow, but a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder and a dual-clutch transmission are strong powertrain possibilities.

Inside, the Kona displays a much more conventional layout, with an infotainment screen rising from the dashtop, rather than set into the center stack. Body color accents abound.

When Hyundai’s Kona lands in the U.S., both it and the Kia Stonic will have to beat off the Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax and upcoming Ford EcoSport in the non-premium subcompact crossover segment.


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  • Jeff S I ignore the commercials. Never owned a Mazda but I would definitely look at one and seriously consider it. I would take a Honda, Toyota, or Mazda over any German vehicle at least they are long lasting, reliable, and don't cost an arm and a leg to maintain.
  • GregLocock The predictable hysteria and repetition of talking points in the meeja is quite funny. it does not divide Oxford into six zones. it restricts access at 6 locations , one on each road, to reduce congestion in the town centre. Florence, which faces the same issue, traffic and narrow historic streets, lined with historic buildings, simply closed the entire town centre off. Don't see anybody whining about that.
  • Jeff S I have rented from Hertz before and never encountered this but if I had I would sue them. Would not want a gun pointed at me and thrown in jail for renting a car.
  • Arthur Dailey I did use a service pre COVID to get the pricing that the dealers were alleged to have paid the manufacturer. It also provided 'quotes' from multiple dealers .
  • Arthur Dailey Has anyone else concluded that we may have a new 'troll' on this site?