Fuel Economy Figures Released for Hyundai's Littlest Crossover

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fuel economy figures released for hyundais littlest crossover

Hyundai’s smallest utility vehicle arrives as the automaker tries to put a troubling year behind it. Sales fell significantly in both the U.S. and Canada in 2017, the first annual drop since the recession. The blame for the 13.4 percent U.S. drop and 6.1 percent Canadian decline lies in our growing aversion to small, fuel-efficient cars, of which Hyundai has many, and our insatiable lust for large utility vehicles, of which Hyundai does not have enough.

There’s nothing large about the Hyundai Kona, but it’s still an important player in the raft of new or revamped crossovers bound for Hyundai’s stable. And, just like in the small car segment it’s slowly replacing, economy matters in the small crossover segment. So, now that the Environmental Protection Agency has seen fit to test the Kona, how does its thirst stack up against its rivals?

Fairly well, as it turns out, though it’s no class leader.

The front-wheel drive Kona, when equipped with the volume 2.0-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic, earns a rating of 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. The same combined figure also applies to the FWD 1.6-liter turbo variant.

The latter model gains a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, plus an extra dose of power. Turbo buyers can expect 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, compared to the 2.0-liter’s 147 hp and 132 lb-ft.

As for its FWD fuel economy, the Kona’s combined rating tops that of the Toyota C-HR and Chevrolet Trax by 1 and 2 mpg, respectively, and beats the manual-transmission version of the Honda HR-V by 1 mpg. (The CVT-equipped FWD HR-V and base Mazda CX-3 top the Kona by 1 mpg.)

If more traction is on your must-have list, adding all-wheel drive shaves three miles per gallon off the rating of both the turbo and naturally aspirated models. Compared to its competition, the AWD Kona’s 27 mpg combined figure matches that of a similarly outfitted (but significantly less powerful, in the case of the 1.6T) Trax. However, both the AWD CX-3 and HR-V beat the Kona by 2 mpg.

Hyundai’s newest addition should start arriving on dealer lots early this year. Despite rumors to the contrary, no Konas found homes in North America before New Year’s Eve, 2017.

H/T to CarsDirect!

[Image: Hyundai]

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  • Bobbysirhan The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.
  • Bobbysirhan Engines are important.
  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.