By on February 23, 2018

2018 Hyundai Kona - Image: Hyundai

Mere hours after we published a story on the attractively priced but awful-to-lease Hyundai Kona yesterday, it seems Hyundai had a change of heart.

The initial advertised lease for the volume SEL trim lasted less than a week, after the automaker apparently decided it wasn’t a good thing to make the brand’s smallest crossover more expensive to lease than the larger Tucson and Santa Fe Sport.

As we told you yesterday, the initial lease saw a Kona SEL — retailing for $22,100 after delivery — offered for $269 for 36 months, with $2,399 due at signing. That works out to $336 a month, higher than the two larger, pricier crossovers (when decked out in mid-level trappings).

Forget about that lease. It was a bad lease. Move on from that lease. (Unless you leased a Kona earlier in the week; in that case, you have our sympathies.)

The latest word from CarsDirect is that Hyundai took the lease behind the barn, emerging with a much more attractive offer. How does $70 less a month sound? That’s what a slashing of the model’s money factor and the addition of lease cash gets you.

As of late yesterday, a 2018 Kona SEL leases for $199 for 36 months, with $2,399 due at signing. Like before, there’s a 12,000-mile annual allowance. The new lease brings the overall monthly cost to $266 — much friendlier for customers, especially given the model’s entry-level status in the Hyundai crossover food chain. It also provides a nice cushion between it and the Tucson ($41 less per month) and the Santa Fe Sport ($61 less).

More importantly, the model now undercuts the volume version of the segment’s best-selling model, the Honda HR-V, by 15 bucks. It also falls $9 below the lease price of a comparably equipped Ford EcoSport.

Breaking down the new offer even further, the Kona SEL’s money factor equates to a 0.5-percent interest rate, down from 2.9 percent before. CarsDirect notes that while most Konas now receive $1,000 in lease cash, the SEL trim gets $1,250 subtracted from the tally. Curious, that.

Despite being the smallest CUV in Hyundai’s stable, the brand’s newest vehicle plays an important role in the company’s goal of populating as many segments as possible. After last year’s major sales slide in the U.S. (and other markets) Hyundai’s comeback plan hinges on crossovers big and small. Just yesterday, the automaker revealed a new naming scheme ahead of the new Santa Fe’s official debut. No, that that Santa Fe — the other one.

Well, just read the link for clarity.

[Image: Hyundai]

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