Hyundai Kona 2018 Review: Active Long Term
Hyundai Kona 2018 Review: Active Long Term

Hyundai Kona 2018 Review: Active Long Term


Hyundai's Kona was a long time coming, with Japanese and some European manufacturers stealing a pretty decent march on South Korea. Even steady-as-she-goes Toyota got the wild-looking-but-mild-performing C-HR out ages before the Kona.

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The interesting thing about the Kona, though, is that it was always going to hit the ground running. Based on the benchmark i30 hatch and with the same loving attention from the Australian suspension team, the Kona's journey to the forecourt was a considered, careful one. One characteristically memorable blanket marketing campaign and they're everywhere.

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So we figured everywhere should also mean my driveway for six months, so Mickey Blue Eyes here (Try again - Ed) arrived in the dying days of January to keep us company.

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\"The The 'Vivid Blue' of our car resulted in the name Frank. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

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There are technically three models - Active, Elite and Highlander - and we went for the one everybody buys, the entry-level Active. In contrast to what is surely its arch-rival, Mazda's CX-3, you do need to spend a bit extra to snag auto emergency braking (AEB). So the base model Active (which is hardly the stripped-out bait-n-up-sell CX-3 Neo) starts at $24,500 with a further $1500 for the Safety Pack.

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That Safety Pack not only contains high and low speed AEB, but also adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning, driver attention detection and heated folding mirrors. That is $1500 well spent. The 'Vivid Blue' of our car - which resulted in the name Frank (Nope - Ed) - is a further $595, as is every other colour but white.

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Before the 'Safety Pack', you've got 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, cloth trim, remote central locking, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, cruise control, auto halogen headlights, leather steering wheel and gear selector, power windows and mirrors and a space saver spare.

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\"TheThe Kona has auto halogen headlights. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
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\"TheThe Active gets 16-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
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\"Inside,Inside, there is a leather steering wheel. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
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\"UnderUnder the boot floor is a space saver spare. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
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\"The
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Power in the Active comes from Hyundai's rather accomplished 2.0-litre MPI (further up the range is the quick 1.6-litre turbo), with 110kW/180Nm to drag around 1300kg. The Active is a front-wheel drive proposition using Hyundai's own six-speed automatic.

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\"Hyundai's Hyundai's 2.0-litre MPI four-cylinder engine produces 110kW/180Nm. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

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Unlike the vast majority of its competition, the Kona has a half-decent six speaker stereo with (drum roll please) both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which makes up for a lack of sat nav.

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We've got plans for Bluey (definitely not - Ed) - road trips, ironic photos, reports on the daily grind and the usual tests of versatility, comfort and its ability to handle whatever our little family can throw it.

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2018 Hyundai Kona Active

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Acquired: February 2018
Distance travelled this month: 471km
Odometer: 584km
Average fuel consumption for February: 8.2L/100 (measured at the pump)

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April 27th, 2018

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For any new car owner, the first month is critical. You quickly find the bits you like, and don't like, and you're itching to see what it can do out on the open road.

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Some quick mathematics proved it was cheaper to see a classic Australian comedy duo in Canberra rather than our home city of Sydney, so we headed to the Hume and turned left for the Kona's first road trip.

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\"For For any new car owner, the first month is critical.

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As the little Hyundai came to us with the 'Safety Pack' ($1500), we got to test its lane keep assist system. At this price point, it's unusual to have a system that not only gives you the requisite warning beeps but also steers you back towards the centre of the lane. It's subtle but also less alarming than some systems, which are the automotive equivalent of the stick-shaker. So that scored a thumbs up.

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I was also quite taken with the Kona's highway manners. Down here in the Active it's a 2.0-litre front-wheel drive with six-speed automatic. It's not what you'd call powerful but it coped very well with the varying grades and rarely dropped lower than fourth gear.

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\"While While hardly a long trip, it's enough to confidently describe the front seats as perfect for the job.

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The roads to Canberra are generally dual carriageways, or at the very least generous overtaking lane lengths, so we didn't have the opportunity for any white knuckle overtakes.

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Number one son seemed quite happy in the rear seat, although admittedly he hasn't any siblings with which to conduct a turf war. Given he's 188cm (6'2\"), he's tall enough for reasonable discomfort in the back of, say, a Mazda CX-3. We did the same trip 12 months ago in a Honda HR-V, which is absurdly roomy, but we heard no complaints in the Kona.

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\"I I was quite taken with the Kona's highway manners.

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While hardly a long trip, it's enough to confidently describe the front seats as perfect for the job, the air-conditioning up to scratch and the ride comfort excellent. And its highway fuel consumption dragged the consumption well under 8.0L/100km.

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Acquired: February 2018
Distance travelled this month: 680km
Odometer: 1264km
Average fuel consumption for April: 7.7L/100 (measured at the pump)

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31 May 2018

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Month three saw the Kona on another road trip to Cowra, around 300km due west of Sydney (don't ask), with a quick diversion via Bathurst. Hyundai's racing heritage is more rally than track, but Mount Panorama was there and you can't be a car person and not have a go at The Mountain.

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\"I I took the Kona on a quick diversion via Bathurst.

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As I had passengers, the pace was relaxed, but less relaxed than a Mazda2 wobbling through Skyline. My first pass on the Mountain. And probably last. As the Canberra trip demonstrated, it's very comfortable and the non-family fellow travellers liked it, too. 

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The Apple CarPlay scored many thumbs-up and a number of people are shocked a car at this price has such sophisticated features. The idea that the cheaper the car, the more likely it will be installed made them frown.

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As ever, the constant state of flux of the contents of our house always ensures heavy loads for the resident long-termer. The collapse of our long-suffering Ikea bookshelves prompted a purge of our collection. Once I'd rescued a couple of books I know my wife would prefer gone (only because they're \"the wrong size\"), we ended up with six boxes of books.

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The low load lip came in handy, as did the wide opening rear doors. The rear seats fold to make a reasonably flat load area. Five (well, six, but that came after I took the photo) boxes plus two bags of clothes and there was still room to spare. 

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As the Salvos could only take three boxes, we discovered the boot easily takes three boxes with the seats in place. Pretty good for what is ultimately a small car. It certainly isn't as spacious as the HR-V but it'll take a CX-3 to the cleaners.

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A trip to the nursery after our neighbours mercifully removed a set of those revolting spiky plants also meant a full boot, again easily swallowed.

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\"The The boot easily swallowed some revolting spiky plants.

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As winter has finally arrived, we've noted the car warms up quickly which bodes well. 

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Acquired: February 2018
Distance travelled this month: 586km
Odometer: 1850km
Average fuel consumption for July: 8.4L/100 (measured at the pump)

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Is there anything you'd like to know about the Hyundai Kona Active? Tell us in the comments and we'll get Peter on the case.

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