Flamboyance pairs up with SUV practicality in Hyundai’s new Kona
The new Kia Kona crossover is high on style and gets a decent ride height too
The hatchback and SUV/crossover segments are where all the action is, and they’re the only two SA vehicle segments to have grown in 2018. Into this ever-growing playground comes Hyundai’s new Kona, a front-wheel drive crossover with a 170mm ground clearance that will spar against the likes of the Mazda CX3, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR and Nissan Juke. And that won’t be an end to the Korean car maker’s onslaught into this highly competitive segment, which now represents 22.1% of the new-vehicle market (behind hatchbacks at 32.9% and light commercials at 26.4%). In the third quarter of 2019 Hyundai SA will launch the higher-riding Styx SUV, which has just been unveiled overseas, as a direct rival to the market-leading Ford Ecosport. The Kona is similarly priced to Hyundai’s slightly larger Creta SUV, but is aimed at buyers more concerned with image than practicality. Not that the Kona is deficient in the space department; it’s roomy enough for four adults and the boot’s a practical size a...