Styling Size-Up: Hyundai Kona vs. The Competition


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Hyundai has revealed its first subcompact crossover, the 2018 Kona, and like a number of entries in that segment, it’s brimming with character thanks to its attention-grabbing exterior design. However, it won’t be the only funky-looking crossover when it enters the market. Let’s take a look at how the newest entry from South Korea compares to its rivals in the styling department.

From the front, the 2018 Hyundai Kona distinguishes itself with a three-tier lighting layout that features LED daytime running light strips up top, the main headlight cluster in the middle, and fog lights at the very bottom that are positioned inward more toward the center of the front fascia. Hyundai’s new cascading grille is prominently featured in the car’s front fascia, giving it a family resemblance to the rest of the Hyundai family. Compared to the Nissan Juke and the Toyota C-HR, the Kona’s front fascia isn’t as polarizing since it’s still more conventional and doesn’t have all of the odd shapes and angles found on its two Japanese competitors. However, when compared to the Jeep Renegade, the Kona is more distinctive thanks to its body cladding that extends into the headlight cluster.

When viewed from the side, the Kona appears more traditional, especially compared to the Juke and C-HR, both of which continue to look polarizing due to their unconventional angles, creases, and curves. However, against the Renegade, the Kona is more unusual thanks to its cool body cladding and the fact that it isn’t boxy. As for the rear end, the Kona is just as distinct as the C-HR, Juke, and Renegade thanks to its taillight design, which features a second cluster that’s also covered in body cladding.

Inside, the Kona features a dash with a conventional layout and a floating center touchscreen. To brighten things up a bit, there are bright green trim pieces in the cabin, provided you choose the lime green exterior color. The interior is where the 2018 Hyundai Kona looks more conservative than the Renegade, which is packed with easter eggs, and the C-HR, which has all kinds of diamond-shaped themes inside and out. The Juke does have a more conventional interior, but it’s still not as conservative as the Kona’s because of its motorcycle gas tank-inspired center console.

Powered by either a 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 paired to a six-speed automatic or a 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo I-4 coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. the 2018 Hyundai Kona will be one of the more distinct entries in the subcompact crossover segment when it goes on sale next year.

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