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The updated Hyundai Kona Hybrid is an eye-catching crossover that's suitable for the trendy and tree-hugging driver.

29 Jul 2021


I like this car. Must be the age, or the fact that fatherhood is getting to me, or just simply because my kids are making me lose my mind. But, yes, I like this car.

The updated Hyundai Kona Hybrid that you see here went under the knife and received more than just your average nip and tuck. As a result, you could easily fool your neighbour into thinking this is a brand new Kona rather than an actual facelifted one.

Eye-catching, this one

The car looks clean and neat even from the back
You get a wide and bold grille that resembles the outline of a certain luxury Japanese carmaker, head light cluster that forms the rippling of water and sharp, slim daytime running lights that look like the car's squinting at you suspiciously every time you look at it the wrong way.

So it's quite hard to look at cars like the Honda Vezel Hybrid, the Kia Niro Hybrid and the Nissan Kicks e-Power the same again because the Kona Hybrid makes them look pale in comparison.

Nicely packaged, this one

You get a very usable 361-litre hauling capacity
However, where the car loses out is in the boot space. While its 361 litres of hauling capacity is more than adequate for your weekly affairs, it's smaller than the Kia Niro Hybrid's 427 litres and Nissan Kicks' 423 litres.

But the Hyundai more than makes up for this with a cabin that's well put together and packed with ample features. Our test car came with a sunroof, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, crisp and clear 8.0-inch infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and ventilated seats just to name a few.

Cabin is clean, stylish and very functional
While that seems like a handful (and we're not even done), the cabin is far from fussy. Proper buttons are available for the important functions that you have to deal with on a daily basis, with most physical touch points feeling rather high-grade.

More relevantly, for a crossover, space is sufficient for three adults at the back with little to no complains. Shoulder room is definitely compromised with three, but never for leg and headroom.

Holding itself well, this one

The Kona Hybrid is right at home around town
Thankfully, what the Kona Hybrid doesn't compromise is the way it drives. With a combined output of 130 horses and a generous dose of 265Nm of twisting force from the 1.6-litre engine sent to the front wheels, the Kona Hybrid isn't what you'd call quick.

It will still keep up with the pack, even if it takes 11 seconds to finish the century sprint. Hence, when you try and overtake the pesky car in front of you, the engine does throw a fit.

But here's the deal - expecting the Kona Hybrid to be fast will be completely missing the point. The good-looking Hyundai crossover isn't created to make your heart palpitate or give you goosebumps. Instead, it's truly in its element when the car is out of the highway and potting about around town.

A suite of safety systems comes standard
Driven about at legal speed limits, the Kona Hybrid is pleasingly quiet and delightfully comfortable. The engine does its job by being pretty refined and smooth, while the car never gets fazed with broken tarmac and uneven surfaces even when you're too lazy to apply the brakes hard enough over speed bumps. Also, during my time with the car, I managed 19.2km/L, which is mighty impressive considering the Kona Hybrid weighs close to 1.4 tonnes. These, mind you, are crucial for a crossover that hauls your loved ones.

Also crucial is the suite of safety systems that comes standard on our test car. You get the important bits like Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist as well as Rear Occupant Alert.

A lot to like, this one

1.6-litre engine that makes 130bhp means this car is under the Cat A COE
We have a lot to thank for with the Hyundai Kona Hybrid. Because it's a Cat A COE car and has a VES rebate of $15k (it being hybrid and all), the car has a more attractive price tag of $121,999 (as of 23 July 2021) compared to other crossovers in similar classes. Thus, it's the sort of crossover that offers a lot of dollars and sense.

So, yes, I like this car. It's an unpretentious machine that's more than capable of getting the job done as a crossover. Must be the age, or the fact that fatherhood is getting to me, or just simply because my kids are making me lose my mind...

Car Information

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Hyundai Kona Hybrid 1.6 DCT Sunroof (A)
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Price

: $120,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC

Engine Cap

:

1580cc

Horsepower

:

97kW (130 bhp) / 5700 rpm

Torque

:

265 Nm / 1500 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

11sec

Top Speed

:

160km/h

Fuel consumption

:

23.3 km/L

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