2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD new car review

It was so easy to like this SUV as soon as I got in the driver’s seat. I am a fan of Hyundais in general and, in particular, the Kona Ultimate SUV.

The 1.6 turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine mated with a 7-speed eco shift dual-clutch transmission is peppy and responsive in the 2-row 5-passenger small SUV. The engine produces 175 horsepower @ 5500 rpm and a very pleasing 195 torque @ 1500-4500 rpm.

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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD new car review interior

Of the five models offered in the Kona, SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited and Ultimate, the Ultimate model is, well, the Ultimate. Small, in this case, does not mean being cheap. The Kona is not a luxury vehicle; it is a stable, well-mannered vehicle with safety and technology at the top of standard features.

The premium grille wraps around to the stylish 18-inch alloy wheels. The LED daytime running lights catch your eyes as you notice the roof side rails and the power tilt-and-slide sunroof. A nod to luxury and safety in inclement weather, the Ultimate heats up the side mirrors and includes the lighted orange turn indicators on the end of the mirror.

Inside, the driver’s seat is an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, and of course, heated front seats. The tilt and telescope steering wheel matches the leather shifter. Set your smartphone down in the center console area for wireless device charging below the 4.2-inch LCD NAV display with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There is also a heads-up-display for those people who want to keep their eyes on the road.

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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD new car review engine

For your listening pleasure, there is a 315-watt Infinity premium auto with 8-speakers. A 90-day trial of Sirius XM is included as well as a 3-year Blue Link Connected Service and remote start.

The Ultimate comes standard with forward collision assist with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic collision warning, automatic emergency braking, downhill brake control, high-beam assist, and cruise control.

While the SUV is listed as a subcompact, there is 19.2 feet cubic cargo capacity with the rear seats up and 45.8 feet cubic cargo capacity when the 60/40 rear seats are folded down. From the driver’s seat, there is a sense of airiness, especially when the seats are down.

The driver can customize the dynamic responses, such as steering feel, transmission, and overall powertrain responsiveness through the Drive Mode Select. On the Kona, there are two differentiated driving modes, Normal and Sport, that optimize the torque distribution and shift mapping. Normal mode will give a slightly better fuel economy. The EPA fuel economy is 28 city /32 highway /30 combined using regular gasoline. In normal mode, I easily got 32 mpg. Sport mode allows for better acceleration with earlier downshifts on braking and a ton more fun with only a slight decrease in fuel economy.

The Kona Ultimate competes quite nicely in the subcompact SUV segment.

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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD new car review cargo room

SPECIFICATIONS
2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate Front-wheel-drive
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger subcompact SUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $27,750 (as tested: $28,980)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 4-cylinder turbocharged GDI
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 1.6 -liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 175 @ 5500 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_________________195 @ 1500-4500 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________7-speed Ecoshift DCT
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 164.0 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,043 – 3,062 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 13.2 gallons
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 28 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, 30 combined

2020 Hyundai Kona pricing

Front-Wheel-Drive

2020 Hyundai Kona SE 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel Drive $20,300
2020 Hyundai Kona SEL 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel Drive $22,100
2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC Front-Wheel Drive $23,950
2020 Hyundai Kona Limited 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cyl 7-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission Front-Wheel Drive $26,100
2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cyl 7-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission Front-Wheel Drive $27,950

All-Wheel-Drive

2020 Hyundai Kona SE 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel Drive $21,700
2020 Hyundai Kona SEL 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel Drive $23,500
2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus 2.0L GDI 4-Cylinder 6-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC All-Wheel Drive $25,350
2020 Hyundai Kona Limited 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cyl 7-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission All-Wheel Drive $27,500
2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cyl 7-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission All-Wheel Drive $29,350