Meet the New Hyundai KONA SUV

Big changes are afoot at the Hyundai Motor Corporation. A new CEO, Kyung Soo (Kenny) Lee, just took the helm. He’s tasked with modernizing the company’s lineup, and the 2018 Hyundai KONA is the best hint we’ve gotten so far of what the future holds at Keyes Hyundai. 

Recently unveiled in Frankfurt, the production version of the Hyundai Kona has been in development long before Mr. Lee ascended to the C suite. However, it certainly gives him a head start. Not only is it a new entry in the subcompact crossover segment, it’s also a stylistic departure for the company, closer in spirit to the funky Hyundai Veloster than the old reliable Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

There’s more at work here than just a five-passenger crossover. The platform, shared with the overseas Hyundai i20, is new to America. The powertrain, christened Hyundai Smart Stream, is completely new. Its centerpiece is a 1.6 liter  turbocharged Smart Stream T-GDi engine with CVVD, or Continuously Variable Valve Duration, for improved gas mileage.

The powertrain is rounded out by a Smart Stream eight-speed dual clutch transmission. Not only will its fast and smooth shifting contribute to fuel economy, it will also be much more fun to drive than a run-of-the-mill automatic or a CVT.

Of course, a subcompact crossover isn’t for everyone. If you need something larger for your family, you won’t even have to wait for the new Hyundai KONA to come to the Los Angeles area early in 2018. You can visit Keyes Hyundai at 5746 Van Nuys Blvd. in Van Nuys, CA today to test drive the Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Santa Fe, or Hyundai Santa Fe Sport


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