The second generation of the Korean SUV will arrive in the middle of the year, adding thermal engines to the offer already launched by the electrified versions.
Hyundai will close one of its most prolific years in terms of product renewals in Chile. With six premieres, including updates and new models, the Korean firm will close an exceptional season which will allow it to show an increase in its market share. But this does not mean that you can take your foot off the accelerator and rest on your laurels, on the contrary, the brand of the Gildemeister group is already planning what 2024 will be like and from the city of San José, capital of Costa Rica, has announced the arrival of the second generation of the Kona, a model marketed since 2022 in its hybrid and electric variants and which will add the thermal engine variant from the middle of next year.
In this Central American country, a test drive of the Hyundai Kona was carried out with the most important media in the region, where we were able to see on the ground the type of vehicle that will be added to Chile and see its dynamic behavior at both on a circuit, where braking, acceleration and slalom tests were carried out, and on a route of almost 200 kilometers through magnificent landscapes and lush forests of Central America.
The opportunity also served to discuss with the managers of the brand in Chile, who told us about the arrival of the new Santa Fe for the first quarter and by the end of the first half, the arrival of the Kona, an SUV that should be installed above the Creta and below the Tucson, strengthening the presence in small niches for users who are looking for a spacious and modern model with high safety, but who do not need as much space nor a third row, as is the difference offered by a Creta Grand.
Regarding the absence of versions with thermal engine from the beginning, they pointed out to us that, firstly, these engines were not available for our market due to the high demand, to which was added a value that era would have placed it well. above the competitors, which would have worked to its disadvantage. From now on, the goal is to arrive with a very well equipped SUV, equipped with high technology and at a price that can compete well.
The new Hyundai Kona
The second generation of the Kona, a model launched in 2017, will arrive in Chile with a series of improvements, more space and a leap forward in terms of safety.
To begin with, thanks to the use of the so-called K3 platform, the dimensions have increased. Now, the South Korean-built SUV measures 4,350 mm long (+145 mm compared to the first generation), 1,825 mm wide (+25 mm) and 1,580 mm high (+30), with a longer wheelbase of 2,660 mm (+60 mm). ).
The trunk volume has also increased significantly, reaching 466 liters, representing a 30% growth in its loading capacity, making it one of the largest in the B or B+ SUV segment. Although it all depends on the price with which it arrives, they could be mentioned from a Peugeot 2008, to a Mazda CX-30, a Kia Seltos or a Honda HR-V
The design of the new Hyundai Kona receives the new language of the brand, more futuristic and closer to the appearance of an electric vehicle, highlighting the horizontal LED light that crosses the hood and a similar one at the rear that crosses the portal. In addition, the versions equipped with N Line equipment and which will also be present in Chile stand out for a more aggressive design, with body-colored wheel arches, sports grille, D-shaped bumpers Gloss black wing and side mirrors. silver side skirt, dual exhaust outlets, metal pedals, specific 19″ alloy wheels with the symbol in the center and a wing-shaped rear spoiler that improves aerodynamics.
Inside, significant progress is being made in terms of space utilization, with greater comfort for occupants and more room for legs, shoulders and head. Even the presence of a panoramic roof does not make it lose centimeters and allows it to generate an even greater feeling of space when deployed.
In terms of equipment, the presence of a double 12.3″ digital screen, each facing the driver, is wirelessly compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a wireless charger equipped with a cooling system which avoids overheating of the phone and, in addition, USB-C ports which make charging faster. And for detail, the transmission selector is a switch installed on the steering column.
Other important and unusual elements for the segment are the heated seats and the rear seat backs which can be reclined to provide more comfort in these seats.
The new Hyundai Kona will increase its offering next year with the arrival of two thermal engine variants, which we were able to drive in Costa Rica.
The entry-level unit has a 2.0 liter G4N III MPI developing 150 hp at 6,200 rpm with a torque of 180 Nm from 4,300 rpm, associated with a CVT type gearbox simulating eight reports.
The most furious version, which we had the chance to drive in torrential rain on the way back to the Costa Rican capital, is equipped with the Gamma II 1.6 liter T-GDI turbo engine which generates 198 horsepower at 6,000 rpm /min with a significant torque of 265 hp. Nm from 1700 rpm. In this case it was linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission and had a 4-wheel drive transmission system (HTRAC) which actively distributes driving force between the front and rear wheels depending on road conditions, this which helped us a lot to maintain maximum stability during periods of heaviest rain.
Finally, regarding safety, we will have to wait for the configuration requested in Chile, but it is confirmed that all versions will have 6 airbags, just like the rest of the Korean brand’s range.
In addition, you can have the SmartSense system which has the presence of a system that alerts cyclists or motorists so that the door is not open, a warning of fatigue while driving, a high beam assistant, automatic braking emergency, lane change alert, rear traffic alert, spot alert, adaptive cruise control, 360° rear camera, among other driving aids.
As you can see, a model that is beginning to prepare its trip to Chile, where it will be a new player in Hyundai’s battle to remain among the best-selling brands in Chile.