Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

2020 Hyundai Kona Highlander 2.Zero-litre evaluation

Almost three years on, is an outgoing, top-spec Hyundai Kona Highlander nonetheless good shopping for?

Execs and Cons


2.Zero-litre engine is the good choiceProwess within the journey and dealing with departmentGadgets and gizmos more likely to impress within the showroom


Regardless of mentioned devices, it does lack fundamental equipmentSecond row is smallExpensive in comparison with the most recent and biggest within the section

Each the sunshine and small SUV segments are advancing at a fee of knots in Australia. There’s at all times one thing occurring in both of those segments, be it a brand new product lastly making it right here, spec refinements to an present mannequin, and even the introduction of latest trim ranges to pad out the portfolio.

This flourish of exercise is aimed squarely at getting you right into a showroom to half together with your cash. On condition that there are 35 decisions, and rising, between each of those SUV segments, this does not come as a shock. It is a extremely aggressive battleground that is additionally extremely profitable.

Hyundai’s Kona vary has undergone some pricing and spec transformation all through its preliminary three-year life in Australia. Nonetheless, the top is nigh for this present era, as the brand new facelifted mannequin is predicted to reach in Australia early in 2021.

Does that imply the outgoing automotive makes for good shopping for? Let’s discover out.

On take a look at we have now a top-grade 2020 Hyundai Kona Highlander. This trim degree is obtainable with a selection of drivelines: a 2.Zero-litre Atkinson-cycle naturally aspirated four-cylinder, with a daily torque converter automated gearbox and front-wheel drive, or a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with a dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive.

Hyundai Kona Highlander 2.Zero-litreEngine configurationAtkinson-cycle in-line 4 cylinderDisplacement2.0LEnergy110kW @ 6200rpmTorque180Nm @ 4500rpmDriveEntrance-wheel driveTransmissionSix-speed torque converter automatedGas consumption (claimed)7.2L/100kmGas consumption (on take a look at)eight.3L/100kmGas tank dimension50LValue (MSRP)$36,660

The two.Zero-litre front-wheel-drive automotive is what we’re testing at present. Naturally, it’s the cheaper possibility of the 2 beginning from $36,660 earlier than on-roads. The one additional you need to pay for is premium paint at $595. Some colors within the vary do have the choice of a contrasting black roof (rather than the sunroof fitted to single-coloured vehicles) and red-accented inside trim, however each of those decisions will add nothing to your whole invoice.

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In the event you just like the sound of all-wheel drive and turbo energy, the step up in driveline will value you $3540. Nonetheless, as we’re about to search out out, the two.Zero-litre 4 would be the smarter selection for almost all of contemplators.

It produces 110kW of energy at 6200rpm and 180Nm of torque from 4500rpm. Small figures parked apart, the engine by no means feels underpowered or that it is ever battling. Testing was carried out on various circumstances and surfaces, together with sooner sections of sweeping nation street give or take two hours out of Sydney.

In these circumstances, you do need to job the engine with some RPM, nevertheless it takes it in its stride. It would not come throughout as strained or uncomfortable, so I would contemplate any notion regarding a scarcity of energy a moot level. Generally engines act and really feel completely different to what paper-based principle will lead you to consider, and that is simply a type of circumstances.

Coupled with the actual fact the turbo possibility pushes this automotive into the $40Ok territory, it feels just like the discerning selection is to really reside with the much less highly effective engine. It did ship considerably on the fuel-usage entrance, with the automotive’s journey pc stating gas consumption over the interval of the mortgage to have been eight.three litres per each 100km travelled. The official declare is 7.2L/100km, so not a foul end result there.

Upkeep-wise, it prices $1420 to keep up a 2.Zero-litre Kona over a five-year or 75,000km interval, whichever comes first. Unusually, shopping for a totally transferable service plan, which you pay for in full upfront, nets you $Zero price of financial savings. Take into account choosing one a possible resale booster solely, in that case.

Once more, as I felt with the Hyundai Venue, the Kona additionally comes throughout a bit cheeky on a again street. It is a enjoyable automotive to drive, even at tempo. The journey has been fettled by Hyundai Australia’s native engineering division, and as at all times the result’s first rate. The Kona most actually errs on the aspect of sportiness, with its firmness turning into initially noticeable. Nonetheless, there may be softness hiding beneath, as on lengthy, extra undulated surfaces, the automotive will bob and are available throughout as bouncy at occasions.

Regardless, it is the primary level of firmness that is most noticeable. It is nice out on the nation roads, however you do pay for this trait round city. Its journey can change into brittle relying on the street floor. These actually horrible sections of patchwork street, most frequently discovered within the inside metropolis, can unsettle a Kona. General, it is tolerable. As I’ve come to know, we Australians do like our journey and dealing with on the firmer finish of the spectrum.

The weighting of the electrical steering system is simply positive in common mode, with the game mode making it unnecessarily heavy, and much more imprecise, within the course of. Keep away from that button, because it does no good for this automotive.

Farther from the driving force’s perspective, the cabin stays a humorous one. It is a mish-mash of high-tech and low-rent, with items of intelligent tech juxtaposing themselves remarkably towards fundamental items of kit and casual-feeling supplies.

Heated and cooled seats, and even a heated steering wheel, however auto up/down solely on the driving force’s window? Weird.

An eight.Zero-inch touchscreen, 4 types of machine charging for the entrance row, together with wi-fi charging, however no air vents or energy outlet for the second row? Equally so.

You may counsel that that is the Kona exhibiting some age, however that is no excuse. The automotive has undergone specification tickles and upgrades over time, with a few of these additions being far more vital than the introduction of some air vents and an influence outlet.

In actual fact, this very mannequin was adorned with adaptive cruise management solely only a yr in the past. Slipping in an answer to handle no less than one in all my two gripes would’ve been a stroll within the park, then.

Different fundamentals stay honest. The fabric choice is constantly black, and laborious, however nonetheless easy. Infotainment connectivity is all there within the type of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, and native navigation. Instrumentation is once more fundamental, with a set of dials, a small four.2-inch centre show, and head-up show rounding out what the driving force will work together with most on the day-to-day.

Stuff you hope to not work together with on the day-to-day, being energetic security techniques, are largely all right here. Blind-spot monitoring, high-speed autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise all come as commonplace fitment. It does miss out on any type of reverse automated braking, which is one thing I sincerely hope they handle with the facelift mannequin.

My solely different concern was with regard to visibility. The Kona options fairly obtusely raked A-pillars, that are these steel borders round its entrance windscreen. These do hinder visibility for taller folks, which means you could have to lean ahead at intersections to see previous them. Once more, this level relies on your total peak, however be sure you examine this out when you go for a take a look at drive. Sideward and rearward visibility are each not a difficulty.

Given the Kona’s dimensions, one does count on the second row to be petite. Head room is compromised by the usual inclusion of a sunroof on this Highlander variant. Meaning a 180cm occupant within the again will discover their brow simply brushing towards the deeply scalloped headlining, which homes the heart of the electrical sunroof mechanism.

Knee room behind a driver of comparable peak is scarce, however positive for infrequent use. What exacerbates the dearth of room in your pointy components is a pair of hard-shelled entrance seats, which aren’t snug to relaxation your knees towards. Given the dearth of house, taller folks will finally be having to do that.

One other pastime additionally they need to stay up for is banging their knees towards a tough floor when exiting or coming into the car. Including softer, vinyl-backed seats, full with some contouring, would’ve labored wonders to enhance second-row habitability.

As for accepting a assist seat, each a bigger convertible baby seat or child capsule is definitely doable – when you settle for the truth that first-row passenger leg room might change into compromised in consequence.

With both a capsule or rearward-facing baby seat, you may have to regulate the entrance passenger seat fairly far ahead to allow a passable quantity of clearance. With a forward-facing seat, the entrance passenger space turns into far more tolerable. In the event you’re anticipating or have already got younger ones, do not be afraid to take your seat with you into the showroom to trial issues for your self.

As I mentioned, it is positive for infrequent use with adults. In the event you’re conducting day by day college runs with taller than common youngsters, you could need to look elsewhere. Volkswagen’s T-Cross immediately involves thoughts as a same-class various with higher second-row dimensions, as does Kia’s Seltos, too.

Each of these completely different decisions are priced in the identical realm because the Kona, however choosing both will lead to a lower in specification. Meals for thought.

Boot quantity min/max361L / 1143LTowing capability (braked/unbraked)1300kg/600kgTare mass1353kgWheels/tyres235/45 R18

A complete of 361L of cargo space is obtainable, which expands out to 1143L with its second-row 60/40 break up seats folded. That is about common for the section, and betters the cargo house provided by rivals just like the Mazda CX-30, Toyota C-HR and Subaru XV.

A compact stroller will match flat on the most rearward part of the boot, closest to the tailgate, the place width dimensions are at their biggest. Nonetheless, I discovered my stroller sitting considerably diagonally when positioned up towards the second-row seat backs, on the most rearward part of the boot, the place it’s going to probably spend most of its time. Beneath the standard-issue cargo internet, and boot flooring, is a space-saving spare wheel.

We have to recap on the Kona Highlander’s pricing with a view to decide whether or not the outgoing mannequin makes for good shopping for. At $36,660, it appears costly provided that type of dosh nabs you a whole lot of small SUV lately.

If second-row house is up your alley, then contemplate both a Kia Seltos or a Volkswagen T-Cross. If you need the most recent and biggest, each of Ford’s new choices, the all-new Puma and shortly to be launched Escape, each have the makings of viable candidates. Keep tuned for these evaluations within the coming weeks.

Nonetheless, treading down both of these paths means you’ll sacrifice some luxuries alongside the way in which. What the Kona nonetheless continues to supply is a mix of handy exterior dimensions with lashings of fanciness. None of these vehicles talked about above can have Aussie-centric trinkets like ventilated leather-based seats or a gap sunroof for related cash.

In the event you’re selfishly focussed on catering to your self as the driving force, then the Hyundai Kona Highlander is a good purchase. You can not keep away from selflessness because the chief of a household, nevertheless, so be sure you weigh up the inside dimensions with a transparent thoughts, and stay uncorrupted by dazzling ideas of a sun-drenched cabin and an air-conditioned bottom.

Given there is a facelift across the nook, the prospect of negotiating a strong low cost is definitely fairly probably. Get on the market and converse to your native seller, as if its shortcomings aren’t related to you, then a cut-price 2.Zero-litre Kona Highlander will probably begin to flip into good shopping for.

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