Automotive

Published on April 16th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Facelifted Hyundai Kona Launched In Malaysia

The revamped Hyundai Kona arrives over here barely a year after the current one went on sale. 

When the Hyundai Kona was first launched locally late last year, it is perhaps a fair to say that this South Korean compact crossover didn’t exactly set the market alight with its arrival. That was because despite being a rather good car, its Malaysian debut was partly overshadowed by the launch of the hotly anticipated Proton X50, but mainly down to the fact that a heavily revised version has already been launched in other markets already. 

Happily however, Hyundai has to its credit been rather quick to rectify this blunder with the recent launch of the facelifted version of the Kona over here. Barely six months into the sale of the original model. 

Now using the term facelift here may actually be a tad too modest for this revised Kona, as not only were there substantial alterations both inside and outside, but even the size of this updated Kona is different to its pre-facelift predecessor. With the new car measuring in at some 40 mm longer than the outgoing model. 

As for the other exterior changes, the new Kona receives a substantially redesigned front fascia courtesy of a reworked front grille, chunkier front bumpers and sleeker headlight clusters. All of which complement the thin LED DRL strips, which incidentally look to be the only feature that was carried over from the outgoing car on the front end at least. 

Continuing further down this compact crossover meanwhile, the alterations made down the side and round the back are somewhat less drastic that the frontal makeover. Featuring only redesigned 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, new taillight clusters with horizontally stretched graphics and a chunkier rear bumper to match the front ones. 

Moving under the hood, the facelifted Kona has unfortunately ditched its 1.6 litre turbocharged powertrain option and instead is only available now with the sole powertrain choice of a carryover 2.0 litre Smartstream engine. Outputting the same power and torque figures of 149 PS and 180 Nm as before, this naturally aspirated four-cylinder drives the front wheels through a Smartstream IVT gearbox. 

Getting back to loss of the 1.6 turbo engine, this incidentally also signifies the loss of the highest trim Kona. Leaving only two variants in the form of the Standard and Active to make up its new lineup locally. 

Handily though, these two variants do gain some added interior kit as part of this facelift. The most newsworthy of which is the addition of a larger 8-inch central infotainment touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, an electric parking brake with auto hold feature and remote engine start functionality within the redesigned cabin with all ‘new colours and materials’. 

On the subject of added kit, the higher tier Kona Active also now gains 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a comprehensive suite of active driver aids. These include Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Safe Exit Warning (SEW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) with Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA). 

Available with a 5-year/300,000 km warranty and a 3-year/50,000 km free maintenance package, the facelifted Kona is currently on sale in all Hyundai dealerships nationwide. Prices for the Standard variant has increased by RM 4k over its predecessor to RM 119,888, whereas the Active trim level car has risen by RM 6k to RM 136,888. 

PRESS RELEASE: Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HDSM) launched its newly enhanced KONA compact SUV today, showing a sleeker and more stylish version with a variety of design upgrades and advanced features.  The upgraded Kona is exclusively equipped with the new Smartstream G2.0 Atkinson powertrain which comes in two variants, Standard and Active. Pricing of the new Kona will only be announced during the launch.

The Two-Wheel Drive KONA Smartstream G2.0 Atkinson four-cylinder petrol engine that is paired with a Smartstream IVT transmission produces 149 PS of power at 6,200 rpm and 180 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. The Smartstream engine offers dynamic performance with a smoother, comfortable driving experience, reduced emissions and better fuel efficiency.

“With a bold, progressive design and adventurous personality, the KONA has become an icon in its segment. We are more confident than before of the Hyundai KONA’s success in Malaysia despite the fierce competition in this segment,” said Mr Low Yuan Lung, Managing Director of HSDM.

Mr Low added that the KONA’s design is very distinctive and unique. The redesigned front and rear of the car give the KONA a sleek, sophisticated look while keeping its robust signature style to make it even more appealing to customers who lead active lifestyles.

“Its distinctive look makes it stand out from any other model in its class. The Kona is also targeted for those who want to stand out in the crowd and be different. It’s an agile and stylish car that can take you anywhere, be it for an adventurous outing or just for a city drive,” he said.

The striking new front-end design of the new Kona stands out with eye-catching, protective cladding panels which are accentuated by the thin LED daylight running lights (DRLs). Its newly designed bold grille complements the curved bonnet design, while the main bumper fascia connects smoothly to the wheel arch claddings, forming a unique and robust armour in a contrast to the main body. The skid plate on the lower bumper embraces the lower air intake and visually complements the shape of the main upper grille. Integrated into the bumper corners are vertically oriented aerodynamic inlets that improve air flow.

At the rear, the new taillights feature horizontally stretched graphics. These reflect the unique identity of the front-end light design. The new rear bumper, which also follows the protective armour concept of the front and sides, also uses a contrasting material. In addition, the latest model comes with updated 17- or 18-inch wheel designs.

The KONA is also now 40mm longer than the previous model, giving it a sleeker and more dynamic look that complements its wide, strong visual stance.

Entering the cabin, one will notice a redesigned interior that expresses a more upscale and progressive look than its predecessor. The new console area is separated from the instrument panel to emphasize the horizontal layout. The dashboard appears wide and airy to create a generously spacious atmosphere. An electric parking brake with auto hold function is added as a new convenience feature in response to customer demand. Additionally, the new Kona now also gets a remote engine start function by using the smart key. 

The new interior is completed by new colours and materials. New seat cover options include a black woven houndstooth design, cloth seats with black and grey embossing and perforated leather seats in black or beige.

New to this model is a 10.25-inch digital cluster that is only available to the KONA Active variant, in addition to the 8-inch AVN screen with multiple Bluetooth connections. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard for both variants which also include Waze and Google Map for navigation convenience.

The KONA Active is equipped with a range of safety and driver assistance features, offering a comprehensive safety suite such as the Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA); and Safe Exit Warning (SEW), which detects oncoming vehicle from the rear and then displays a visual and audio warning to alert the passenger from exiting the vehicle. Other safety enhancements include Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) with Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) and High Beam Assist (HBA). The Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) has also been upgraded with pedestrian and vehicle detection.

Four exciting new colours options are available with the Kona Standard, namely Chalk White, Galactic Grey, Surfy Blue and Pulse Red while the Active variant comes with five new exterior colours, including Surfy Blue, Dive in Jeju, Ignite Flame, Dark Knight, and Misty Jungle. 

The Hyundai KONA comes with a five-year or 300,000km (whichever comes first) warranty and also 3-year or 50,000km (Whichever comes first) free maintenance service. It is available for viewing at all Hyundai showrooms nationwide. Interested parties may contact Hyundai’s Customer Careline at 1-300-13-2000.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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