Hyundai Kona Set for Q4 Malaysian Launch

Will this Korean alternative unseat the HR-V as the Malaysian compact crossover king?

After three years since Hyundai launched the Kona elsewhere in the world, Hyundai Malaysia today have officially announced that this compact crossover is now open for bookings here, and will arrive sometime in the forth quarter of this year. 

Perhaps to capitalise on the growing compact crossover market in Malaysia, the Kona is the latest in Hyundai’s Malaysian lineup. And is set to go up against the likes of the Honda HR-V, Toyota CH-R and the Mazda CX-3 in this increasingly competitive segment. 

Looks-wise, it is clear that the stylish Kona will mainly appeal to the younger buyer. Especially with its sharp front end complete with Hyundai’s cascading grille and LED headlights. Not to mention the funky colours like the lime green example sighted on Malaysian roads not too long ago. 

That being said, only arriving in Malaysia as a complete built-up (CBU) unit from Korea, the Kona may only be attainable for the more affluent younger buyer. 

Although lauded by the global motoring press and having been a popular seller for the Korean automaker globally, with the presumably high sticker price, the Kona might prove to be a tough sell, especially against the upcoming Proton X50 that has captivated the attention of many Malaysians. The other question is with the Kona now finally available in the Malaysian market, will it’s sister company Kia also be announcing it’s launch of the Stonic compact SUV anytime soon?

More information can be found in the press release below: 

Hyundai Sime-Darby Motors (HSDM) has announced plans to launch the Hyundai Kona, Compact SUV in Q4 of 2020 and is inviting interested parties to place their bookings at any Hyundai showroom starting today.

The Kona will be a Complete Built-Up version fully imported from Hyundai Motor Company’s (HMC) Ulsan plant in South Korea. With the arrival of Hyundai’s Kona, the company has a total of three SUVs in its range, which includes the Tucson and the Santa Fe. The Kona rides on an all-new Compact SUV platform and it is also HSDM’s first B-segment SUV, targetted at consumers with active lifestyles. 

Named after the Kona district on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Compact SUV continues Hyundai’s new design identity with an expressive and powerful front dominated by the cascading grille, the company’s signature look. The Hyundai Kona’s “urban smart armor” exterior styling features a voluminous, aggressive body complemented by a low and wide stance for great looks and confident handling in a variety of urban and adventure-oriented driving environments.  

Other features include separated type composite light with the LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the LED headlights, and as is characteristic of SUVs, the elevated seating position provides better visibility for drivers. A new feature is the head-up display projecting key driving information directly in the driver’s line of sight.

“We are excited about the launch of the Kona as it’s an entirely new product for us in this segment and we are reassured of a good response for the Kona. The Compact SUV is in great demand not only in Malaysia but globally as well,” said Mr Low Yuan Lung, Managing Director of HSDM. 

“The SUV and Compact SUV market is growing exponentially so we see a great market potential for all our SUVs, which include the 7-seater Santa Fe, and 5-seater Tucson as well as this upcoming new model – Kona which is targeted at the younger generation,” added Mr Low. 

The Hyundai Kona which was first launched in Korea in 2017 is gaining popularity. Hyundai Motor Company has sold more than 600,000 units worldwide up until July 2020 (excluding HEV and EV variants). 

The Hyundai Kona is an award winning Compact SUV with awards and accolades from all over the world. Among awards received include the Australia’s 2020 Drive Small SUV of the Year, 2020 NHTSA 5-star Overall Safety Rating, 2019 NEMPA (New England Motor Press Association) Best-in-Class Subcompact SUV, 2019 North American SUV of the Year, 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick+, 2018 Good Design Award by the Chicago Anthenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and more.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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