Hyundai is betting that it’s better to introduce a new small crossover late than never. With the new Hyundai Kona subcompact SUV set to arrive in the United States next year, the Koreans finally will have a mainstream competitor to the likes of the Honda HR-V and the Jeep Renegade. But first, the Kona is headed to Europe, and it’s from there that we get an early look at Hyundai’s baby CUV.
The Kona’s face appears to take after the Nissan Juke’s, with a somewhat bizarre lighting setup that includes thin LED strips located above large, squarish headlights flanking a hexagonal grille. Swaths of black cladding over the wheel wells ensure that buyers won’t confuse the Kona for a small hatchback, while the rear end is reminiscent of the larger Tucson crossover with its wide, ovoid LED taillights.
At this point, we don’t have any mechanical details about the Kona, but we’d expect it to share underpinnings with the Hyundai Accent subcompact, which has been redesigned for 2018. In Europe, the Kona likely will be offered with various small-displacement gasoline and diesel engines. For the United States, the Elantra’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder seems a more likely bet. More details on the Kona should trickle out over the next few months before this new model arrives here in early 2018.