Over the last few years the Korean car manufacturers of Hyundai and Kia have been producing some excellent new cars.
For those who do not know, Hyundai actually own Kia but market their two brands completely, while sharing platforms and technologies.
We often don’t realise it but Hyundai are in the top 10 of the worlds largest car manufacturers.
So while Hyundai Ireland are on the crest of a wave with their best selling Tuscon SUV, they now have a new compact SUV called the Kona.
There are two-tone roof options, 10 colour choices and four trim levels, Kona Comfort 1.0 petrol, Kona Executive 1.0 petrol, Kona Premium 1.0 petrol, and the model on test here the Kona Premium 1.6 petrol DCT Auto.
So Has It Got Any Street Cred?
No question about it this is a cracking looking car.
From any angle the new Kona is a really good looking SUV, the LED lights, and design details make it stand out from the crowd.
So it gets top marks for street cred!
What is it like inside?
The compact cabin will seat four in comfort, five at a squeeze.
The boot is reasonable but would only fit an average large suitcase and some smaller bags.
The interior looks very well except maybe for a few of the rather hard shiny plastics on some areas of the cabin trim.
The elevated driving position is perfect and the level of standard kit even from the base model is very good.
All models get ally wheels, air conditioning, roof rails, cruise control, 5 inch Chrome Screen, LED lights, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Fatigue Warning system, as well as the usual electric windows, central locking, multifunction steering well and so forth.
The Premium model tested adds 18 inch alloys, Blind Spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, a 7 inch touchscreen, Apple car play, rear view camera, park assist and leather seats.
What is under the bonnet?
The 1.0 petrol will be the best seller and I have not test that yet.
The car on test here is the 1.6 petrol with a 7-speed DCT auto gearbox.
Producing 177 PS I found it to a lively and good performing power plant with plenty of get up and go.
I was not so keen on the sound it made which is rather buzzy.
Other than that its good. The 1.6 DCT comes with 4 wheel drive and here is where there is a penalty.
Over my weeks test of some 700km it returned an average fuel consumption of 8.1 litres per 100km which is not as good as I had expected.
The extra weight of the all wheel drive system may be the culprit here.
I would stick with the 1.0 litre 2 wheel drive model for max fuel efficiency.
Will I enjoy driving it?
The new Kona is a well sorted package on the road.
It rides and handles very nicely indeed.
Its also quiet and refined with little in the way of external noise intruding into the cabin.
I enjoyed driving it, whether on twisty country roads or causing on the motorway it was accomplished in all areas.
So what is the verdict?
Prices start at €20,995 for the new Kona Comfort 1.0 petrol, rising to €28,995 for the Kona Premium 1.6 DCT as tested here.
The new Kona is a stylish, well equipped company SUV that I am sure will win buyers in their droves.