The Kona, Hyundai's late entry into the growing subcompact crossover segment, introduces a design language that departs from that of Hyundai cars and will spread throughout Hyundai's crossover lineup. Built on the same platform as the Accent and Kia's forthcoming Stonic subcompact crossover, the Kona joins a crowded segment that varies in design but is similar in power and functionality. Here's what people are saying about the Kona:
"One of the first things you'll notice about the Kona's exterior design is the plastic cladding -- the term 'urban smart armor' was used to describe it at one point -- over all four wheel wells. Designer Luc Donckerwolke, for his part, freely admits that today's small crossovers/SUVs are less about off-road capability than enabling the somewhat nebulously defined 'active lifestyles' of the young buyers they target; thus, the armor is more likely to fend off shopping carts than stray branches on the trail.
"It does help give the little ute-lette a dose of rugged attitude. Thanks in part to the plastic, we think the whole thing looks a little bit European, maybe like a toned-down Citroen Cactus.
"Some elements of the Kona design will propagate across Hyundai's growing SUV lineup; expect to see a similar face, and perhaps the Kona's new, stylized 'shark fin' C-pillar, on other vehicles. Other features, like the cladding (pardon us, the armor) over the wheel wells, will remain Kona-exclusive -- part of a broader strategy to give each of its crossovers a unique look and identity."
-- Graham Kozak, Autoweek