Hyundai Releases Kona Pricing, Positions Subcompact Crossover As Value Leader

2018 Hyundai Kona - Image: Hyundai

We’ll have to wait until Nissan releases pricing for its weirdly named Kicks before we can declare the 2018 Hyundai Kona the least-expensive subcompact crossover in America, but that’s the way it is for now.

The Korean automaker released its pricing list for the Kona on Wednesday, revealing a vehicle that undercuts every one its American and Japanese rivals in entry cost. Starting price for a Kona? $20,450 after delivery for a front-wheel-drive SE model.

That’s $195 cheaper than a base Honda HR-V, currently the best-selling subcompact crossover on the American market. The three-cylinder Ford EcoSport, which started sales in January, starts at $20,990 after delivery — a $540 difference. Compared to other competitors, the base Kona falls below the entry-level Mazda CX-3 by $635, the Chevrolet Trax by $1,545, and the Toyota C-HR by $3,045.

All of the crossovers listed are front-wheel-drive models powered by engines ranging from Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder to the 2.0-liter units found in the Kona, C-HR, and CX-3.

2018 Hyundai Kona Rear - Image: Hyundai

The Kona’s Atkinson-cycle base engine, found on SE and SEL trims, makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the engine’s only dance partner. Uplevel Limited and Ultimate trims gain a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, good for 175 hp and 195 lb-ft.

Adding all-wheel drive to a base SE brings the Kona’s after-delivery price to $21,750, just below that of a FWD Trax. (There’s incentives to be had on that model, though.) A better-equipped Kona SEL stickers for $22,100, or $23,400 is AWD is a must. If you can’t live with a vehicle unless its roof color contrasts with its body, throwing $150 at Hyundai nets you this feature on both SEL models.

Moving up the ladder, Limited models start at $25,650, with AWD variants rolling out the door for $26,950. Achieving the Ultimate means parting with $28,350, though going AWD adds another $1,300. This places the top-most Kona at just under the 30k mark— an important bar to stay below, considering the Kona’s place in the Hyundai food chain.

Shorter than a CX-3 and boasting 6.7 inches of ground clearance, the Kona arrives at U.S. dealers this spring. While the B-segment crossover market isn’t huge, Hyundai needs all the sales it can get. It also needs a presence in as many segments as possible.

After seeing a 14.3 percent drop in U.S. volume last year, Hyundai’s planning a crossover offensive over the next two years, with the Kona being the first out the gate.

[Image: Hyundai]