Hyundai is finally giving us a peek at its long-rumored subcompact crossover. The automaker’s first B-segment SUV, called the Kona, will launch in the Korean market this summer before making its way to the U.S. in early 2018.
Just like many of Hyundai’s other offerings, including the Santa Fe, Tucson, and the previous Veracruz, the Kona SUV is named after a North American travel destination. And the automaker definitely picked a good spot.
“The Hawaiian destination is valued by North Pacific adventurers as a base for many thrill-seeking activities, including surfing, water skiing and scuba diving, among other extreme sports,” Hyundai said in a press release. “The island’s energetic image is reflected in the innovative, practical and highly functional design of Hyundai’s new lifestyle-focused SUV.”
Plenty of subcompact crossovers look and feel more like hatchbacks, but Hyundai says the Kona has “true SUV genes.” The styling of the Kona provides clues to the future design direction of the Hyundai brand.
In the past, we spied a camouflaged Hyundai subcompact CUV that looked ready to slot below the Tucson. According to recent reports, it’s possible the car could be based on the global i20, which is closely related to the Accent subcompact sold in the U.S. The Kona is expected to compete with the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Juke, and the Chevrolet Trax.
Despite the timing of the teaser, Hyundai says it will not bring the Kona to the New York auto show. Expect some news about the Sonata instead, Hyundai says.