Many consumers have been eagerly awaiting Hyundai, makers of the highly popular Santa Fe and Tuscon crossovers, to enter the compact crossover SUV game.

And at last, it has. The 2018 Hyundai Kona was released in March, signaling the brand’s maiden voyage into this niche segment. Let’s take a look at the all-new Kona and what car shoppers can expect to find in this new vehicle.

2018 Hyundai Kona: First Glance

Hyundai took a detour from its Southwest-themed model names and went all the way to a district in Hawaii for inspiration for the Kona. The sculpted lines in the body of the Kona are designed to represent the flowing lava one might find on the Big Island, which gives the vehicle a sporty and aerodynamic look.

The Kona takes the “compact” in compact SUV to new lengths, quite literally. At just 164 inches bumper to bumper, the Kona is 2 inches shorter than Hyundai’s 2-door Veloster hatchback.

But at the same time, the 39.6 inches of front headroom and 41.5 inches of front legroom are right on par with the 39.9 and 41.3 inches found in the Santa Fe, Hyundai’s largest SUV that measures a full 29 inches longer than the Kona.

That interior space is filled with a standard 7-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, USB input jacks, and steering wheel Bluetooth® controls to name just a few features.  

Meanwhile, the space under the hood is occupied by a 4-cylinder engine that ranges from 147 to 175 horsepower depending on trim level along with optional all-wheel drive (AWD).

For safety, a number of advanced features come standard in the Kona, including Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The Kona also returns impressive fuel economy numbers, with 27 MPG in the city and up to 33 MPG on the highway registering among the best in its class.

Last but never least, the Kona comes at an affordable MSRP, under $20,000.

With so many selling points, Hyundai should’ve just named this model the “haohao,” which is the Hawaiian word meaning “stunning.”  

Discover a Taste of Kona in New Bern, NC

You don’t have to go all the way to Hawaii for a Kona flavor. You can see the 2018 Hyundai Kona for sale in New Bern, North Carolina. Stop by Hyundai of New Bern on Highway 70 and “e kipa iā mākou,” or “visit us,” today.