Hyundai's Kona hybrid: should it come to SA?

2020 Hyundai Kona Hybrid. Image: Supplied
2020 Hyundai Kona Hybrid. Image: Supplied

• Hyundai launched the Kona crossover in late 2018.

• There are two models in the range. 

• Engines on offer are the 1.0-litre turbopetrol and a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated.

I first saw the Hyundai Kona at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and immediately knew it would be popular in South Africa. 

The South Korean carmaker has gained a strong foothold in the crossover and SUV market with its Venue, Creta, Kona, Tuscon, and seven-seater Santa Fe. 

It has every box ticked and the Kona fits into the stylish, crossover segment that many urbanites enjoy. Many people like a pseudo-SUV that's light on fuel, easy to park, and good to look at. The Kona fits right in there. 

Launched in late 2018, there are two engine choices in the range: a 1.0-litre turbopetrol and a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated. 

The turbo derivative is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while its bigger capacity engine sibling uses a six-speed automatic gearbox. 

In Europe however, Hyundai offers a hybrid version that marries a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor that stores power in batteries to power the car more efficiently. 

Hyundai says the hybrid model emits only 99g/km of C02 and that the car emits zero emissions when only the electric motor is working. The petrol engine kicks in at higher speeds. 

Should Hyundai consider adding the hybrid model to the local range? It's hard to say as the decision to only sell two derivatives is clearly based on solid market research. 

Yes, it'll be more expensive than the current duo. But it's about educating the market and introducing them to new technologies. 

But it would be interesting to hear from our readers who own a Kona or if you were thinking about buying one, would you consider a hybrid version? Email us here. 

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