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    Drew Dowdell

    Ask Me Anything: 2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD

      ...my that's a big ship...

    IMG_20191127_140956.jpgIn the C&G garage for the week is the 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD with a sticker price of $47,605. This is Hyundai's newest SUV, at least until the diminutive Hyundai Venue takes its place at the other end of the size spectrum.  The first impression I got from the Palisade was how big it is.  Even though it is around 7 inches shorter than a Buick Enclave, it looks bigger and beefier. Being a Limited means that it is in top trim with only carpeted floor mats as an additional option.  It's powered by a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated V6 producing 291 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque and equipped with start/stop.  On my quick initial test drive I found the start/stop function to be unobtrusive and quick to restart the vehicle when I was ready to roll.  Another immediate impression was with the sound quality of the Harmon Kardon sound system. I hooked my phone up via USB and Android Auto took over, playing my favorite Pandora station loud and clear. 

    Another feature I like is the video display in the dash when using the turn signal. It helps clear any blind spots one might have in this big SUV. 

    So while you're stuffing your faces with turkey this Thursday, think of questions you have about the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and post them below.

    2020 Hyundai Palisade qqmonroney[9116].jpg



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    Nice try, but it's an ugly take on the signature Cadillac front LED lightpipes. Like you said @Drew Dowdell trying to emulate Escalade. Nice try Hyun...🤢

    So much for being "Assembled in U.S.A." like so many think about many of the foreign cars in this country. 91% Korean parts...Final Assembly Korea.

    Where are the last 6% of parts from China and they didn't want to show it? 😂

    All in support of Korea if one buys it...👎🏻👎🏻

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    Have to say I love the Sierra Burgundy color. 😍

    Over all nice SUV, but I will stick with my Escalade. :P 

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    While i can understand how it would be attractive in the market, I can't like this thing.  Anything Hyundai or Kia still reeks of faux to me up and down.  I would spend a bit more for an Exploder or a Traverse or Enclave or even an Atlas.  Just like I wouldn't get a G70 over even an Alfa or something, unless a huge discount was involved.

    My wife is hinting at not wanting the next vehicle to be so large, or have the third row.  We must be moving out of that phase of life.  I will give credit to the Palisade for not being so ungainly feeling from a size perspective. 

    Edited by regfootball
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    2 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Nice try, but it's an ugly take on the signature Cadillac front LED lightpipes. Like you said @Drew Dowdell trying to emulate Escalade. Nice try Hyun...🤢

    So much for being "Assembled in U.S.A." like so many think about many of the foreign cars in this country. 91% Korean parts...Final Assembly Korea.

    Where are the last 6% of parts from China and they didn't want to show it? 😂

    All in support of Korea if one buys it...👎🏻👎🏻

    Good thing American companies like GM build all their cars and make all their components right here is the good old USA.

     

    Oh wait.

     

    And “light pipes”? Seriously?

     

    What should make you mad is that this looks better, on the inside and outside, than the Cadillac it competes with, the XT6. The most hilarious part here is that you didn’t mention the one MUCH MORE OBVIOUS thing that Hyundai copied here. The profile is almost 100% Tahoe (it can join the Expedition in that department). 

     

    Oh no! Guess that makes me a Hyundai fanboy now! Oh, the horror!

    Edited by surreal1272
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    Is it better than a Telluride?  Palisade and Telluride seem to be the top 2 full size crossovers on the market right now.   I assume the V6 is enough for 90% of the people that buy this, but always wonder if a turbo V6 would sell, perhaps not to this crowd, maybe on the Genesis version.

    I guess question 2 is should they make a bigger one to go after Ford Expedition and Tahoe?

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    Good thing American companies like GM build all their cars and make all their components right here is the good old USA.

     

    Oh wait.

     

    And “light pipes”? Seriously?

     

    What should make you mad is that this looks better, on the inside and outside, than the Cadillac it competes with, the XT6. The most hilarious part here is that you didn’t mention the one MUCH MORE OBVIOUS thing that Hyundai copied here. The profile is almost 100% Tahoe (it can join the Expedition in that department). 

     

    Oh no! Guess that makes me a Hyundai fanboy now! Oh, the horror!

    Where did I ever say GM builds all of their cars and makes all components here? Again, putting words in someone else's mouth. GM builds some makes in other countries because it's one way of getting away from the greedy UAW here.

    GM is an American company so the money goes to a company based here to strengthen our U.S. GDP. Get it? So all of this CUV is Korean made and built which all goes to Korea. How does that benefit us here? It doesn't. That was my point that you missed again...

    Drew D. has even agreed and stated previously that they are targeting Escalade with this CUV, as ridiculous as that seems on their part.

     

    Thanks for noticing my post and taking the time to reply. It means the world to me! 😂

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    4 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Is it better than a Telluride?  Palisade and Telluride seem to be the top 2 full size crossovers on the market right now.   I assume the V6 is enough for 90% of the people that buy this, but always wonder if a turbo V6 would sell, perhaps not to this crowd, maybe on the Genesis version.

    I guess question 2 is should they make a bigger one to go after Ford Expedition and Tahoe?

    It would have to be a BOF truck chassis SUV to actually be able to go after Tahoe and Expedition which Hyundai doesn't have. The one mid size BOF they had years ago Borrego or whatever retarded Hyundai name it was didn't sell well at all because it was a POS. 

    34 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    So when does the Genesis version come out?  No automaker can live on cars alone these days.

    Genesis needs to figure out cars before they can go after CUV's. New G90 is as ugly as they come. Horrible front end design and the back end looks pretty bland.

    Clearly a mishmash of 4 different design cues of competitors cars.

    Edited by USA-1
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    23 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    It would have to be a BOF truck chassis SUV to actually be able to go after Tahoe and Expedition which Hyundai doesn't have. The one mid size BOF they had years ago Borrego or whatever retarded Hyundai name it was didn't sell well at all because it was a POS. 

    Genesis needs to figure out cars before they can go after CUV's. New G90 is as ugly as they come. Horrible front end design and the back end looks pretty bland.

    Clearly a mishmash of 4 different design cues of competitors cars.

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences, probably not something that is a deal breaker for most buyers.  Hyundai could make a BOF chassis, although I highly doubt they would bother, unless they are doing a full size pickup truck.

    Genesis needs SUVs, they don't need to figure out cars, they could make 1-2 cars and throw 5 SUVs on the market, that is what sells.  I was actually thinking earlier, Lincoln will likely be an SUV only company by 2021, Cadillac by 2024 (maybe CT5 stays,  CT4 and CT6 will be dead by then), Lexus will be down to ES and LS, Infiniti the Q50 and Acura a TSLX class sedan.  I could see those 5 luxury brands making a total of 5 sedans by 2024.   And maybe NSX and LC stick around as halo coupes, but the American and Japanese luxury brands are going to run away from cars.  Genesis is wasting time in a dying market that the Germans have already won and pushed everyone else out of.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    So when does the Genesis version come out?  No automaker can live on cars alone these days.

    Not till next year at the earliest, possibly 2021

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    3 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences, probably not something that is a deal breaker for most buyers.  Hyundai could make a BOF chassis, although I highly doubt they would bother, unless they are doing a full size pickup truck.

    Genesis needs SUVs, they don't need to figure out cars, they could make 1-2 cars and throw 5 SUVs on the market, that is what sells.  I was actually thinking earlier, Lincoln will likely be an SUV only company by 2021, Cadillac by 2024 (maybe CT5 stays,  CT4 and CT6 will be dead by then), Lexus will be down to ES and LS, Infiniti the Q50 and Acura a TSLX class sedan.  I could see those 5 luxury brands making a total of 5 sedans by 2024.   And maybe NSX and LC stick around as halo coupes, but the American and Japanese luxury brands are going to run away from cars.  Genesis is wasting time in a dying market that the Germans have already won and pushed everyone else out of.

    Still apples to oranges comparing this Hyundai to a BOF fullsize Tahoe or Expedition. Unibody CUV's don't tow anywhere near what a BOF SUV can which is why most buy them. So maybe a Traverse fullsize FWD/AWD 3.6 V6 CUV would be a better comparison maybe Buick Enclave if the loaded version.

    Cyborgtruck is a very rigid skateboard platform to haul all the battery weight, just like any BEV, totally different platform compared to a standard CUV uni-body sub-frame setup, pretty hard to compare them as well.

    The luxury segment will always need sedans and have buyers, the Livery guys love the larger XTS, CT6, LS, S Class.

    So you think the Germans won't have to follow what the market dictates, but every other manufacturer will? LOL! They've all sold fewer sedans this year and last. MB is going through a huge restructuring, you know that dude.

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    I am not comparing Palisade to a Tahoe, I am saying Hyundai can make something bigger than Palisade with a turbo 6 or V8.  I doubt they care to enter that market though.

    German luxury sedans sell, they still do okay here, better than others, but they sell in Europe and China too.  Lexus GS, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti Q-whatever all rely on USA for the bulk of their sales and they don’t even sell here.

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    Hyundai's don't have the reliability image to even thing about entering a segment that GM reliable fullsize SUV's dominate. Even Ford struggles to compete with the GM SUV's solid offerings. New Exped./Navi caught up, but the loyalty isn't there and EB V6 only in both is a horrible idea need a V8 option. New 2021 fullsize GM triplets will help keep the lead. 

    BMW over MB in my book. Cadillac CTS sold pretty well here (2nd and 3rd Gen.) when comparative sedans were still selling well. Cadillac also has a dedicated factory in China and sell the ATS-L basically a CTS they call an ATS-L (long version) as well as XTS and CT6. They are opening new franchise dealerships in the UAE and Dubai to capture some of that luxury market as well.

    Edited by USA-1

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    3 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    Hyundai's don't have the reliability image to even thing about entering a segment that GM reliable fullsize SUV's dominate. Even Ford struggles to compete with the GM SUV's solid offerings. New Exped./Navi caught up, but the loyalty isn't there and EB V6 only in both is a horrible idea need a V8 option. New 2021 fullsize GM triplets will help keep the lead. 

    BMW over MB in my book. Cadillac CTS sold pretty well here (2nd and 3rd Gen.) when comparative sedans were still selling well. Cadillac also has a dedicated factory in China and sell the ATS-L basically a CTS they call an ATS-L (long version) as well as XTS and CT6. They are opening new franchise dealerships in the UAE and Dubai to capture some of that luxury market as well.

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Cadillac’s global volume is about 300k units, Audi, BMW and MB are over 2 million so Cadillac has some work to do in that regard.  Genesis even more so.

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    2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Cadillac’s global volume is about 300k units, Audi, BMW and MB are over 2 million so Cadillac has some work to do in that regard.  Genesis even more so.

    It's not reliability that sell them. It's that they are cheaper with a longer warranty, that's what sells them and John and Jane Q Public who have no clue what they are buying, just that it's cheaper and has a longer warranty...that they'll need.

    I never said Cadillac sells as many sedans as the German sedans, but they also lost a lot of their image in the 80's and 90's with horrible GM top brass making terrible decisions. I'm proud of Cadillac as a storied American brand and where they've taken in the last 15+ yrs.   

    Genesis is a work in progress if it even survives, it's been on a lifeline for a few years now, wasn't making it as a Hyundai Genesis. There's a reason they changed the name dropping Hyundai from it.

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    Genesis needs a SUVs and they’ll be fine.  The Palisade is better than the new Explorer based on reviews so make a luxury version and it will beat Lincoln or Infiniti or the XT6 and Genesis will have sales.

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    11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Sure but outside of trucks and SUV's have GM's been lauded or notable for their reliability over other brands?

     

     

     

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences....

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. Silverado 1500 3.0TD is rated at 9300, but the 6.2 is rated for 13,400. 

    Anyone know what engine was in the F-150 tug of war? 

    Edited by balthazar

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. A 1500 Silverado is around 11,500, I think (which is under-rated), or quite comparable to Tesla’s claim. I haven’t seen the 1500 3.0TD’s rating yet...

    The tri-motor Cybertruck would win a tug of war against a Super Duty F350, probably with ease due to the electric motors.   In fact, I bet the Tesla Roadster would win a tug of war with an F350.

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    19 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    There is no tesla roadster, Musk shot it into space, remember?

    Maybe he was referring to the new Tesla Roadster due in the future.  Supposed to have outrageous statistics...like 0-60 in less than 0 seconds or something... 😁

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    54 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. Silverado 1500 3.0TD is rated at 9300, but the 6.2 is rated for 13,400. 

    Anyone know what engine was in the F-150 tug of war? 

    It's irrelevant with these tug-of-war games. It's always the truck to break traction first that loses no matter what's under the hood. If they were both 4WD with it engaged and they both regulated the throttle the same then it would come down to which trucks drivetrain breaks first...weakest link.

    Edited by USA-1
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    19 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Where did I ever say GM builds all of their cars and makes all components here? Again, putting words in someone else's mouth. GM builds some makes in other countries because it's one way of getting away from the greedy UAW here.

    GM is an American company so the money goes to a company based here to strengthen our U.S. GDP. Get it? So all of this CUV is Korean made and built which all goes to Korea. How does that benefit us here? It doesn't. That was my point that you missed again...

    Drew D. has even agreed and stated previously that they are targeting Escalade with this CUV, as ridiculous as that seems on their part.

     

    Thanks for noticing my post and taking the time to reply. It means the world to me! 😂

    Aaaaaaand.....triggered. 
     

    Thanks for playing and displaying your continued inability to understand context. (Looks for Drew’s mention of the led piping and finds nothing in this article yet finds a fair amount of praise for it). 
     

    And the whole “made in the USA” schtick is fake outrage when one realizes that they are posting said outrage on a device NOT made in the USA. And do you think the folks who work at the many foreign car plants in this country give two $h!s about where the money ends up? No. They are getting paid and putting THEIR money back into the economy. Now apply your “Made in the USA” motto to everything you own and then realize how asinine it sounds when you realize how hypocritical you are. 

    Edited by surreal1272

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    33 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    (Looks for Drew’s mention of the led piping and finds nothing in this article yet finds a fair amount of praise for it).

     

    Aaaaaaand....this was easy to find. Anything else you need help with Errol Hassol? 😂

     

    985348799_DrewD.takeonHyundaiPalisade.thumb.JPG.1512c78db4660cc6bce0716b92e5c5b1.JPG

    Edited by USA-1
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    3 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    Maybe he was referring to the new Tesla Roadster due in the future.  Supposed to have outrageous statistics...like 0-60 in less than 0 seconds or something... 😁

    Right the new Tesla, and it has rocket thrusters and like 7,000 lb-ft of torque.

    • Haha 1

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      Trim: GT
      Engine: 60kW Electric Motors (Front and Rear Axles), 2.0L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Single Speed Reduction Gearbox (Front & Rear), All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 80 @ 0 (Electric), 117 @ 4,500 (Gas),  190 (Total)
      Torque @ RPM: 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 137 @ 4,500 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: MPGe/Gasoline Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $41,495
      As Tested Price: $43,600 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Interior Package - $400.00
      Pearl White Paint - $395.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats and Portfolio - $145.00
      Charging Cable Storage Bag - $70.00
    • By William Maley
      Nearly two years ago, I drove the then all-new Hyundai Kona crossover at a press event. It was a unique looking vehicle that was entering the growing subcompact crossover class. Out of the three Hyundai vehicles I drove, the Kona impressed me most with its performance and value for money. But if there is something I have learned over eight years with reviewing vehicles, is that I can’t take first impressions as final. It has been a long wait, but I finally got my hands on a 2020 Kona Ultimate AWD. Let’s see if my first impression can still hold up.
      The Outer Limits (of Exterior Design)
      You may be forgiven for thinking that the Kona has just arrived in a UFO from Planet Nine due to its shape. But Hyundai knew they needed to make a splash in what is becoming a very competitive class. Designers took some influence from the Jeep Cherokee with a rounded front end and the front lights being separated into daytime lights and headlights. Another design trait is the slit that sits between the grille and hood cutline. Finishing off the look is body cladding running along the lower edge and a bright green paint color only available on the turbo engine models. It may seem like an odd mashup of ideas, but it works surprisingly well.
      A Conventional Interior
      Some will be disappointed that Hyundai didn’t continue the wacky design for the Kona’s interior. But having an interior that is user friendly will always pull ahead of interesting design. That isn’t to say Hyundai hasn’t added some special touches such as vent surrounds and seat stitching matching the exterior color. Hard plastics are used throughout, but they don’t feel hollow or cheap when you run your hand across.
      There is a fair amount of space for those sitting upfront. Comfort is ok for short trips, but I found myself wanting more thigh support on longer trips. In the back, there is a large amount of headroom for most passengers. Legroom is a different story as tall people will find their knees pressed against the front seats. Cargo space is another area where the Kona is lacking. With the rear seats up, the Kona’s cargo area measures 19.2 cubic feet - about 0.1 cubic feet more than the Toyota C-HR. Fold them down and space increases to 45.8. This trails the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
      The One To Still Be Beaten (Infotainment-wise)
      The Kona Ultimate comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s infotainment system. This system has consistently been one of my favorites as Hyundai nails the basics - simple interface, blazing-fast performance, and having features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My only complaint is that the design is starting to look dated when compared to other automakers and their updated infotainment. 
      Turbo Power!
      Two powertrains are available in the Kona. SE, SEL, and SEL Plus use the 2.0L four-cylinder offering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic. Limited and Ultimate come with the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front or all-wheel drive is available for either engine.
      Zippy is the word to describe the performance of the turbo engine. The Kona easily accelerates away from a stop and has no issue with passing a slower vehicle. The dual-clutch transmission seems to stumble when leaving a stop, but does get itself together at higher speeds. I also found the transmission is slow to react when your floor the throttle, taking a few milliseconds to downshift.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.6T with AWD are 26 City/29 Highway/27 Combined. My average for the week landed around 26.7 mpg, mostly due to cold weather during the week I had the Kona.
      Woah, This Crossover Handles
      If you wanted a subcompact crossover that handled decently, your choices were either the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR. The Kona enters the ring as the third choice, and possibly the best. On the backroads, the Kona feels quite agile and has almost no body roll. If I was to nitpick, the steering doesn’t have as much feel as you’ll find in the CX-3. But it feels noticeably better than the C-HR. Ride quality is impressive with most bumps being isolated from passengers sitting inside. Not too much wind and road noise come inside.
      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Nearly two years ago, I drove the then all-new Hyundai Kona crossover at a press event. It was a unique looking vehicle that was entering the growing subcompact crossover class. Out of the three Hyundai vehicles I drove, the Kona impressed me most with its performance and value for money. But if there is something I have learned over eight years with reviewing vehicles, is that I can’t take first impressions as final. It has been a long wait, but I finally got my hands on a 2020 Kona Ultimate AWD. Let’s see if my first impression can still hold up.
      The Outer Limits (of Exterior Design)
      You may be forgiven for thinking that the Kona has just arrived in a UFO from Planet Nine due to its shape. But Hyundai knew they needed to make a splash in what is becoming a very competitive class. Designers took some influence from the Jeep Cherokee with a rounded front end and the front lights being separated into daytime lights and headlights. Another design trait is the slit that sits between the grille and hood cutline. Finishing off the look is body cladding running along the lower edge and a bright green paint color only available on the turbo engine models. It may seem like an odd mashup of ideas, but it works surprisingly well.
      A Conventional Interior
      Some will be disappointed that Hyundai didn’t continue the wacky design for the Kona’s interior. But having an interior that is user friendly will always pull ahead of interesting design. That isn’t to say Hyundai hasn’t added some special touches such as vent surrounds and seat stitching matching the exterior color. Hard plastics are used throughout, but they don’t feel hollow or cheap when you run your hand across.
      There is a fair amount of space for those sitting upfront. Comfort is ok for short trips, but I found myself wanting more thigh support on longer trips. In the back, there is a large amount of headroom for most passengers. Legroom is a different story as tall people will find their knees pressed against the front seats. Cargo space is another area where the Kona is lacking. With the rear seats up, the Kona’s cargo area measures 19.2 cubic feet - about 0.1 cubic feet more than the Toyota C-HR. Fold them down and space increases to 45.8. This trails the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
      The One To Still Be Beaten (Infotainment-wise)
      The Kona Ultimate comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s infotainment system. This system has consistently been one of my favorites as Hyundai nails the basics - simple interface, blazing-fast performance, and having features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My only complaint is that the design is starting to look dated when compared to other automakers and their updated infotainment. 
      Turbo Power!
      Two powertrains are available in the Kona. SE, SEL, and SEL Plus use the 2.0L four-cylinder offering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic. Limited and Ultimate come with the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front or all-wheel drive is available for either engine.
      Zippy is the word to describe the performance of the turbo engine. The Kona easily accelerates away from a stop and has no issue with passing a slower vehicle. The dual-clutch transmission seems to stumble when leaving a stop, but does get itself together at higher speeds. I also found the transmission is slow to react when your floor the throttle, taking a few milliseconds to downshift.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.6T with AWD are 26 City/29 Highway/27 Combined. My average for the week landed around 26.7 mpg, mostly due to cold weather during the week I had the Kona.
      Woah, This Crossover Handles
      If you wanted a subcompact crossover that handled decently, your choices were either the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR. The Kona enters the ring as the third choice, and possibly the best. On the backroads, the Kona feels quite agile and has almost no body roll. If I was to nitpick, the steering doesn’t have as much feel as you’ll find in the CX-3. But it feels noticeably better than the C-HR. Ride quality is impressive with most bumps being isolated from passengers sitting inside. Not too much wind and road noise come inside.
      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
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