BUYING a compact SUV these days can be a daunting prospect with an abundance of models in all sorts of guises and Korean car maker Hyundai has recently added its own snazzy newcomer to the mix in the shape of the all-new Kona.
With eye-catching styling cues with a muscular, sporty stance the five-door Kona, in Premium GT trim level, certainly looks the business.
There are smart 18-inch alloys, body-coloured bumpers, a black roof and black wheel arches, roof rails, a rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, a silver skid plate and the look is completed by a black grille proudly housing the Hyundai badge.
Move inside and the Kona oozes quality, although to be fair the range-topping Premium GT model does carry a fairly hefty £25,415 price-tag so you would expect there to be a raft of techno treats - and there are.
In fact it has quite a premium feel to it with leather seats that can be heated, cooled and electrically adjusted.
There is a head up display, an eight-inch colour touchscreen, a heated steering wheel, sat nav, full phone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a wireless phone charging pod, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker Krell sound system.
The interior is bright and clutter-free with an ultra-modern feel to it. There is ample seat and steering wheel adjustment so it's easy to get the ideal driving position and the slightly elevated seating results in excellent all-round visibility.
All the controls are well positioned for ease of use and I particularly liked the touchscreen which was simple to operate and programming destinations into the sat nav system was very easy.
Being a compact crossover, space in the back of the car is a little restricted for taller passengers who may find the leg and head room a bit of a squeeze. But, that said youngsters will find the dimensions fine.
And although the boot is not the biggest in class with a capacity ranging from 361 to 1,143 litres, it is ample for a family weekly shop or a few overnight bags.
The car was powered by a 1.6-litre 177PS petrol engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
It could sprint from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and maxed out at 127mph. According to official figures, this Kona could deliver combined fuel economy of 42.2mpg with carbon emissions of 153g/km.
One of the most impressive features of the Kona is the way it handles. It's a beautifully simple car to drive and is as happy ambling around town as it is eating up the motorway miles. The automatic transmission is smooth and responsive and there is ample power on tap from the petrol engine.
Faced with the open road, the Kona can be pushed hard into tight bends with confidence. The steering is precise and there is no sign of any body sway. There are Comfort, Eco and Sport drive modes to alter the car's handling and the 4WD is a reassuring asset to help deal with any unexpected cold snaps.
When being driven at higher speeds on motorways you can expect to hear a little wind and road surface noise, but generally the car is well insulated against outside sounds. And the highly efficient suspension system irons out the undulating road surfaces.
The Kona was awarded the maximum five stars for safety when it was Euro NCAP tested and boasts a wealth of features, including blind spot detection, lane keep assist, rear traffic alert, driver attention alert, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition and plenty more besides.
All in all, the Kona is another welcome addition to the fastest growing segment in the motoring industry. It's athletically styled, packed with techno treats, is fabulous to drive and offers lots of practicality along the way.
Hyundai Kona 1.6 T-GDi 7-speed DCT 4WD Premium GT
Mechanical: 177ps, 1,591cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 42.2
Insurance Group: 19
Bik rating: 29%
Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles