Hyundai Kona Play

1.0 T-GDi 120ps

Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, front
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, side
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, rear
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, interior
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, badge
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, rear seats
Hyundai Kona Play, 2019, boot

THE compact SUV segment is a congested one but given the classification is pretty much on a par with the traditional family hatchback - that was for many years auto manufacturers' bread and butter - it's a segment everyone really need to be competing in.

Hyundai is a relatively recent entrant with its Kona, aiming to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke, Seat Arona and Vauxhall Mokka.

While these cars might in footprint terms be smaller than a traditional medium family hatch, given their increased ride height and SUV styling - and the interior space that brings - they are very much in family car territory.

The Kona ticks plenty of boxes in terms of what people are looking for in a vehicle like this. It manages to be suitably chunky and just a little bit stylish at the same time

For a small-ish car it boasts a big look, thanks in part to its wheel arch cladding and clever styling.

That extends to the interior, where again it has that big, family-friendly feel.

It's a model where choices are relatively simple, certainly in terms of engines.

The diesel offering that was initially available has been withdrawn, so from an internal combustion perspective you can choose from a 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo, a 175bhp 1.6-litre petrol and a self-charging hybrid. There is also an all-electric model.

Trim levels are more extensive. There were five and now there are six.

This model was the all-new Play version, which sits more or less in the middle of a range that previously consisted of S, SE, Premium, Premium SE and Premium GT.

Play fits in above SE and below Premium. Based on the SE it somewhat bizarrely adds extra features but costs a few hundred pounds less.

Play trim got rolled out on the Kona after it was introduced on the i10 and i20 models.

The Kona range starts at a little over £17,500 while the Play model costs £18,355.

Play trim includes 18-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows and metallic or pearl-effect paint.

If you're into your car colours big time then this is a very tempting feature. There's seven colours to choose from and if you were otherwise specifying this feature as an option it would set you back £565.

Other Play features, shared with SE, include cruise control, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, a space-saver spare wheel, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights,leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob and electric windows.

You'll also get a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen system (the standard one is five-inch), with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reversing camera.

High tech and helpful safety features include lane-keeping assistance, driver attention alert, hill-start assist and downhill brake control.

It's worth stressing that the Play model is only available with the 1.0-litre petrol engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.

The 1.0-litre unit is a capable performer it has to be said and powers the Kona along at an impressive pace.

The Kona also handles nicely, with little pitch and roll and a sprightly and sporty feel overall.

The ride is firm-ish, though far from jarring.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Kona Play 1.0 T-GDi 120ps

Price: £18,555

Mechanical: 120ps, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 12 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 126g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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