The Hyundai Kona is a small, funky crossover that’s great for the urban beat, but can you take it off-road?
Let’s face it – most small crossovers don’t have an off-roading bone in their bodies. While most subcompact crossovers, apart from the Toyota C-HR, offer all-wheel drive, it’s only meant for tacking slightly slippery conditions. Wet pavement? Yes. Rocky off-road trails? Forget it. However, some of these cars actually offer a lockable center differential, which allows 50/50 torque distribution to the front and rear. Does that make them more off-road worthy? We take the all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona up Gold Mine Hill to find out.
On the up side, the 2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD we tested has a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. It puts out 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. That means good performance on the road, given its size. Its short front and rear overhangs and modest ground clearance of 6.7 inches, it should also be decent off-road.
Up the first stage of Gold Mine Hill, loose rocks and a steep grade make traction, power and momentum crucial. If a car makes it to the second stage – a tight, banked corner – its articulation and ability to split torque to the wheels still on the ground will be tested. Finally, the third stage is a narrow climb between two trees with a large hole that will test approach and break-over angles. Will the Kona make it to the top? Watch the video above to find out! The results may surprise you.
Stick around for “Cool Tech with Mike” as well, as our own Michael Curtis recounts some of the neat tech features in the 2018 Hyundai Kona.