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2018 Hyundai Kona says 'Aloha' to the small SUV segment

Distinctive styling and smart cabin tech set this cute ute apart from the pack.

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Chris Paukert

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Given this tiny SUV's Hawaiian name, it's no surprise that Hyundai chose The Big Island to host its media launch.

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Hyundai's 2018 Kona is here to take on entry-level B-segment SUVs like the Honda HR-V and Ford EcoSport, not to mention its corporate cousin, the Kia Soul.

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A 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine is standard, but the 1.6-liter turbo offers much more power without a big efficiency hit.

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The Kona's most normal view is its profile, but even that's distinctive.

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The Kona starts at $19,500 before $950 in destination and delivery fees. Pricing for a top-trim AWD model is just shy of $30,000, and can crest that barrier with enough.

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The Kona is available with a bevy of smart and desirable cabin tech options.

A bit more visual spice would be welcome, however.

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Light fixtures are split front and rear. The slim upper housing features are the daytime running lamps, while the larger bumper-level lights are the headlamps.

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The headlamps are LED on most trims, and auto high-beam assist is available.

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Turn signals are located down low in these unusual blisters.

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All-wheel drive models feature a more sophisticated fully independent rear suspension.

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The Kona's face was inspired by small bulldogs.

No, I'm not kidding.

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Click or swipe through to see more of the 2018 Hyundai Kona.

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A dirt road is about as much off-roading as most Kona owners will attempt, and that's just fine considering this SUV's sedan-like ground clearance.

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Like some other popular models in its segment, the Kona features unusual love-or-hate styling.

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A 7-inch touchscreen is standard, but this upper trim model features an 8-inch display with built-in navigation, Blue Link telematics and app support.

Regardless of which system you choose, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration come standard.

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A conventional six-speed torque-converter automatic comes on lower-end 2.0-liter models, but the 1.7-liter turbo engine is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Shift paddles would be a welcome upgrade.

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A Qi wireless device charger is available.

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Keep clicking or scrolling for tons of additional images of the 2018 Hyundai Kona.

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