Alongside the Palisade, Hyundai Sime Darby Malaysia (HSDM) today also announced that the new Kona facelift will be introduced here on our shores this year, less than a year after the model’s original local debut.
According to HSDM Managing Director Low Yuan Lung, the Kona “captured the attention of many who yearn for a distinctively designed compact SUV”, and hopes that the new facelift model will be able to “capture more hearts this time around”.
On the outside, the Hyundai Kona facelift introduced globally last year features a restyled front fascia with a sportier edge, as well as a slightly tweaked rear end. HSDM also says that it will get new 17- and 18-inch alloys, hinting at two different variants to be offered here at launch.
Moving inside, the dashboard architecture gets an ever-so-slightly tweak to its design, with a more horizontal centre console, alongside new air vents and speaker grille designs. There is also a new updated infotainment system measuring eight-inches in size (up from seven), though other markets also get a larger 10.25-inch option, running Hyundai’s latest BlueLink software.
Other changes on the interior include a new electronic parking brake, new ambient lighting around the central cup holder and front foot wells, height-adjustable front seats, as well as additional USB ports.
HSDM says that the new Hyundai Kona facelift will be powered by a Smartstream G2.0 engine, paired to carmaker’s own intelligent variable transmission to send 149 hp and 180 Nm of torque to the front wheels.
Interestingly, the press release has no mention of the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that is currently available on the range-topping Kona here in Malaysia, which makes 177 hp and 265 Nm of torque, translating to a century sprint time of 7.7 seconds – that’s even faster than the Proton X50 Flagship! Fingers crossed that it’s not being cancelled.
On the safety front, The SmartSense advanced driver assistance system on the updated Hyundai Kona has also received a sizeable upgrade. New features include an improved Smart Cruise Control with stop and go function, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist which can now engage the rear differential brakes, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (previously only a warning), Safe Exit Warning, and Intelligent Speed Limit Warning.
The camera-based Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection is now standard across the range in global markets, but an upgraded system which uses an additional sensor can now be fitted, with support for cyclist detection and better reliability in bad weather conditions.
On our current Malaysian-specification Hyundai Kona, only the range-topping 1.6 Turbo variant gets access to these ADAS features. It’ll be interesting to see how HSDM will spec the cars here this time around, as competitors such as Perodua have already brought more value down to even their entry-level variants (on the Ativa).
As a recap, the Hyundai Kona is offered here in Malaysia in three variants; the two lower variants get a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 149 hp and 180 Nm, paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the range-topper is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged mill with 177 hp and 265 Nm, paired to a seven-speed DCT.
Prices for the Hyundai Kona starts at RM124k, going up to RM152k for the range-topping 1.6 Turbo variant. It remains to be seen if HSDM will be hiking up the prices for the Hyundai Kona facelift here in Malaysia, but at least we don’t have to wait too long to find out – spy shots have already caught the facelift model arriving at Malaysian ports!