Following the announcement by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) that the Hyundai Kona will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, the order books have opened for the upcoming model, and we have learnt from a source that the soon-arriving B-segment SUV will enter our market with two powertrain options across three variants – a 2.0 Standard, 2.0 Mid and a 1.6 T-GDI High.

The base Standard model will be powered by the 2.0 litre Nu MPI Atkinson naturally aspirated engine, and this will be mated to a six-speed automatic torque converter gearbox. At the Kona’s global debut, this engine was rated at 149 PS and 179 Nm of torque, and is claimed to propel the Kona from 0-100 km/h in 10 seconds and to a top speed of 194 km/h.

The High top-spec variant will feature a 1.6 litre T-GDI turbo petrol four, which for global markets was rated at 177 PS and 265 Nm of torque, and will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Acceleration is a claimed 7.7 seconds over the 0-100 km/h benchmark, and top speed is 210 km/h.

Rolling stock for the base Standard trim will be 17-inch wheels on 215/55 tyres, while the Mid and High trim levels get 235/35R18 items. Passive safety includes six airbags across the board, with the top 1.6 T-GDI High variant additionally receiving the Hyundai Smart Sense active safety suite that includes forward collision avoidance assist (AEB), lane keeping assist and Smart Cruise Control (adaptive cruise control).

Lighting equipment on the 2.0 Standard variant starts with halogen headlamps and bulb combination tail lamps, while the 2.0 Mid variant steps up to bi-function projection-beam LED headlamps with static cornering lights, along with LED combination tail lamps. The 1.6 T-GDI High variant adds to the lighting setup of the Mid variant, and adds smart high beam assistance.

Inside, seating in the Kona starts with manually adjustable front seats and manually controlled air-conditioning. The 2.0 Mid and 1.6 T-GDI High variants add eight-way power adjustment with lumbar support for the driver’s seat while the front passenger seat remains with manual adjustment, and air-conditioning gets upgraded to single-zone automatic climate control.

The upper two variants also get a head-up display, while the base Standard variant does without. The interior of the Kona can also be expected to feature bold visual elements such as constrast trim pieces, stitching on the seats an steering wheel, as well as coloured seatbelts. Infotainment equipment will be the same across all Kona variants – this includes a six-speaker system with seven-inch touchscreen, auxiliary audio input, USB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Buyers who have their minds set on the Kona will want to register their interest on Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors’ website, and pay RM288 in order to secure a unit. Final pricing structure remains undisclosed, however the website states that pricing starts from RM115,000.

This starting price for the Kona places it well within the realm of fellow B-segment SUVs, namely the Honda HR-V that is currently priced between RM104,000 and RM118,582 with the GST exemption currently in effect. Pricier options in this category include the Mazda CX-3 at RM126,829 and the Toyota C-HR at RM144,336, however the Mazda and Toyota are each offered in just one variant.