Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has officially launched the 2021 Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo, as well as the Kona N Line with the same turbo engine. The Kona 1.6 Turbo is priced at RM146,888, while the sporty N Line tops the range at RM156,888, on-the-road with sales tax exemption (50% for CBU imports), without insurance.

The most powerful B-segmemt SUV in Malaysia is powered by Hyundai’s Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi turbocharged engine with 198 PS and 265 Nm of torque at 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via a Smartsteam 7DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Compared to the previous 1.6T engine, the Smartstream G1.6 gets Continuous Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) and makes 21 PS more. 0-100 km/h is close to hot hatch territory at 7.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than the old Kona Turbo. The Kona facelift was launched here in April with a 2.0 litre MPI engine with 149 PS and 180 Nm at 4,500 rpm, so the Turbo is a big upgrade in the power department.

The facelifted Kona comes in two distinct faces, with one reserved for the N Line. The regular face is a heavy rework with a slimmer and wider grille taking centre-stage, and the Hyundai logo now sitting on the bodywork above the grille (previously in the middle of the face). The letterbox vent above the grille is no more.

The SUV-style black plastic body cladding is connected from the bumpers to the wheelarches, and there are silver elements in the front and rear bumpers. This is the look of the 2.0 Active and 1.6 Turbo, but the latter gains a roof rack and two-tone body colour.

Of the two facelift looks, the Kona N Line’s face is more similar to the original, with the logo in the grille and a vent above the grille, although it’s now split into three. Below, you’ll find an N-style aerodynamic lip with low-lying corner fins plus larger and “more technical” air intake features.

The N Line does away with the new full-width black cladding, or any cladding for that matter – it’s all body colour here. No skid plate-mimicking trim too – the rear end sports a diffuser and twin pipes on one side. The one big pipe on each side layout is reserved for the full cream 280 PS/392 Nm Kona N.

Like the 2.0 Active, both the 1.6T and N Line come with 18-inch alloys, but the sportier version gets a dedicated rim design. The new variants can be had in five colours – Surfy Blue, Dive in Jeju, Ignite Flame, Pulse Red and Misty Jungle – all with a black roof (A pillars and wing mirror caps are also in black) for the two-tone look.

Inside, both variants get a 10.25-inch digital cluster in addition to the 8.0-inch head unit with Bluetooth and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, electric parking brake, new ambient light tech (illuminates the centre cupholders and footwell) and aluminium rings around the speakers and air vents.

The N Line cabin features black leather combined with suede, ventilated and heated front seats, red stitching, metal pedals and N logos on the gear lever, steering wheel and seats. Speaking of interior themes, HSDM is offering an alternative to the dark interior for the non-N Line 1.6 Turbo, which can be had with light beige interior trim.

The new Kona variants come with Hyundai’s Smartsense active safety and driving assistance tech. The pack includes Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go that keeps the SCC running even when the vehicle comes to a complete stop.

Other features are Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) with Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). All these are also on the 2.0 Active, but SCC, or adaptive cruise control, is exclusive to turbo variants.

With the two new variants, the CBU Kona range consists of the base 2.0 at RM119,888, the 2.0 Active at RM136,888, the 1.6 Turbo at RM146,888 (RM10k extra) and the N Line at RM156,888 (another RM10k extra). As usual for HSDM, the Kona comes with a five-year or 300,000 km warranty and a three-year or 50,000 km free maintenance package.

So, what do you think of the new Kona variants? If you’re thinking RM157k is a bit steep for a small SUV, how about seeing it this way – what other 200 hp new car can you find for the money today? More on the 2.0L NA variants here.

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 1.6 N Line

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 2.0 Active

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 2.0 facelift

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