The Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) models were together named the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year automotive media jury.
This is the first time that a Hyundai CUV model has won the Utility Vehicle of the Year category. The winner of the CUV category is announced every year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year jury is made up of an independent panel of top journalists and analysts based in the US and Canada. Since 1994, the organization has recognized top cars, trucks and utility vehicles. This year’s jury of 54 media outlets includes journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV broadcast channels, digital columnists and freelance media.
Apart from the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award, the Hyundai Kona has also achieved international recognition during the past year by winning an iF Design Award in the Automobiles / Vehicles category. The award recognized the elegant and expressive appearance of Hyundai Motor’s first subcompact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).
The iF Design Award is an arbiter of quality and one of the most important design awards. Since 1953 the iF, which stands for international Forum, has singled out worldwide products in all branches of industry for awards in recognition of their outstanding design. Hyundai Motor also won the iF Design Award in 2015 for the i20, in 2016 for the Tucson, and in 2017 for the new-generation i30 — all after undergoing a rigorous testing cycle adopted by iF to keep the quality of the award as high as possible.
Earlier in 2018, the Hyundai Kona also received a Red Dot Design Award — one of the most renowned international design and innovation prizes. The Kona, which was recognized for outstanding design and innovation, was awarded together with Hyundai’s NEXO Fuel Cell vehicle in the Cars and Motorcycles category.
Hyundai’s Kona has also received a GOOD DESIGN Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Founded in Chicago in 1950, the prestigious GOOD DESIGN Awards honor the yearly achievements of the best industrial and graphic designers and world manufacturers for their pursuit of extraordinary design excellence.
Other awards won by the Hyundai Kona over the past year include the Sub-Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas at the 2018 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Annual Texas Truck Rodeo; and the ABC award for Best Car of the Year 2019 in Spain.
The Hyundai Kona, launched regionally in August 2018, is available in Africa and the Middle East with two highly advanced engine and transmission options: A 1.6-liter T-GDI or a 2-liter MPI Atkinson cycle unit.
The Hyundai Gamma 1.6-liter T-GDI petrol engine is offered with four-wheel drive and is paired with a seven-speed double clutch automatic transmission. The engine, which delivers 177 PS / 130 kW and 265 Nm torque, handles every environment with ease. The turbocharger is equipped with an electronically controlled waste-gate actuator that improves fuel efficiency by reducing pumping losses as well as improving throttle response and low-end torque. The unit features a six-hole GDI injector, pressured to a higher-than-average 200 bar, securing a clean combustion.