2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate-a Tropical Treat

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Driving a 2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate recently seemed to put me in a tropical state of mind, something akin to listening to Jimmy Buffet songs. It’s easy to see why Hyundai named the car after the lovely Hawaiian Island of Kona. The bright neon lime-green colors of my test Kona brightened my spirits all week long.

Even better, those bright green exterior colors extend into the cabin, which is trimmed with the same bright color they call “Lime Twist.” The leather seats in the Kona’s cabin also offer a feeling of luxury that I didn’t expect to find in an entry-level CUV. The leather trim extended to the shift knob and the tilting/telescoping steering wheel that could be easily configured to my taste.

2020 Kona Ultimate

2020 Hyundai Kona sideview

Photo: Hyundai

The Kona Ultimate also drove like a tropical dream, responding quickly and efficiently to my slightest touch. Kona Ultimate FWD operates on a Gamma 1.6 liter 4-cylinder direct-injected, turbocharged engine that produces 175 HP at 5,500 rpm. The Kona’s seven-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission (DCT) translates to seamless shifting plus brisk acceleration.

I especially appreciated being offered a Drive Mode Selection, so the Kona could be easily customized to fit my needs. I’ve always liked the feeling of more control that is offered by a choice between Normal and Sport modes. While normal mode helps with fuel economy, it’s so much more fun to drive in sport mode with its more responsive performance. For a daily commuter, no doubt normal mode is more efficient.

The 2020 Kona Ultimate’s estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg in town and 32 mpg on the highway, for an average of 30 mpg. So worrying about using too much gasoline wasn’t a problem during my week to drive. My test Kona featured 18-inch alloy wheels that were a big help in driving on any type road surface.

Hyundai Smart Sense Technology

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Photo: Hyundai

The MSRP for the 2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD is a very affordable $27,750. This would make a great starter vehicle to buy for a college-bound student, or even an over-achieving high school senior. Parents and students alike will be reassured by all the safety and technology features on the Kona.

Standard Hyundai SmartSense safety technologies like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, lane keeping assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning are included. A rear cross traffic collision warning is also featured.

Smart Cruise Control that adds radar sensors that help the vehicle maintain a fixed following distance behind any vehicles has been added to the 2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate model. A 4.2 inch color multi-information display is included and wireless device charging is also featured.

Heads Up Display

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate

Photo: Hyundai

One of my favorite new tech features, a Heads-Up Display system, is also featured on the Ultimate. By projecting a virtual image onto the panel mounted behind the instrument panel, it helps drivers keep their eyes on the road by showing speed and navigation information. This HU display is the type of top-rated technology usually found on more expensive vehicles.

Kona Ultimate’s premium infotainment system offers Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio and Blue Link® LTE-powered connectivity. The standard seven-inch color LCD display includes AM/FM/MP3 touchscreen audio, auxiliary input jacks, voice-command recognition, and Rear View Monitor.