GALLERY: Hyundai Kona 2.0 MPI Mid – first photos of local-spec naturally-aspirated variant, 149 PS/179 Nm – paultan.org

Yesterday, Hyundai Sime Darby Motors gave us a short test drive of the forthcoming Kona in both turbocharged and naturally-aspirated forms. This also gives us a first look at the B-segment SUV in finalised local guise, specifically the 2.0 MPI Mid variant.

As the name suggests, this model slots in the middle of the three-variant lineup, which will also consist of an entry-level 2.0 MPI and a top-of-the-line 1.6 T-GDI. No pricing information has provided just yet, apart from the fact that the range will start from around RM115,000.

From the looks of it, the Mid will get most of the equipment of the T-GDI. It looks pretty much identical on the outside, sporting the same LED headlights, fog lights, silver skid plates and 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels rather than the base model’s 17-inch rollers. Only the roof rails appear to be exclusive to the top model.

It’s the same story on the inside, where the Mid comes with the same seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, along with keyless entry, push-button start, single-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and even a head-up display. It only misses out on a Qi wireless charger, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and leather upholstery (it gets part-leather trim instead).

One area where the Mid is lacking is safety. It doesn’t get the T-GDI’s SmartSense range of driver assistance features, which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and automatic high beam. It does, however, receive blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a reverse camera, plus six airbags and stability control.

Whereas the range-topper gets a 177 PS/265 Nm 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dry dual-clutch transmission, the Mid has a 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle naturally-aspirated mill. This particular unit produces 149 PS at 6,200 rpm and 180 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm, sent to the front wheels through a six-speed torque converter automatic.

Colour options will vary depending on the model you choose. The base model will only be offered in Phantom Black and Chalk White, whereas the other models will also get Tangerine Comet, Blue Lagoon and the Dark Knight that you see here. The T-GDI will also receive an exclusive Ceramic Blue two-tone paint scheme.

The T-GDI you see in some of these images is the same car shown at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) in 2018. It is wrapped in promotional graphics to hide the Acid Yellow paint underneath, which will not be offered in our market.

Want to know how the new Hyundai Kona drives? Stay tuned for our first impressions in a video review that is coming soon. Alternatively, you can also read our review from a drive event in New Zealand.

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