I'm more used to seeing lollies this colour, not cars! Can this acid yellow, funky little Hyundai Kona SUV be any good as a BabyDrive? Let's find out…
Well, before you read all the many words below, let me tell you a story from one of our outings to the local farmers' market as a family of three in the Kona. We found the Kona so small that it was like Tetris getting home in it! We couldn’t fit our box of veggies in the boot as we had our Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle stroller in there with the wheel taken off! I was driving (I’m 162cm) and my husband (he’s 184cm) had to sit behind me because he couldn’t sit in the front passenger seat as there was not enough legroom in front of the rear-facing child seat our daughter was in.
The only place left to put our shopping was in the front passenger seat! Unfortunately, it activated the seatbelt alarm and so we had to drive along with the alarm going and the dash light flashing! The alarm eventually stopped and the light just continued flashing but still by then our daughter was screaming, disturbed by the constant alarm sound.
Okay, back to the review! Hyundai’s Kona is definitely a striking little SUV! Aesthetically, it is pleasing inside and out and the trim details are very impressive down to even acid yellow seatbelts! However, unless you are desperate for the SUV label then there are small cars for the same price with more storage capacity in the boot and cabin and better suited for a BabyDrive.
It is quite a noisy little car in terms of beeping and alarms, although some of those belong to some good safety features. Like rear cross traffic alert, which I found especially beneficial in the Kona because visibility is quite poor, particularly when rear-facing child seats are installed. The seatbelt alarm is very sensitive and becomes part of your daily life if like me you like to put your handbag on the passenger seat next to you when driving! Also, because the boot is small, you may end up having to put things in the cabin instead and setting the sensitive seatbelt alarms off that way too!
The heated and cooled front seats are a nice feature but with that comes perforated leather and trying to keep that clean of child crumbs and detritus is difficult!
The door pockets are not practical in the back for holding anything larger than a 600ml water bottle and in the front, they are so large most things just rattle around in them.
The only place I could fit my wallet is the glove box, but there are nice big storage wells in the doors handles, which is a good feature, as I always need somewhere to put keys or whatever is in Tulsi's hands when putting her in her child seat.
The media system uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which always makes it simpler to use, but the Kona does not have sat-nav without your phone. The media system is quite simple to navigate, as is the digital display menu above the steering wheel, and the controls are on the steering wheel and are quite logical to use.
The air conditioning is very simple to use but without rear air vents, the Kona is a very hot car in the back. You end up with freezing front passengers while the rear passengers are still too hot.
The Kona is a very fun car to drive and very good on country roads and bends, it is nimble and accelerates fast and holds the road. However, for rear passengers, it does jiggle and you feel all the bumps and road surfaces.
Overall the Kona is a very good small car but it is very small! Making it a very impractical BabyDrive.
There are three top tether points in the rear seat backs and there is ISO Fix in the two outer rear seats. Both are relatively easy to connect to.
Lack of space is a huge factor in the Kona; we found we could only fit a 162cm passenger in front of a rear-facing child seat, making it difficult to fit our little family in!
If you just have one child in a forward facing child seat, who is not using a stroller anymore, then the Kona would be fine. However, if you have any rear-facing child seats, capsules or strollers then the Kona becomes very impractical.
The boot is also very small and although it would hold eight or nine shopping bags it would not hold a single stroller without removing the wheel and I could only just get a basic stroller across the width of the boot!
The Hyundai Kona scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating