THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

SMOOTH. Quiet. Comfortable. The list of plus points goes on and on in the Kona. Take the exterior – it’s a smart, compact SUV with stylish good looks. I drove the top-of-the-range Premium SE, with its striking 18in. alloy wheels and minimalist headlights. Body coloured bumpers, door mirrors and exterior door handles add to the smart look, and the rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light gives style to the back.

Inside, the Premium SE has leather upholstery and at this time of year, a much-appreciated heated steering wheel. It’s supremely comfortable, with electrically adjustable seats and plenty of room for family and friends, plus luggage or shopping.

The 10.25in. touchscreen display unit coupled with a driver’s smaller 4.2in. supervision instrument cluster means everything is at hand and easily visible.

Safety is paramount and options include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and smart cruise control.

But maybe under the bonnet with a hybrid is what you really want to know about. The compact electric motor works with the 1.6 litre petrol engine to improve fuel economy and achieve CO2 emissions as low as 90g/km. They also combine to maximise acceleration when required.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed driving the Kona – it’s smart, fast when needed and ticks the environmental box for me. It also turns on a sixpence and is light and easy to drive. Reversing is a doddle with the rear view camera and sensors.

I also liked the perceived added security of having petrol, especially as I’m someone who panics when the petrol gauge is on a quarter full. I can definitely see having a hybrid as the way forward.

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