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Excuse my newbie questions.. I was looking at the Santa Fe but articles on the transmission problems rather turned me off, so decided on a Sonata, till someone mentioned the Kona. For one of my questions, is the DCT that everyone mentions the same as the Shiftronic? I'm finding answers that go both ways.
And as I plan on retiring soon and traveling, will this model have power for mountain driving, such as the Colorado mountains, or Eastern mountains? I'm trying to keep cost to a minimum as this will be coming out of my savings, so if the 2.0 won't cut it, then I may have to stick with the Sonata.
Also, I plan on doing camping along the way in my trips, will the Kona have enough room for camping gear and other items that one would take on a trip that may take a month?
I want to make sure of what I am wanting before I go to the dealer and he tries to sell me something that doesn't fit my needs.
Any other insight will be appreciated.
 

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Excuse my newbie questions.. I was looking at the Santa Fe but articles on the transmission problems rather turned me off, so decided on a Sonata, till someone mentioned the Kona. For one of my questions, is the DCT that everyone mentions the same as the Shiftronic? I'm finding answers that go both ways.
And as I plan on retiring soon and traveling, will this model have power for mountain driving, such as the Colorado mountains, or Eastern mountains? I'm trying to keep cost to a minimum as this will be coming out of my savings, so if the 2.0 won't cut it, then I may have to stick with the Sonata.
Also, I plan on doing camping along the way in my trips, will the Kona have enough room for camping gear and other items that one would take on a trip that may take a month?
I want to make sure of what I am wanting before I go to the dealer and he tries to sell me something that doesn't fit my needs.
Any other insight will be appreciated.
Shiftronic is not a transmission type -- instead it is the feature on Hyundai's Automatic Transmissions that allow you to manually shift gears. For the Kona, the SE and SEL models have a traditional 6-Speed Automatic transmission and the Limited and Ultimate models have a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). As I understand it, both transmission types are Shiftronic, as they can be manually shifted (which puts the Kona into Sport mode). I'd explain further, but your Sonata should also be Shiftronic, so you likely know and can play with it.

The Dual Clutch Transmission is perhaps best thought of as being a robotically-shifted manual transmission -- and in most ways it acts like a manual transmission that shifts very quickly. As a simplified explanation, there are two clutches (as the name implies); the odd gears are associated with one clutch and the even gears are on the other clutch -- this is how it "shifts" quickly, as it technically "shifts" into the next gear while the transmission is engaged, then it just engages the other clutch to complete the shift.

Many people don't like it -- particularly younger people who don't have experience with a manual transmission. Since it essentially is a manual transmission, it has many of the same disadvantages of a manual transmission, in that things like trying to make small moves to maneuver into a parking space is more challenging, since you need the clutch to engage (just like trying to make similar moves with a manual transmission). Of course, OTOH, a DCT is often considered more "fun" to drive because of the quick shifts and the lack of a torque converter -- the speed of the engine directly translates to the wheels.

My personal thought is that the 2.0L engine in the SE and SEL Kona will be a bit weak going up mountains, though it will climb them without issue -- it may partially depend on how heavily loaded you are. I believe the 1.6L Turbo engine will do better, though you'll have to decide how you feel about the DCT transmission.

I will note that the Kona is a sub-compact SUV; you'll have to judge if it is large enough for you but it is a large step down from the Santa Fe. You may also want to look at the Tucson, which is larger than the Kona but smaller than the Santa Fe. OTOH, if you are currently packing all your camping gear in the Sonata, it should fit in the Kona; it has just over 19 cu. ft. of cargo space (compared to 16 for the Sonata); and just under 50 with the back seats folded down. The once caveat, the space on the Kona behind the back seats is more vertical (versus deep like the Sonata); though this also makes loading and unloading easier.
 
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