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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I driving a Kona.

First part of the story: I was driving a Elantra GT but the engine had to be changed. Hyundai said they would change the engine for free, but after two months of waiting for, the situation was out of control. We have gas inside the car and I preferred to change and lose money than to drive Elantra.
I contacted Hyundai Canada, but they never answered.

I decided to give this company a last chance and I took a Kona because I need full traction (thanks for the last winter in Montreal) and because the design is cool and for all the embedded technology.

Part two
The car is OK, I'm happy so far, though I don't have too many miles.
Suspensions are fine. Same acceleration and brakes.

Weaknesses:

- The trunk is quite small. An Ikea armchair did not come in, not even with a folding rear seat. But it came in after it was removed from the pack.

- The rear seats are quite cramped, so it is not recommended for families with many children. My daughter is 10 years old, she's pretty tall and says she's OK in the back seat. Probably another 5 years will go, then I doubt. I have 1.87 m and I'm cramped in the back. I'm okay in the driver's seat.

- I find it pretty loud inside. I have not yet had the opportunity to take a long road on the highway, but I will do it the next weekend and I can come back.

- I have the Ultimate model. I did not have any warning or braking attempt although the car should have a collision avoidance system. I will ask dealership if they have any explanation.
 

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Thanks for the review. I test drove one and was impressed with the ride and handling, even the noise, for such a small SUV -- and I did go for a few miles on the freeway at 65 mph. I drove the SEL with the 2.0L engine, so perhaps the 1.6T is a noisier engine, or perhaps the larger tires create more road noise. I found the 2L underpowered, so I'd prefer the Limited or Ultimate and will have to go test drive one to see how much different it is.

I would have preferred the Kona to be a few inches longer, both for an extra inch or two in the backseat area, and also for a bit of extra volume in the cargo area. Good luck with yours, seems like a great vehicle.
 

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We have a 2010 Kia Soul Plus. It has been a good car but I'd like to get something better, with rear view camera, heated seats and better transmission. Yesterday we drove a Kona, SEL front wheel drive. The Chico dealer didn't have Limiteds or Ultimate in stock.
Interesting that the Kona and my Soul are the same size, same engine, same torsion bar rear suspension, the only major difference is that the Kona has a six speed automatic versus the four speed auto in the Soul.
Having said that, the difference is amazing. The old Soul feels like a little old truck after driving the Kona. The Kona seems like an overgrown Mini-Cooper, more nimble, quicker, smoother, definitely more fun.
The small size doesn't bother me, we have a Santa Fe Sport for trips to Home depot and so forth.
Even so, I am 180 lbs and 5'10, I had the seat all the way back and after the test drive I got in the back seat and I was perfectly comfortable in the back.
My plan is to drive a Limited because it has a stronger engine, but I'm skeptical about the DCT transmission. I drove an Elantra GT with the turbo and the DCT and it was good; I hope the Kona is at least as good.
Truth to be told, since we don't spend much time here on the freeways, I could be perfectly happy with a base model Kona, with the 2.0 L engine.
To me the Kona is much more of a fun drive than our Soul or the SFS 2.0t. I'm looking forward to get one.
The dealers here in Northern California don't have many Konas in stock, but I checked other dealers near Los Angeles and they have 30-40 Konas in stock.
 

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We have a 2010 Kia Soul Plus. It has been a good car but I'd like to get something better, with rear view camera, heated seats and better transmission. Yesterday we drove a Kona, SEL front wheel drive. The Chico dealer didn't have Limiteds or Ultimate in stock.

Interesting that the Kona and my Soul are the same size, same engine, same torsion bar rear suspension, the only major difference is that the Kona has a six speed automatic versus the four speed auto in the Soul.

Having said that, the difference is amazing. The old Soul feels like a little old truck after driving the Kona. The Kona seems like an overgrown Mini-Cooper, more nimble, quicker, smoother, definitely more fun.

The small size doesn't bother me, we have a Santa Fe Sport for trips to Home depot and so forth.

Even so, I am 180 lbs and 5'10, I had the seat all the way back and after the test drive I got in the back seat and I was perfectly comfortable in the back.

My plan is to drive a Limited because it has a stronger engine, but I'm skeptical about the DCT transmission. I drove an Elantra GT with the turbo and the DCT and it was good; I hope the Kona is at least as good.

Truth to be told, since we don't spend much time here on the freeways, I could be perfectly happy with a base model Kona, with the 2.0 L engine.

To me the Kona is much more of a fun drive than our Soul or the SFS 2.0t. I'm looking forward to get one.

The dealers here in Northern California don't have many Konas in stock, but I checked other dealers near Los Angeles and they have 30-40 Konas in stock.
I understand where you are coming from. The Soul is a great car but with that four speed is a bummer. You need more gears for sure. I drove one several years ago and was very impressed with its practicality. You should get good money on a trade-in. They don't stay on the lots for long and that is because of their desirability.

I wouldn't be concerned with the DCT. Although they are dropping it and the turbo in the Tucson for next year and going to the 2.4 and conventional transmission, I had a 2016 Tucson with the turbo and the DCT and it will boogie.

The only thing I have heard is that if it is set in eco mode that it might hic-up at very low speeds. Evidently it doesn't do that in the other modes.

Where people get into trouble with the DCT is that they use it like the regular automatics and torque converters. The DCT is an automated manual transmission and one can burn the clutches if holding on an incline. I found that in slow traffic conditions put it into 1st gear and just creep along. The hill holder should be used on inclines. I never had any trouble with mine although there was a software upgrade to all of them. I didn't notice any trouble.

Relatively speaking American drivers are not as sophisticated as overseas buyers and treat their cars like appliances. But properly used, they are more efficient and fun than a conventional transmission.

I think ultimately more gears in conventional transmissions will be the standard. The difference in my G80 with eight speeds is a lot of power and flexibility with the 8 speed automatic.

I believe the Sonata turbo also has eight speed transmissions for the 2018 models. I see that as probably the defacto standard for most newer cars. But with seven speeds in the DCT you should like it just fine.
 

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Thanks, rmissouri, appreciate the advice.
We had a VW GTI with the DSG and I loved it, no problems during the 3 year lease. Even my wife could drive it.
I've driven thousands of cars with different trannies ( former Honda tech) and the DCT or DSG are my favorites.
My concern is that in automatics the entire trans. is under warranty, but on the manual trans. the clutch is not, only the internal gears, shafts and bearings.
This makes perfect sense because an unskilled driver can wear out the clutch in a few weeks. Therefore, a clutch is considered a wear item like brake pads and tires.
I wonder what is Hyundai policy? They cover the internal parts, but what about the clutch in the DCT?
I called Kia tech support about this when I was lusting after the Kia Soul turbo/DCT but they couldn't offer a 100% clear satisfactory answer.
 

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Thanks, rmissouri, appreciate the advice.
We had a VW GTI with the DSG and I loved it, no problems during the 3 year lease. Even my wife could drive it.

I've driven thousands of cars with different trannies ( former Honda tech) and the DCT or DSG are my favorites.

My concern is that in automatics the entire trans. is under warranty, but on the manual trans. the clutch is not, only the internal gears, shafts and bearings.
This makes perfect sense because an unskilled driver can wear out the clutch in a few weeks. Therefore, a clutch is considered a wear item like brake pads and tires.

I wonder what is Hyundai policy? They cover the internal parts, but what about the clutch in the DCT?

I called Kia tech support about this when I was lusting after the Kia Soul turbo/DCT but they couldn't offer a 100% clear satisfactory answer.
I will inquire this week from the service manager. We know each else very well and he won’t lie to me. I am literally their best customer.

Personally, I would defer to what is written in the manual. I would think it is in there somewhere. Let me check.

As best as I can tell normal maintenance items are covered for 12 months or 12, 000 miles. It says clutch linings. Sine there are no manual transmissions in any of these vehicles it, it must mean the clutches of the DCT.

Now that is what the manual says.

Having said that, if there are defective materials, that doesn’t apply.

I have had and driven many manual transmissions. Anyone who destroys the clutches in these cars ought to bear the costs unless, as I say the materials were defective, such as those engines that were destroyed when machine shavings were left in the oil gallaries. Clearly those are defective products. And in those instances the manufacturer will probably replace such items even beyond the normal warranty time.

Hyundai also has “campaigns” to replace known defective parts that we may never hear about. The service managers love these because they make a lot of money off those.

My personal opinion is that if any knucklehead trashes those clutches they deserve to bear the costs. But Hyundai will probably back their product even then.

This may be hard to believe but if the new Hyundai and Genesis cars I have owned, 12 in all, I have ever had a failure of any kind.

I wouldn’t worry about those clutches unless there is nothing else to worry about.
 

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Thanks again, rmissouri. Please let us know whatever you can find out , the good with the bad.

I think this clutch issue is a gray area, much depending on the interpretation of the service managers or a warranty clerk at corporate office of Hyundai. Another factor is where are you located: in hilly San Francisco a clutch is more of a wear item than in flat Miami Beach.
The results could be influenced by the customers service history (or the lack of it) and the customers attitude.

I'm going out of my way to being polite whenever I have a service related issue in anything and this usually brings satisfaction.
Our 8-year old Kia Soul had a battery and 1 front marking light bulb replaced, after 38 K miles, plus the regular maintenance of oil, coolant, brake fluid and transm. fluid changes.
The 2015 Santa Fe Sport 2.0t has been flawless also, 1 recall and oil changes so far.
I could do my oil changes etc., but I'd rather take it to the dealer to make sure the warranty terms aren't harmed, and saving 10-20 dollars is just not worth the hassle.
I tip the service advisor at Chico Hyundai, and I do hope they'll remember me if I ever have a serious problem.
As for Hyundai-Kia build quality, I think they are as good or better as Honda ever was, but I retired from wrenching in 1999, so take this with a grain of salt.
Thanks again for posting.
 

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I understand where you are coming from. The Soul is a great car but with that four speed is a bummer. You need more gears for sure. I drove one several years ago and was very impressed with its practicality. You should get good money on a trade-in. They don't stay on the lots for long and that is because of their desirability.

I wouldn't be concerned with the DCT. Although they are dropping it and the turbo in the Tucson for next year and going to the 2.4 and conventional transmission, I had a 2016 Tucson with the turbo and the DCT and it will boogie.

The only thing I have heard is that if it is set in eco mode that it might hic-up at very low speeds. Evidently it doesn't do that in the other modes.

Where people get into trouble with the DCT is that they use it like the regular automatics and torque converters. The DCT is an automated manual transmission and one can burn the clutches if holding on an incline. I found that in slow traffic conditions put it into 1st gear and just creep along. The hill holder should be used on inclines. I never had any trouble with mine although there was a software upgrade to all of them. I didn't notice any trouble.

Relatively speaking American drivers are not as sophisticated as overseas buyers and treat their cars like appliances. But properly used, they are more efficient and fun than a conventional transmission.

I think ultimately more gears in conventional transmissions will be the standard. The difference in my G80 with eight speeds is a lot of power and flexibility with the 8 speed automatic.

I believe the Sonata turbo also has eight speed transmissions for the 2018 models. I see that as probably the defacto standard for most newer cars. But with seven speeds in the DCT you should like it just fine.
Thanks again, rmissouri. Please let us know whatever you can find out , the good with the bad.

I think this clutch issue is a gray area, much depending on the interpretation of the service managers or a warranty clerk at corporate office of Hyundai. Another factor is where are you located: in hilly San Francisco a clutch is more of a wear item than in flat Miami Beach.

The results could be influenced by the customers service history (or the lack of it) and the customers attitude.

I'm going out of my way to being polite whenever I have a service related issue in anything and this usually brings satisfaction.

Our 8-year old Kia Soul had a battery and 1 front marking light bulb replaced, after 38 K miles, plus the regular maintenance of oil, coolant, brake fluid and transm. fluid changes.

The 2015 Santa Fe Sport 2.0t has been flawless also, 1 recall and oil changes so far.

I could do my oil changes etc., but I'd rather take it to the dealer to make sure the warranty terms aren't harmed, and saving 10-20 dollars is just not worth the hassle.

I tip the service advisor at Chico Hyundai, and I do hope they'll remember me if I ever have a serious problem.

As for Hyundai-Kia build quality, I think they are as good or better as Honda ever was, but I retired from wrenching in 1999, so take this with a grain of salt.
Thanks again for posting.
I live in Hot Springs, Arkansas where I retired to. It is hilly in several places but nothing like San Francisco so you have a valid concern.

Unfortunately, the higher line models do not offer an option of a conventional transmission. Some af their management decisions are sometimes suspect.

I will reiterate that the 2.0 and six speed transmission will not cause any problems and I find it quite responsive and handles well. So, in reality, my decision was both based on performance and a higher tire profile to get a slightly smoother ride. I do like the upgrade wheels better.

I don’t do oil changes any longer. For $30 I get an oil change and filter plus a wash and vacuum at no additional cost. It is not worth the aggravation. And there is no practical way to dispose of the oil. I need to tip the clean up man though. That is hard work at my age and I am not one to spend time cleaning up my cars.
 

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First part of the story: I was driving a Elantra GT but the engine had to be changed. Hyundai said they would change the engine for free, but after two months of waiting for, the situation was out of control. We have gas inside the car and I preferred to change and lose money than to drive Elantra.
I wish I had read about your gas smell issue sooner. I, too, had that issue and the Hyundai dealer had no luck finding the problem.

Sooo, I spent some time looking into it myself - and found the problem! Not easy to find but it was caused by a leak around the end cap crimp of the fuel rail pressure damper. This was confirmed by the dealer after I explained and then demonstrated what I found.

The replacement part is inexpensive but the technician MUST be made aware that the fuel rail is PLASTIC, not metal (but looks like metal) and can BREAK easily if not handled with great care...as my technician found out when trying to unscrew the pressure damper from the end of the rail tube and it broke...took three days to get a replacement!

Regards,
GEWB
 

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As to the OPs mention of road noise... I would suggest you check the tire pressures when you test drive. When cars are shipped overseas they over-inflate the tires (to lessen flat spots while they're tied down I'm told?). I test drove a Kona SEL and a Limited. The SEL tires had 51psi and that car had a lot more road noise than the Limited which had its tires inflated to 35psi. I personally found quite a bit of difference in the ride and road noise between the two models and I believe part of the difference was the tire pressures. Overall I much preferred the Limited. (And I bought it. I'll try to get time to post my own experience in more detail later.)

Les
 

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Hi, I bought a Kona Ultimate last month and when I drove it home I thought the ride was very firm, almost harsh. I checked the tire pressure on the gauge display. All the tires read 55 psi! They should be 35 psi. Ouch! The next morning I deflated the tires with my tire gauge to 35 psi. It made all the difference. By the way, I love my Kona. That 1.6L turbo is awesome. Very strong acceleration. I got my Kona in thunder gray with the black leather/lime accents. Great looking car. US News & World Report rated it #1 among subcompact SUV's. Here's the link: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/subcompact-suvs.

John
 

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Back seat space is fine, four people can go on a day trip in relative comfort. Five people? Forget it.
Luggage space for four during a day trip is adequate, but not generous. For two people with the back seats folded luggage room is plenty.
I can put my Point 65 kayak in the back and close the hatch, but the front passenger seat must be all the way forward with the seat back leaned forward, meaning driver only.
The DCT transmission is great, no issues whatsoever. Using this trans. in manual mode is a joy. Especially on climbing or descending hills it's nice to select a gear more suitable than what the computer prefers - no lugging.
 

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We did a 172 mile trip today on northern CA roads 70 and 162 near Oroville, CA. Trip meter shows 36.3 mpg as average. Speeds were between 40-70 mph.
These roads are not the treacherous twisty mountain roads superbike owners dream about, but there were plenty turns were we had to slow down to 35 then accelerate again. Also, most of the time we were climbing a hill or descending later. I love to flick the transm. into manual mode and gently nudge the shifter up or down to get more power when climbing or drop engine rpms when going downhill.
The DCT shifts are so quick and barely perceptible, it's my favorite transmission I ever had, after driving thousands of cars in my life, (retired Honda tech.)
 

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Commenting on the road noise. We also own a 2013 Sonata Sport model and the road noise is worse in that car than in our new Kona Ultimate AWD. We think it's pretty decent.
 
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