Technically this is the first Hyundai I have driven - although the first I wrote about was the test drive of the new Venue SUV/crossover.

The Kona has been around for about three years and slots under the Tucson and Sante Fe. Until the release of the venue it was the baby of the crossover range.

I drove the 2.0 L 2WD model - a paired down version aimed at fleet buyers - from the yard of new Hyundai franchisees Rosetown Motor Group.

2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL
2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL

It is priced at $31,490 - just $500 under the 2.0 2WD.

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I'm not sure if saving $500 is worth what has been left off - but I suppose if you buy your cars in multiples at a time it all adds up.

There are two other levels - 2.0 Elite 2WD and 2.0 Limited 2WD priced at $37,990 and $41,990.

2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL
2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL

They all run the multi-point injection 2 litre engine making 110kW of power at 6200rpm and 180Nm of torque at 4500rpm and mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.

There are also 1.6 AWD and 1.6 Elite AWD options - all wheel drive models with the higher powered direct injection 1.6 litre turbocharged engine which develops 130kW of power at 5500rpm and 265 Nm of torque from just 1500rpm, right through to 4500rpm. These models utilise a seven speed dual clutch transmission.

To compare the L model with a standard Kona, it is probably best to see whet you are missing out on.

For a start the Kona runs on nicer looking 17" wheels running meatier 215/55 rubber over the smaller 16" 205/60s. (Elite and Limited run on 18" alloys with 235/45 tyres). Impressively the entire range features a tyre pressure monitoring system.

2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL
2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL

They have also taken out Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Driver Attention Warning, electric folding side mirrors, LED headlights and rear spoiler with high mounted LED stop light. Oddly, it has privacy glass - the Kona doesn't.

It seems like a lot for $500.

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The emphasis is on some of the driver aids and extra safety features. It doesn't appear to have an affect on the vehicle's 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

Across the 2WD range all cars perform the same, returning a fuel economy of 7.2l/100km.

Power and performance is perfectly good for a small crossover vehicle - quick and nippy enough in town and happy on the open road.

I like the look of the Kona - it was thought a bit different when it was released in 2017, but that has proved a good point in a field of similar cars.

Hyundai utilises some body kit and clever lighting design to give the car more aggression, while Hyundai's DNA is evident in the grille design and body curves.

The Tangerine Comet colour on my test car is one of the stand-out offerings but there are more sedate choices as well, and two-town options on selected models.

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The interior is well put together, roomy for a small crossover, and designed to be intuitive.

Even the base model had a good sound system, good connectivity and gave the driver plenty of information.

Up the model range the Hyundai stands out, with heads-up display, wireless phone charging and apps to monitor the car, take care of security and, for top-of-the-line buyers, remotely start the car and warm up the inside.

Rear storage capacity is 361 litres with the seats up and up to 1134 litres with the seats folded. It isn't class-leading - but it is in the ball park.

2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL
2020 Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WDL

Hyundai has created a reputation for build quality and building vehicles that meet the needs of today's drivers - the Kona certainly fits the bill.

It comes with a 10 year/200,000 km anti-perforation corrosion body warranty, 3 year/100,000 km mechanical warranty and 3 year/100,000 km roadside assistance package.

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