It's just two model-years into its already illustrious career as our automaker's flagship subcompact crossover SUV. Nevertheless, the new Kona has earned the status of 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. It wasn't owing to just this or that small panel of judges, either.

Indeed, at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, an entire automotive media jury comprised of independent Canadian and US journalists and analysts -- legacy newspaper and magazine people, broadcast vets, digital columnists, and other freelance media moguls -- from no fewer than 54 media outlets joined together to give the award. It was a big deal for Hyundai, too. As the NACTOY organization has been honoring cars, trucks, and SUVs since 1994, this was the first time that a Hyundai CUV took home the honor.

Our own enthusiasts here at Ron Marhofer Hyundai of Cuyahoga Falls can see how it did, too. There's plenty to love about 2019 Kona. For instance:

  • It's exceedingly safe. A standard Hyundai SmartSense driver-assistance system incorporates forward collision-avoidance and lane-keep assist systems as well as a driver attention warning feature, and further options range from blind-spot and rear cross-traffic collision warnings and lane change assist to pedestrian detection and more.
  • Fuel efficiency is its forte. Count on up to 28 mpg in cities like Hudson, OH, 33 mpg down the highway to Akron, and 30 mpg combined between Kent and New Franklin, OH, according to EPA estimates and depending on your trim choice.
  • It's highly accommodating for any trip. Both cloth and leather seating choices are available, and they're optionally heated as well as available drivers-side power-adjustable and with power lumbar support.
  • You can expect cargo-friendliness. Up to 45.8 cubic feet of space becomes available when you collapse the rear seats, and a dual-level cargo floor affords versatile loading options.
  • It's leading-edge when it comes to tech. Features like an optional heads-up display, 7- and 8-inch display audio touchscreen options, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, available eight-speaker Infinity premium audio, and others put critical driving metrics, entertainment, and more at your fingertips.
  • It's a blast to drive. Choose between two engines -- a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed auto with SHIFTRONIC® ready to deliver 147 horsepower backed by 132 pound-feet of torque, or a turbocharged 175-horsepower, 1.6-liter model paired with a seven-speed EcoShift® DCT that dishes out 195 pound-feet. The former's standard in Kona SE and SEL, while the latter's standard in Kona Limited and Ultimate. No matter which you choose, you'll be in for an enjoyable ride.

See for yourself what the experts and we mean here at our 1260 Main Street showroom in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Give us a call or drop by for a visit, and we'll be glad to schedule you for some time behind the wheel!