A high end accolade for an entry level CUV. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 24, 2018 2018 Hyundai Kona Interior The all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona’s sleek and modern interior was acknowledged by the editors of WardsAuto which just named it to this year’s Wards 10 Best Interiors list. Christie Truett, senior editor, WardsAuto: WardsAuto editors studied the vehicles in February and March, selecting the 10 winners from a field of 40 vehicles with new or significantly refreshed interiors. Editors evaluated the vehicles’ features including ergonomics, driver information, fit-and-finish, materials, value, safety, comfort and design harmony. There was no price cap on entries. Ultimately, WardsAuto editors are looking for interiors that raise the bar not only for the brand but also for that vehicle’s segment. During the selection process, editors pay close attention to fit-and-finish, checking to see if seams are straight and match up cleanly on armrests, instrument panels and throughout the interior. Editors climb in and out of back seats and third rows in larger CUVs and SUVs to check overall comfort levels, headroom and legroom. Another increasingly important category is driver information. Smartphone integrations and voice-activation systems also are rigorously tested. Hyundai designers maximized the Kona’s interior volume for luggage. The split-folding rear seats fold flat via a dual-level loading floor that gives three inches of additional vertical space and allows easy access for a variety of recreational equipment. Kona offers features that they would be accustomed to in larger CUV segments, such as a large color LCD electroluminescent gauge cluster, power driver’s seat, heated leather seats, automatic air conditioning and proximity key. On the infotainment front, the Kona includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM, HD Radio and next-generation Blue Link LTE-powered connectivity. The standard 7” color LCD touchscreen includes AM/FM/MP3, auxiliary input jacks, voice-command recognition and a Rear-View camera all standard. The available 8” touchscreen navigation display includes next-generation Blue Link, traffic flow and incident data via HD radio, Infinity premium audio with eight speakers, subwoofer and Clari-Fi music-restoration technology. A Qi smartphone wireless charger is also available. The fully loaded Kona Ultimate arrives with Blue Link, including complimentary three-year Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and guidance services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Google Home, Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the Blue Link smartphone app, Amazon Alexa Blue Link skill and by using the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch apps. Kona also offers the largest Heads-Up Display (HUD) - more than twice as bright as the competition and double the size - in the segment. Good stuff! Now if it only had the Ioniq’s drivetrain, whoooaaa!