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Hyundai Kona Iron Man 2019 review

If you’re looking for something fun and different, then this could be your new superhero family taxi.

Superheroes have long been synonymous with the kind of money-is-no-object cars that feature neck-snapping performance, cool looks and a smorgasbord of villain-stopping gadgets. What's more, they are usually completely out of our reach.

But fear not. Because for us mere mortals of more modest means, I have some good news. Marvel has teamed up with Hyundai to create this Hyundai Kona Iron Man edition.

Marvel has teamed up with Hyundai to create this Hyundai Kona Iron Man edition. Marvel has teamed up with Hyundai to create this Hyundai Kona Iron Man edition.

And the good news doesn’t stop there, because the donor car for this special edition is the top spec Highlander 1.6 T-GDi, which means the most powerful engine in the Kona line-up and all-wheel drive.

You should also know there’s only 400 available for sale in Australia with a price tag of $39,990 - around $4k more than the Highlander model upon which it’s based. For that price, though, it comes with a whole load of Iron Man goodies.    

So, is this Iron Man edition worthy of its name, and more importantly, what will the kids think about it? We had the weekend to find out. 

Saturday

Our schedule today started with a soccer game in the morning for my son, which was followed by dance recitals in the afternoon for my two daughters.

To be frank, I'm not the biggest Marvel fan, so upon viewing this car for the first time my initial impressions were mixed; part interest, and part dread that the windows weren’t more darkly tinted. 

To Hyundai’s credit, the exterior changes here are anything but token. The front fascia is unique to the model, and the headlights get special LED accent lighting to better approximate the superhero’s iconic mask. The bonnet features a special V-shaped Marvel logo, too, and there are plenty of smaller touches, like Iron Man centre caps on the wheels and Iron Man engraved on the boot above the licence plate.

It sits on 18-inch "Iron Grip" alloy wheels, and the body is painted in an eye-catching combination of matte grey and red (the only colour on offer) with the grey designed to match the original Iron Man suit from when the character first appeared in 1963.

  • The front fascia is unique to the model, and the headlights get special LED accent lighting. The front fascia is unique to the model, and the headlights get special LED accent lighting.
  • It sits on 18-inch "Iron Grip" alloy wheels. It sits on 18-inch "Iron Grip" alloy wheels.
  • The kids biggest response was saved for the Iron Man mask puddle lights. The kids biggest response was saved for the Iron Man mask puddle lights.

The metallic red, used to highlight the car's key design features, mimics the shade used for the most recent Iron Man movies.

My kids' reaction on first seeing the Iron Man Kona was more excited and vocal than expected. The anticipation of being taxied around in something touched by Tony Stark was more than they could handle.

But their biggest response was saved for the Iron Man mask puddle lights, which proved a massive crowd-pleaser over the weekend, with my kids eager to show it off at every opportunity to friends and even strangers.

The excitement only heightened upon setting eyes on the cabin, with Marvel stamping its Iron Man design touches throughout the cabin. There is a liberal dose of Iron Man red used across much of the cabin including the seat belts, and the trim on the seats and dash.

Most of the design touches feature up the front, with highlights including front seats embossed with the Stark Industries' logo, a uniquely designed shift knob and Tony Stark’s “signature” penned on the dash.

  • Standard features include a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard features include a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Tony Stark’s “signature” is penned on the dash. Tony Stark’s “signature” is penned on the dash.

Pressing the start button triggers the Iron Man-themed graphics in the heads up display screen, with the instrument cluster and tachometer both featuring Iron Man’s Arc Reactor as a background screen.

Standard features include a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, rear privacy glass, proximity unlocking and push-button ignition. It also comes with a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, which were handy when parking the Kona in tight spaces.

Sunday

The morning started off with a run to the local Woolies before heading to the beach for the afternoon.

With this being a Highlander (albeit under a different guise) you get the most powerful engine in the Kona line up, a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit. Paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission it delivers plenty of grunt when needed around the suburbs, although gear changes can feel a little clunky at times - particularly at low speeds and on downshifts.

The ride around town was comfortable, and around the bends and over the bumps its capability inspired plenty of confidence.

  • The ride around town was comfortable. The ride around town was comfortable.
  • The front seats are embossed with the Stark Industries' logo. The front seats are embossed with the Stark Industries' logo.
  • Cabin storage is good with four cupholders total - two up front and two in the back. Cabin storage is good with four cupholders total - two up front and two in the back.
  • The Kona’s boot has a 361-litre luggage capacity. The Kona’s boot has a 361-litre luggage capacity.

Cabin storage is good, with four cupholders (two up front and two in the back) and bottle holders in the front doors, plus a deep centre console bin under the armrest. The Kona’s boot has a 361-litre luggage capacity which had no problem swallowing our shopping and beach gear over the weekend.

The Hyundai Kona, awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2018, comes with a strong list of standard safety kit including six airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic warning and lane-keeping assistance.

There are three top-tether anchor points and two ISOFIX mounts for baby seats across the second row.

Our Iron Man edition Kona covered around 450km of urban and open road driving over the weekend with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 7.6 litres/100km. Slightly more than Hyundai's claim of 6.7 litres/100km for this combination of roads.


The Wrap

If the objective of this Iron Man edition is to create a little fun and intrigue, then Hyundai have done a good job of delivering on the brief. It will not be to many people’s liking, but if you and your kids are Marvel mad and you’re looking for something fun and different, then this could be your new superhero family taxi.  

Likes

Cool factor for the kids
Eye-catching design treatment
Something fun and different

Dislikes

Novelty factor has use-by date
Premium price
Gears shifts can be clunky

Scores

Dan:

3.8

The Kids:

4.5

$39,990

Based on new car retail price

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