there's no shortage of personality in the 2018 hyundai kona, and like most hyundais, the price is right and so are the features. still, there's one area where i couldn't help but think, "you could have done better, hyundai." the kona's head-scratcher is an awkward, goofy cargo cover that wreaks havoc with the cargo area's usefulness.
cargo space is at a premium in this class of subcompact suvs, so it's important to squeeze every last decimal point of cubic footage out of the cargo area. but the kona's rigid, flat cargo cover doesn't make the space as cargo-friendly as competitors when you want to keep your stuff out of sight.
the rigid cargo cover is a typical way to cover a cargo area; it's the same style in the jeep renegade. the kona's cover protrudes out of the cargo area when it isn't completely flat, as when there's a large object underneath — so the liftgate won't close if there's a larger piece in the cargo area like the stroller i tried to cram back there. the cargo cover comes off, but there's no place to store the cover without taking up more cargo room because it's not retractable and doesn't store under the cargo area like some small suvs — and it's a beast to fit in the cargo area if you actually need to use the cargo area.
the subaru crosstrek and ford ecosport have retractable shades that take up less room, and the honda hr-v has an accessory collapsible shade that folds up like a magic trick. in other small suvs, the volvo xc40 and volkswagen tiguan's cargo covers store completely out of the way, under the cargo area.
so what's the solution for this kona cargo conundrum? either bring less crap (which: surrrrrre), or simply rip it out and stash that cargo cover in the garage or living room. that was the only way i could carry a load of overnight gear for a family of three (two adults and an infant), though it left things like our stroller visible through the lightly tinted windows. the cargo cover was in and out of the car so often in our testing that i'm not entirely sure it went back with the car.
welp! that's one less kona where the cargo cover is a problem.
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