Hyundai Kona, Nissan Kicks: New small crossovers storm the market


2018 Hyundai Kona and 2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Hyundai Kona and 2018 Nissan Kicks

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Ten years ago, the subcompact crossover segment barely existed. Now multiple automakers are clamoring for your attention as each brand rushes to bring its own take on the small utility to market.

At this week's 2017 Los Angeles auto show, Nissan and Hyundai revealed two new models that will vie for buyers' attention in the burgeoning segment.

Unfortunately, neither of them will be offered in electric or electrified form when they arrive at dealerships in the first half of next year—though one is confirmed to get a full electric variant later.

DON'T MISS: Crossover shoo-in: 2018 Nissan Kicks compact SUV comes to US

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will come to America after cutting its teeth in other markets since 2016.

Built in Mexico, the South American-designed crossover is set to replace the Nissan Juke, a flamboyantly styled vehicle that helped establish the segment in its infancy.

Like its Juke predecessor, the Kicks will slot in below the Rogue Sport (nee Qashqai), Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada to round out Nissan's ever-growing SUV lineup.

2018 Nissan Kicks, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

2018 Nissan Kicks, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

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However, the Kicks won't get either the turbo engine or the all-wheel drive of the Juke.

Instead, the same 1.6-liter inline-4 found elsewhere in Nissan's lineup will motivate the Kicks' front wheels with 125 horsepower. It's expected to return 33 mpg on the EPA's combined cycle.

The Kicks will arrive on dealer lots in June 2018. Nissan has yet to announce pricing, but expect it to be similar to the outgoing Juke, starting around $21,000.

READ THIS: 2018 Hyundai Kona small crossover debuts at LA auto show

Hyundai isn't content to let Nissan hog the spotlight, though. The Korean automaker will bring its own subcompact offering to market to augment the established and larger Hyundai Tucson.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona, wearing a wild design language the company calls "urban smart armor," apparently wants to take on the Toyota C-HR in the polarizing style arena.

Beneath its mix of metal panels and plastic bodywork, Kona SE and SEL models hide a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 that will send power to a six-speed automatic transmission.

2018 Hyundai Kona, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

2018 Hyundai Kona, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

Those seeking more punch can step up to one of the Limited or Ultimate trims to gain access to a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 paired with the firm's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Both engines will be available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Hyundai didn't provide fuel economy estimates during the Kona's reveal, but expect it to begin arriving at dealers in Q1 2018 with an all-electric version coming at a later date.

CHECK OUT: 2018 Toyota C-HR first drive

Both models join a segment with a raft of recent entries.

The Toyota C-HR entered the market earlier this year and sales have been steady with Toyota moving near 3,000 units or more since the model's release. It achieves 29 mpg combined with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in EPA estimates.

GM has a duo of entries with the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore. Both are on their second generations and are powered by 1.4-liter turbocharged engines rated at up to 28 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive form.

Honda's HR-V was brand new for the 2016 model year. Its 1.8-liter inline-4 engine is rated at 31 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

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