As I consider about the electrification of motor vehicles remaining a truth, it is tough to say goodbye to vehicles like the a person I get to engage in with this week – a general performance-oriented variation of the Hyundai Kona, the Kona N. Even while the Kona N is not just unique-automobile-quickly, it is a somewhat exciting and remarkable vehicle showcasing what manufactures can very easily do with tiny, turbocharged engines wrapped up in a compact light-weight package deal.
The Hyundai Kona has been a welcomed subcompact crossover since its introduction in 2018 and around the previous couple of yrs, it has gained more trims for a sportier appeal, and not too long ago a new Kona N design that injects the brand’s “N” overall performance attributes. In having to experience the Kona N this week I can attest to these effectiveness attributes making use of to most of the car or truck, such as the interior, managing, appears to be, and electricity with a unique smile-inducing feature – additional on that later on.
General performance and Driving Character
It is challenging to place the new Hyundai Kona N as it touts the identical subcompact variety of the other Kona trims but has a somewhat potent motor for its course to the tune of 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque from a 2.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine powering the entrance wheels only. The motor gets mated to an 8-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission) that fires off snappy shifts and can be relatively aggressive employing the suitable push setting. With this sort of a powertrain, the Kona N receives placed in a compact basket to compete with automobiles like the Mercedes-AMG GLA35, Mini Countryman John Cooper Is effective All4, or BMW X2 M35i. Outside the house of those smallish crossovers, the levels of competition could technically increase to vehicles like the Honda Civic Sort R, Volkswagen Golf GTI or even the VW Golfing R if you forget about the SUV-ness of the Kona N.
See Also: 2022 Hyundai Kona N-Line Evaluation & Take a look at Drive
The general performance characteristics of the Kona N are quite one of a kind in that there are various solutions of configuring the car. There is an appealing and committed N manner that opens up two customization modes exterior of a preset N travel manner accessed by way of a single of two steering wheel N buttons. The default N manner seems to set up the motor vehicle to extract the most out of the powertrain devoid of disabling stability and traction handle. The two Customized N modes let you to dial-up particular person areas of how the adaptive dampers are set, steering wheel energy, engine response, transmission aggressiveness and shift designs, digital constrained-slip differential location, steadiness/traction regulate setting, and exhaust sound placing. It is fairly stunning to see Hyundai format so many customization alternatives for the Kona N, which is rather considered of as a taller Veloster N applying a very similar powertrain set up.
Dialing up the N modes, which are different from the regular Activity push mode enacted by a switch knob subsequent to the shifter, is a entire new working experience and even further defines the numerous personalities of the Kona N. Imagine of it as a Jekyll and Hyde encounter that improvements its demeanor at the push of a button. To acquire items to the stratosphere, the Kona N has another trick up its travel-manner sleeve with the one of a kind N Grin Change (NGS) method that is enacted by urgent a crimson button on the steering wheel. Of course, that is definitely the title of it! The NGS mode is great for about 20 seconds exactly where it permits an more than-boost purpose to insert 10 horsepower (full of 286 HP) and aggressively shifts the DCT 8-velocity transmission at the greatest achievable RPM of the engine. Listed here the Kona N feels like you have a DRS (Drag Reduction Method) or “push to pass” manner but after employing the complete 20 seconds of “grinning” you have to wait around a even though for the engine to recover in advance of trying it once more. There’s also a launch manner that does a neat slipping of the automatic soaked friction clutch to restrict front wheel spin but does properly to get the Kona N up to 60 mph in about 4.9 seconds.
The Kona N feels like it is on rails – pushing the limits of a tall-statured small crossover. The brakes are solid with greater 14.2-inch rotors up front and 12.4-inch rears around other Kona trims equally clamped down by one-piston calipers.
I discovered myself generally guffawing a bit at the Kona N from its enamel-shattering stiff suspension when established in any method aside from the softest setting (which isn’t incredibly smooth to start off with), to the exhaust burbles and pops, and even the audio of the turbocharger and consumption manifold sounding like a fancy Dyson vacuum. Hyundai engineers certainly had to snicker a small when they packed in the many characteristics of the Kona N. On the other hand, it’s superior to encounter these types of a car or truck in recognizing a model nevertheless can have a tiny enjoyable and humor in their autos possibly as a last hurrah for fuel-burning engines.
Over-all, the Kona N feels like a pocket rocket but usually doesn’t provide regular electricity, which I considerably attribute to the 100-degree heat right here in Florida for the duration of my time with the pocket rocket. The Kona N is more of a enjoyable equipment for those who may well have wished the Veloster N but desired the extra room out back available by true doors and a taller cargo hatch. It is a authentic hoot to drive, trust me!
Exterior and Inside
To established the Kona N apart from the rest of the Kona line there’s a good deal to digest outside the house of the efficiency elements. For one, the Kona N sports activities 19-inch wheels with summer season general performance tires, large dual exhaust strategies, exclusive system cladding, pink exterior accents, and purple brake calipers. Inside, there are a pair of things that set it aside largely surrounding the hugely bolstered front heated seats that have leather-based trim and suede inserts to support grip your physique.
The Kona N will come nicely packed with features achieving the level of the Kona Constrained trim, which incorporates the highlights of a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, solitary-zone automated local weather regulate, electrical power driver’s seat with electrical power lumbar guidance, 8-speaker Harmon Kardon audio method, wireless smartphone charger, and a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster that options an more N method screen bringing up a one of a kind effectiveness display screen of car info.
The Kona N nevertheless gets respectable fuel milage if you utilize the Eco generate mode and hardly ever use the Grin-inducing N push modes. The mileage is a little down from the other Kona trims where by you can muster out the EPA estimates in the serious world of 20 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway, and 23 mpg merged.
Just like the Hyundai Kona Restricted, the Kona N receives the full array of energetic basic safety features (forward collision avoidance assist w/warning, lane-preserving aid, lane pursuing support, driver interest warning, blind-spot displays/collision avoidance aid, rear cross-targeted visitors collision avoidance help, harmless exit warning) but can be completely disabled on the fly by bringing up Tailored N push modes.
The place Hyundai seriously nails it, aside from possessing a rather exceptional compact crossover in the Kona N, is the rate wherever there are no alternatives to increase on – every thing is involved. At the close of the working day, you can have all this “grinning” enjoyable for $35,495, which is a cut price for something that is as enjoyable as this unique subcompact crossover pocket rocket.
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