I’m severe. This odd little SUV is 1 of the best vehicles I have at any time driven, having every little thing superior about the Veloster N and making use of it to an overall nicer deal. It shares its turbocharged 2.-liter inline-4 engine with Hyundai’s other N automobiles, placing out 276 horsepower and 289 pound-toes of torque. That is an maximize of 29 lb-ft, and the Kona’s peak torque will come on a very little later. Hyundai’s eight-speed twin-clutch automated transmission is the only choice for the Kona N, which is fantastic by me as the Veloster N’s typical 6-pace manual kinda sucks. The DCT is smooth in procedure but fires off swift, fulfilling shifts.
Close to town, the Kona N is an absolute blast. The sounds from its large twin exhaust ideas is a very little quieter than the Veloster’s, generating fewer pops and bangs on overrun, but the Kona N is antisocial in its sportiest drive modes. You can listen to the turbocharger greater than in the Veloster, way too. Despite technically being an SUV the Kona N just isn’t provided with all-wheel drive, and honestly that would make the vehicle heavier and worse. With start command engaged Hyundai claims the Kona N will strike 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, which is absolutely absurd: That’s as quick as a base Porsche Taycan. Even with start regulate engaged the Kona N hilariously scrambles for traction, but an digital minimal-slip differential aids distribute torque among the entrance wheels to increase grip.
I barely bothered to try out the Kona’s Eco or Usual drive modes, opting to have the powertrain in its most aggressive setting really significantly all the time for optimum hilarity. However I will notice that, in one particular highway stint in Eco, I crested 31 mpg, besting the Environmental Defense Agency’s highway rating by 4 mpg.
Its 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer months tires are typical fitment, and the Kona N’s 235/40-dimensions rubber has somewhat additional sidewall than the Veloster’s 235/35 tires. The Kona N’s ride is stiff as hell even with the adaptive dampers in the softest placing, and its shorter wheelbase would make it a little more unsettled about negative surfaces than the Veloster, but it can be not unbearably rough. The 14.2-inch entrance and 12.4-inch rear brakes are 2.2 and 1.2 inches bigger than a standard Kona’s, respectively, and the N also has ventilated rear discs. Soon after an hour of challenging driving there’s no fade or squeaking from the brakes, and it’s obtained a physical hand brake, a rarity these times and important if you delight in drifting your hot hatchbacks about parking lots.
Even when cornering flippantly the Kona N will kick its internal rear tire into the air like a puppy dog peeing on a tree, and it’s prone to controllable raise-off oversteer. There is certainly a little bit of first understeer and a great deal of torque steer underneath acceleration, and the Kona has much more overall body roll and dive underneath braking than the Veloster. That wouldn’t typically be a constructive, but it all adds to the Kona’s increased sense of excitement and driver involvement. As an alternative of likely right after fantastic dynamics, the Kona N is all about becoming in tune with what the motor vehicle is doing, with the much more well known overall body movement introducing to the encounter. It is the exact purpose we adore the Mazda Miata so significantly.
The Kona N’s digital ability steering is phenomenal, weighty and immediate with sharp transform-in and just about no lifeless zone, delivering much improved comments than any new BMW M motor vehicle. (Ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann’s influence as the head of Hyundai’s R&D division is promptly apparent.) It aids that the perforated leather-based-wrapped steering wheel is terrific, with a thick rim, metallic change paddles, two large generate manner buttons and a satisfying crimson button for the N Grin Shift functionality, which is essentially an overboost mode.
Although it is really clearly centered on a affordable automobile, with tons of tricky plastics through, the Kona N’s interior is nicer than the Veloster’s. The Kona N has a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable performance pages and brilliant graphics, when the Veloster helps make do with actual physical gauges that have a very small 4.2-inch display screen in the heart. The Kona’s 10.3-inch middle touchscreen is considerably far better than the Veloster’s 8-inch monitor, way too, and takes advantage of Hyundai’s most up-to-date infotainment method, which also has amazing functionality knowledge pages that are fewer sophisticated than the Veloster’s. Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Car and SiriusXM are all conventional, and the Kona N’s 8-speaker Harman Kardon seem technique is amazing.
Hyundai equipped the Kona N with properly bolstered, suede-trimmed bucket seats that regrettably absence the illuminated N logo, but as opposed to the Veloster, the Kona’s driver’s chair is energy adjustable. The much more upright driving placement will not likely be for anyone, but I believe it adds to the visceral satisfaction and reminds me of the plucky Fiat 500 Abarth. The Kona is a lot more useful than the Veloster, far too: Rear-seat travellers have extra headroom, legroom and shoulder home. With the rear seats folded the Kona has more hauling room than the Veloster, and the form of its cargo space is far more usable.
One oddity is that the Kona N won’t come with adaptive cruise command, and it is just not an choice regardless of its availability on other Konas — blame the N’s huge, open up entrance grilles. The Kona N also will not get parking sensors or a 360-diploma digital camera technique, which is a disgrace. Blind-location checking, lane-keeping and lane-centering assist, automatic superior beams, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-targeted traffic warn and a rear occupant notify are all incorporated. You also get heated front seats, a wireless system charger, automatic local climate regulate, automobile up/down front windows, keyless entry and pushbutton commence.
Like Hyundai’s other N autos, the Kona N will come in just a solitary configuration devoid of solutions or trim packages. There are only 4 available colours, with my take a look at car’s Sonic Blue getting the most appealing. Like a $1,245 vacation spot charge the Kona N expenses $35,445, only $400 more than an automatic Veloster N. The Kona N is also $2,020 more affordable than an automatic, mid-assortment Volkswagen GTI, which is just not as perfectly geared up and is not nearly as remarkable to travel. Greatest of all, Hyundai’s 10-12 months, 100,000-mile warranty is not voided by keep track of use. Hell yeah.
The Hyundai Kona N is silly and preposterous. It will not make sense on paper, however it is really somehow sensible and justifiable. It transcends what you be expecting from it, generating each individual journey an entertaining and fascinating one. I’ve had a lot more enjoyable in this front-wheel-drive crossover than any sports vehicle or supercar I have had the pleasure of driving, with even grocery runs sending me into a match of giggles. The Kona N is, in a phrase, chic.