The most entertaining-to-travel vehicle on sale isn’t a droptop sports motor vehicle or mid-engine supercar. If maniacal laughter and absolute thrills are what you might be following, you need a front-wheel-generate crossover with an automated transmission. Specifically, you need the Hyundai Kona N.
I’m major. This odd minor SUV is one of the greatest automobiles I’ve ever driven, using every thing very good about the Veloster N and implementing it to an general nicer package. It shares its turbocharged 2.-liter inline-4 motor with Hyundai’s other N autos, putting out 276 horsepower and 289 pound-toes of torque. That is an improve of 29 lb-ft, and the Kona’s peak torque comes on a tiny later on. Hyundai’s eight-velocity twin-clutch automatic transmission is the only selection for the Kona N, which is good by me as the Veloster N’s regular 6-velocity guide kinda sucks. The DCT is smooth in operation but fires off swift, fulfilling shifts.
About city, the Kona N is an absolute blast. The sounds from its large dual exhaust recommendations is a very little quieter than the Veloster’s, making fewer pops and bangs on overrun, but the Kona N is antisocial in its sportiest push modes. You can hear the turbocharger much better than in the Veloster, way too. Despite technically getting an SUV the Kona N is just not made available with all-wheel drive, and honestly that would make the car or truck heavier and worse. With start handle engaged Hyundai says the Kona N will strike 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, which is fully absurd: That is as swift as a base Porsche Taycan. Even with start handle engaged the Kona N hilariously scrambles for traction, but an electronic constrained-slip differential allows distribute torque between the entrance wheels to increase grip.
I hardly bothered to try out the Kona’s Eco or Normal generate modes, opting to have the powertrain in its most intense location pretty substantially all the time for maximum hilarity. Though I will observe that, in 1 highway stint in Eco, I crested 31 mpg, besting the Environmental Protection Agency’s highway ranking by 4 mpg.
Its 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer time tires are conventional fitment, and the Kona N’s 235/40-sizing rubber has marginally additional sidewall than the Veloster’s 235/35 tires. The Kona N’s trip is stiff as hell even with the adaptive dampers in the softest environment, and its shorter wheelbase will make it a tiny more unsettled above lousy surfaces than the Veloster, but it truly is not unbearably rough. The 14.2-inch front and 12.4-inch rear brakes are 2.2 and 1.2 inches larger than a usual Kona’s, respectively, and the N also has ventilated rear discs. After an hour of difficult driving there’s no fade or squeaking from the brakes, and it is really got a actual physical hand brake, a rarity these times and very important if you enjoy drifting your warm hatchbacks close to parking plenty.
Even when cornering evenly the Kona N will kick its inner rear tire into the air like a puppy dog peeing on a tree, and it’s inclined to controllable elevate-off oversteer. You will find a little bit of original understeer and a good deal of torque steer below acceleration, and the Kona has extra system roll and dive underneath braking than the Veloster. That would not normally be a positive, but it all adds to the Kona’s increased perception of exhilaration and driver involvement. As a substitute of heading right after fantastic dynamics, the Kona N is all about staying in tune with what the motor vehicle is carrying out, with the a lot more outstanding body motion introducing to the knowledge. It truly is the similar explanation we really like the Mazda Miata so a great deal.
The Kona N’s electronic power steering is phenomenal, large and immediate with sharp transform-in and nearly no useless zone, delivering considerably better responses than any new BMW M automobile. (Ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann’s influence as the head of Hyundai’s R&D division is quickly evident.) It will help that the perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel is terrific, with a thick rim, metal change paddles, two substantial generate method buttons and a satisfying red button for the N Grin Shift perform, which is basically an overboost manner.
Whilst it’s naturally based on a cheap car, with loads of challenging plastics all through, the Kona N’s inside is nicer than the Veloster’s. The Kona N has a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable overall performance internet pages and magnificent graphics, though the Veloster tends to make do with physical gauges that have a small 4.2-inch show in the center. The Kona’s 10.3-inch heart touchscreen is considerably greater than the Veloster’s 8-inch monitor, too, and works by using Hyundai’s newest infotainment technique, which also has awesome functionality info web pages that are fewer complex than the Veloster’s. Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Vehicle and SiriusXM are all common, and the Kona N’s 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system is awesome.
Hyundai equipped the Kona N with properly bolstered, suede-trimmed bucket seats that sadly deficiency the illuminated N logo, but contrary to the Veloster, the Kona’s driver’s chair is ability adjustable. The additional upright driving posture will not likely be for absolutely everyone, but I feel it adds to the visceral pleasure and reminds me of the plucky Fiat 500 Abarth. The Kona is far more useful than the Veloster, too: Rear-seat travellers have far more headroom, legroom and shoulder area. With the rear seats folded the Kona has a lot more hauling area than the Veloster, and the condition of its cargo region is additional usable.
A person oddity is that the Kona N won’t come with adaptive cruise manage, and it just isn’t an option inspite of its availability on other Konas — blame the N’s large, open front grilles. The Kona N also would not get parking sensors or a 360-diploma digital camera program, which is a disgrace. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-maintaining and lane-centering assist, automated large beams, automated crisis braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-site visitors inform and a rear occupant alert are all incorporated. You also get heated entrance seats, a wi-fi device charger, automatic weather command, vehicle up/down entrance windows, keyless entry and pushbutton begin.
Like Hyundai’s other N vehicles, the Kona N arrives in just a single configuration with out options or trim offers. There are only four offered colours, with my take a look at car’s Sonic Blue remaining the most fascinating. Including a $1,245 destination charge the Kona N fees $35,445, only $400 a lot more than an computerized Veloster N. The Kona N is also $2,020 cheaper than an automated, mid-variety Volkswagen GTI, which is just not as effectively geared up and is just not practically as remarkable to push. Best of all, Hyundai’s 10-12 months, 100,000-mile warranty isn’t really voided by track use. Hell yeah.
The Hyundai Kona N is silly and ridiculous. It won’t make sense on paper, nevertheless it truly is someway functional and justifiable. It transcends what you hope from it, making each journey an entertaining and interesting one. I have had much more enjoyment in this entrance-wheel-travel crossover than any athletics car or supercar I’ve had the enjoyment of driving, with even grocery runs sending me into a match of giggles. The Kona N is, in a term, elegant.