I’m critical. This bizarre tiny SUV is a person of the ideal motor vehicles I’ve at any time driven, using almost everything great about the Veloster N and making use of it to an over-all nicer bundle. It shares its turbocharged 2.-liter inline-4 motor with Hyundai’s other N autos, placing out 276 horsepower and 289 pound-toes of torque. That is an raise of 29 lb-ft, and the Kona’s peak torque arrives on a minimal later. Hyundai’s eight-velocity dual-clutch automated transmission is the only solution for the Kona N, which is high-quality by me as the Veloster N’s normal 6-velocity handbook kinda sucks. The DCT is sleek in procedure but fires off fast, gratifying shifts.

Around town, the Kona N is an complete blast. The sound from its large dual exhaust tips is a minimal quieter than the Veloster’s, creating much less pops and bangs on overrun, but the Kona N is antisocial in its sportiest push modes. You can listen to the turbocharger superior than in the Veloster, as well. Regardless of technically becoming an SUV the Kona N is just not supplied with all-wheel push, and honestly that would make the car heavier and worse. With start regulate engaged Hyundai claims the Kona N will strike 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, which is totally absurd: That’s as brief as a base Porsche Taycan. Even with launch management engaged the Kona N hilariously scrambles for traction, but an electronic constrained-slip differential helps distribute torque among the entrance wheels to increase grip.

I scarcely bothered to test out the Kona’s Eco or Normal drive modes, opting to have the powertrain in its most aggressive placing very much all the time for greatest hilarity. Though I will be aware that, in one freeway stint in Eco, I crested 31 mpg, besting the Environmental Defense Agency’s freeway ranking by 4 mpg.

Its 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer tires are common fitment, and the Kona N’s 235/40-measurement rubber has a bit extra sidewall than the Veloster’s 235/35 tires. The Kona N’s experience is stiff as hell even with the adaptive dampers in the softest location, and its shorter wheelbase can make it a minimal extra unsettled around negative surfaces than the Veloster, but it really is not unbearably rough. The 14.2-inch entrance and 12.4-inch rear brakes are 2.2 and 1.2 inches larger than a ordinary Kona’s, respectively, and the N also has ventilated rear discs. Just after an hour of difficult driving there is no fade or squeaking from the brakes, and it’s bought a bodily hand brake, a rarity these times and crucial if you delight in drifting your hot hatchbacks close to parking plenty.

2022 Hyundai Kona N


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2022 Hyundai Kona N

Adore that rear spoiler.

Daniel Golson/CNET

Even when cornering frivolously the Kona N will kick its internal rear tire into the air like a puppy dog peeing on a tree, and it is really inclined to controllable carry-off oversteer. There is a bit of first understeer and a great deal of torque steer underneath acceleration, and the Kona has additional physique roll and dive underneath braking than the Veloster. That wouldn’t normally be a positive, but it all provides to the Kona’s improved sense of pleasure and driver involvement. As an alternative of heading just after best dynamics, the Kona N is all about remaining in tune with what the auto is carrying out, with the extra well known physique motion incorporating to the knowledge. It is really the very same cause we really like the Mazda Miata so a great deal.

The Kona N’s electronic electrical power steering is phenomenal, weighty and immediate with sharp transform-in and pretty much no lifeless zone, offering significantly far better feed-back than any new BMW M car. (Ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann’s influence as the head of Hyundai’s R&D division is immediately clear.) It will help that the perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel is good, with a thick rim, steel change paddles, two large push mode buttons and a gratifying crimson button for the N Grin Shift functionality, which is basically an overboost mode.

2022 Hyundai Kona N


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2022 Hyundai Kona N

The Kona’s inside is nicer than the Veloster’s, and additional sensible way too.

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When it truly is of course primarily based on a low cost vehicle, with tons of tough plastics all over, the Kona N’s inside is nicer than the Veloster’s. The Kona N has a 10.3-inch electronic gauge cluster with configurable general performance web pages and brilliant graphics, when the Veloster can make do with actual physical gauges that have a little 4.2-inch display in the heart. The Kona’s 10.3-inch center touchscreen is a lot superior than the Veloster’s 8-inch screen, far too, and takes advantage of Hyundai’s most up-to-date infotainment system, which also has great functionality information internet pages that are considerably less challenging than the Veloster’s. Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SiriusXM are all common, and the Kona N’s 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio method is great.

Hyundai fitted the Kona N with properly bolstered, suede-trimmed bucket seats that sadly lack the illuminated N symbol, but compared with the Veloster, the Kona’s driver’s chair is power adjustable. The extra upright driving place would not be for everyone, but I think it provides to the visceral pleasure and reminds me of the plucky Fiat 500 Abarth. The Kona is a lot more practical than the Veloster, as well: Rear-seat passengers have more headroom, legroom and shoulder home. With the rear seats folded the Kona has a lot more hauling area than the Veloster, and the shape of its cargo place is extra usable.

2022 Hyundai Kona N


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2022 Hyundai Kona N

These are the accurate settings.

Daniel Golson/CNET

One particular oddity is that the Kona N would not appear with adaptive cruise manage, and it is not an option regardless of its availability on other Konas — blame the N’s large, open up front grilles. The Kona N also doesn’t get parking sensors or a 360-diploma digital camera system, which is a disgrace. Blind-location monitoring, lane-retaining and lane-centering support, computerized higher beams, automatic crisis braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-targeted traffic inform and a rear occupant inform are all provided. You also get heated entrance seats, a wi-fi machine charger, computerized weather manage, vehicle up/down front windows, keyless entry and pushbutton start off.

Like Hyundai’s other N automobiles, the Kona N will come in just a one configuration devoid of possibilities or trim offers. There are only four accessible shades, with my exam car’s Sonic Blue being the most intriguing. Which include a $1,245 destination cost the Kona N fees $35,445, only $400 a lot more than an computerized Veloster N. The Kona N is also $2,020 less costly than an automatic, mid-assortment Volkswagen GTI, which just isn’t as well outfitted and isn’t really practically as interesting to travel. Greatest of all, Hyundai’s 10-yr, 100,000-mile warranty is not voided by keep track of use. Hell yeah.

The Hyundai Kona N is foolish and absurd. It does not make perception on paper, nonetheless it is by some means functional and justifiable. It transcends what you hope from it, building every single journey an entertaining and fascinating 1. I have experienced far more exciting in this front-wheel-travel crossover than any sports car or truck or supercar I have experienced the enjoyment of driving, with even grocery runs sending me into a in good shape of giggles. The Kona N is, in a term, chic.

2022 Hyundai Kona N


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2022 Hyundai Kona N

Just about every push is amazing when you have a Kona N.

Daniel Golson/CNET