Hyundai Kona N

Hyundai Kona N, 2022, front, action
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, side
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, side
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, rear, static
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, rear, action
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, centre console
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, display screen
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, interior
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, instrument panel
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, sill
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, engine
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, exhaust
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, rear seats
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, boot
Hyundai Kona N, 2022, badge

WHAT do get when you combine a feisty hot hatch with the versatility of an SUV.

Answer: the Hyundai Kona N.

The Kona N has been designed to meet the demands of people who need SUV space but still want to drive a car which is lively enough to put a bit of fun into their motoring.

With that in mind Hyundai has not only equipped the car with a beefy 2.0-litre, 280 bhp engine but added a cheeky little function - the N Grin Control System (NGS) - which does exactly what it says on the tin.

And with a name like that it's not hard to figure out what it's designed for.

But first things first.

The Kona N is the rocket ship version of Hyundai's compact SUV family and really looks the part compared to its more docile siblings.

It's easily identified by its low ride height, distinctive sporty grille, eye-catching body cladding, red brake callipers and dramatic double wing roof spoiler and 19-inch alloy wheels. You definitely won't miss it.

The sporting theme continues inside with good supportive side bolsters on the Alcantara rally-style seats, a sports steering wheel with paddles for changing gear manually and metal pedals.

The engine is mated to a dual clutch, eight-speed automatic gearbox and you have a wide selection of driving modes - activated by distinctive N buttons on the steering wheel - including eco and sport.

But the fun starts when you push the red button on the steering wheel marked NGS.

Immediately the revs increase as the car changes down to the most appropriate performance gear, a 20-second timer appears in front of the speedometer, there's a throaty roar from the twin exhausts and as you hit the accelerator and the Kona N takes off like it's been booted from behind.

In fact the system puts so much power to the front axle that you have to get a firm grip on the steering wheel to control the torque steer.

You have to remember though, a little bit like Cinderella at midnight, after those 20 seconds everything returns to normal, and it will be another 40 seconds before you can use the boost feature again.

It might sound gimmicky but its great fun and ideal for anyone using the car on the track or when acceleration is of the essence, like when trying to merge onto a busy junction.

Even without the use of the red button, however, the Kona N is a lively mover, particularly in Sport mode and boasts a 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time of just 5.5 seconds using the car's launch control system and a top speed of nearly 150 miles per hour..

And with electronic controlled suspension to improve handling and stability and the option to switch the steering between Normal, Sport and Sport+ the Kona N makes for an exhilarating drive.

Switch to Sport mode and the dashboard illumination turns red and usefully the rev counter is projected into the head-up display alongside your current speed and the prevailing speed limit.

And I liked the fact that overtaking cars are also shown in the head-up display as well as - like most other cars - with a warning light in the driver's side mirror.

As you would expect for a car like this the suspension is on the firm side giving - at times - a somewhat choppy ride but in the main its passenger friendly and certainly easy to live with.

And there are a host of creature comforts on board including heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel not to mention satellite navigation system and a reversing camera.

On the practical side there's generous space for front seats travellers, reasonable space for those in the back and a 361-litre luggage area.


Hyundai Kona N

Price: £35,395

Mechanical: 280bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 149 mph

0-62mph: 5.5 secs

Combined MPG: 33.2

Insurance Group:27

C02 emissions: 194 g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles


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