Hyundai Kona N 2022 Road Test |  Road tests

Hyundai Kona N 2022 Road Test | Road tests


2022 Hyundai Kona N, N badge

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In 2022 – in a few years, actually – Hyundai is a brand to watch. Not only because the Korean brand is launching a lot cold – including the Corner N you see here – but also because it changes. It’s no surprise that much of this development is in the Ioniq’s software, which is now being launched with the all-electric Ioniq 5. Interestingly, they also emphasize their N performance brand, which only offers good old-school performance models with turbocharged internal combustion engines.

So what if you’re Hyundai and want to continue showing how far you can go with your fledgling performance brand?

Well, you’re doing a performance version of one of your biggest sellers, of course!

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2022 Hyundai Kona N, profile

2022 Hyundai Kona N, profile

The Kona N shares the same 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with the all-new Elantra N, which also means it’s shared with the car’s racing variant, the N TCR, built for competition. in touring car racing competitions around the world. On paper, that translates to 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, sent to the front wheels (no all-wheel drive is planned) via a dual-clutch automatic transmission. eight reports. It is your only choice; the six-speed manual that powers the Elantra N is not available in the Kona, which probably won’t surprise many.

In terms of style, the Kona N does not hesitate to show its less functional side. It is equipped with special rims with Pirelli performance tires, an exclusive “Performance Blue” color option and red side sills (these colors are available regardless of the chosen color of the six available, except for the ‘Ignite Red’ color seen here. ), a partial roof spoiler and a distinctive N badge on the side edges and grille. While it’s not inferior to a regular Kona (it’s still a crossover, so it should be able to beat Canadian winters), it’s not your ‘smart’ neighbor’s Kona, I can tell you.

2022 Hyundai Kona N, interior

2022 Hyundai Kona N, interior

Inside, the N love continues with special N sports seats, blue performance detailing on the seats, gear lever and two steering wheel mode buttons, as well as a large red button with the text “NGR”. This is the “N Grin Shift” system, which increases power by 10 horsepower in 20 seconds.

Although the seats are a little lower than in other Konas, even the widest among us – the category I belong to – will be quite comfortable. Rear space, meanwhile, is about what you’d expect from a car this size, meaning most people will probably only use it for kids, as it should. That or for more storage, as the seat backs can of course be folded flat.

The 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster is customizable and adds a “performance” style that makes you feel like you’re looking at the gauges from one of those touring cars. There is also a performance display accessible from the 10.25-inch main display that provides data such as G-force drive, lap time and fuel and coolant temperature. It’s a good look, considering the environment you’re sitting on.

2022 Hyundai Kona N, NGS Button (N Grin Shift)

2022 Hyundai Kona N, NGS Button (N Grin Shift)

Speaking of modules, there are several types of engine and chassis preset, but you can also customize your own mode and connect this profile to the two N buttons on the steering wheel, like you would on a BMW X3 M, for example. Personally, I liked the Sport mode with a slightly looser chassis, as it offers the comfortable ride you expect from a beater, but with an extra snap when cranking. I don’t like the responsive button used to switch between drive modes, however; A simple push button – as found in the Elantra N – would be my preference. It’s less complicated.

There really is fist here in this version of the N. Torque comes very low in the tuning band, giving you a good thrill once you hit, even more so if you use the launch control system through the performance pages. After that, each gear of the gearbox was changed deliberately and quickly, and with low vibration of the car. It’s a dual-clutch transmission that’s fun to operate with easy-to-use paddle shifters, and it’s another step up that puts the Kona N in a class above other crossovers. subcompacts on the market.

The handling, meanwhile, leaves these rivals in the dust, as it is balanced and benefits from the important addition of a low-slip electronic differential. I tested the Kona N on rain-soaked surfaces, including the Sonoma circuit in California, and you could feel the electronic differentials working slickly. As the inside wheel begins to spin in a turn, power is directed to the outside wheel to help you stay on track. It makes the Kona N feel unstoppable in the rough and that’s what we love about a capable crossover.

The brakes have also been extended and the pad material has been improved so that you are well covered when it comes to slowing down.

2022 Hyundai Kona N, on track

2022 Hyundai Kona N, on track

In fact, you’re pretty much covered when it comes to the Kona N. Yes, it’s a shame there’s no manual or AWD option, but at the same time, I tested the Elantra N with both transmissions and it’s not obvious. victory as I thought of the guide. In other words, the two-clutch automatic is a big box and fits Kona well, and would probably be the transmission of choice even if a manual were provided.

Hyundai, amazingly, has managed to take a car that is already very well-selling and adored for all its features, and has managed to keep it all – except for all-wheel drive – and deliver a real example of performance. It looks like this Kona model has potential.

2022 Hyundai Kona N, three-quarter rear

2022 Hyundai Kona N, three-quarter rear

We like

Performance hatchback handling
Style
Turbo power and sound

We like a little

There is no manual distribution
There is no AWD option

Great competition

Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

2022 Hyundai Kona N, rear

2022 Hyundai Kona N, rear

experts

Users

2022 Hyundai Kona N photos