What do I mean?
Well…launch control…lap timers…G-Force meters…rev-matching
downshifts…”extra extreme go” in short bursts…corner-carving electronically-controlled suspension…yes…like I just said….”What’s going on here”?
I thought we were testing one of those cute little Hyundai Konas that you seem to see everywhere.
And yes, we were. BUT…we got lucky and had Hyundai’s new “N” high-
performance Kona…stuffed with a 2.0 liter 276 HP turbo four with a hefty 289 ft-lbs of torque. An 8-speed dual-clutch auto with paddle shifters, big 14.2-inch painted rotors, 19” alloys with summer performance rubber, LED lighting and special red trim are also part of the package.
Depending upon your skill level, most people can bring the N up to speed from 0 to 60 somewhere in the mid-five-second range….and that’ll have you leaving a lot of your fellow road warriors with surprised looks on their faces.
But just like the rest of the Kona family, the N is a fun-to-fling-around family-friendly 5-door hatch with ample room for two / three / even four folks to hit the road for a week.
One unexpected surprise in this high-performance hatch? While the Kona N is rated at 20 City and 27 Hwy, we got a solid 31 on one of those freeway commutes where you’re pretty much boxed in with every lane going the same 65 MPH or so.
Considering that “regular” 147 HP Konas can be had from low to high $ 20s depending upon leather et al., the mid-$30 window sticker on our test “N” struck me as a bargain. You get performance, decent economy, excellent handling, easy parkability, room for four adults…or a lot of stuff with the rear seats down…and that Hyundai 10-year / 100,000-mile limited warranty.
In short, a lot is happening with Hyundai’s Kona N…and it’s all good.