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Hyundai Kona N video review

Rory Reid reviews the new Hyundai Kona N - does it add some excitement to the crossover SUV market?

Dan Trent

Additional words by: Dan Trent

Published on 26 January 2022 | 0 min read

The new Kona N is the first SUV to join the high-performance Hyundai N line-up. Described as a “hot SUV”, Hyundai says the Kona N blends the versatility of an SUV with the fun drive of its N hot hatches – but does it inject a bit of excitement into the crossover SUV market? Rory Reid finds out.

What is the N series?

N is Hyundai’s performance brand and comes in two levels – the N Line trim you can choose for regular models like the i10 and Tucson (voted best car for long distances in our 2021 New Car Awards) and the dedicated N models like the i30 N and i20 N. The latter have also inspired racing versions competing across the world on track and in rallying.
Where the N Line cars feature different wheels, N-branded interior trimming and other unique design elements the full N cars are properly engineered performance models with more powerful engines, upgraded suspension for improved handling, bigger brakes and more aggressive styling among their many additional features. Why N? It’s named after Namyang, South Korea (Hyundai Motor's global research and development headquarters), and the Nürburgring, where Hyundai has a test centre dedicated to honing N models on the famously demanding racetrack just over the road.

What makes the Hyundai Kona N different to the standard Kona?

The Hyundai Kona N features high-performance driving features dedicated to Hyundai N models, including Launch Control and N Grin Control System, which offers five drive modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom) designed to match driving conditions.
The Kona N uses the same two-litre, four-cylinder turbo charged engine as the i30 N – giving a top speed of 150mph, 280 horsepower and 392 Nm of torque. The Kona N is also the second-ever European Hyundai N model to include an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s fast, fun and brilliant to drive – check it out here. Read more about the Hyundai Kona SUV here.