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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I made the switch a couple weeks ago and I haven't looked back. I have had three GTI's and was in the market for a 2022 GTI . As I was getting close to making the purchase I saw a Kona N at a stoplight and I had to test one out for myself. I fell in love with the style and after the test drive I was sold. It really wasn't a competition between the two and I easily parted ways with the GTI. This fits all my needs as a daily driver while being exciting to drive at the same time. Excited to see what Hyundai has planned for years to come.
 

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I made the switch a couple weeks ago and I haven't looked back. I have had three GTI's and was in the market for a 2022 GTI . As I was getting close to making the purchase I saw a Kona N at a stoplight and I had to test one out for myself. I fell in love with the style and after the test drive I was sold. It really wasn't a competition between the two and I easily parted ways with the GTI. This fits all my needs as a daily driver while being exciting to drive at the same time. Excited to see what Hyundai has planned for years to come.
Congratulations! You and I have the same color, and I did too test drove the MK8 GTI and agree they’re NOT competitors. The more logical comparison I think would be the R, but even then I’m not sure.
 

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There are a lot of us. I daily-ed a MK7.5 GTI for a few years but for some reason it always left me wanting a bit more…they’re fun cars to drive but after a few weeks it just didn’t make me feel much of anything. In my humble opinion they’re too refined for their own good. They’re a good gateway into enthusiast life but after you drive a wider variety of cars they just feel so vanilla.

They sound like vacuums. VW’s systems don’t really allow you to go harder than 8/10. They run out of oomph at about 5,000 RPM…and I found the power delivery to be a bit inconsistent, not to mention the brakes had too much initial bite and the DSG got jerky in traffic. After only about 18 months with it I was ready to move on.

Was planning on a GR Corolla but got bored on a Sunday and decided to go check out the N cars. They absolutely blew me away and offered everything my GTI was missing…they sound mean, the power delivery is butter smooth, the brakes are way more progressive, there’s more steering feedback in the heavier modes, et cetera. You sacrifice a little refinement and ride quality, but who cares. If I wanted something smooth and comfy I’d buy a Lexus.

I originally wanted an Elantra N, but the seats just didn’t work for me. Way, way, way too stiff, and I road trip a fair amount. Plus my fiancée thought the styling was immature and for some reason believes a CUV is somehow exponentially more practical, so I took a Kona N out and the rest is history. I actually think the Elantra N drives a tiny bit better, but the Kona more than makes up for it in comfort and general usability.

Welcome to the Nthusiast family! We’re happy to have ya. It’s interesting to see how many people seem to be moving to the N products these days. I think Hyundai has cooked up something pretty special…that being said, it seems like the Kona N and MK8 GTI are pretty much neck and neck when it comes to speed. The stats say the Kona N is faster, but it seems like actual results vary based on what I see online, if you care about that sort of thing.

I personally don’t…I care about smiles per mile, and there’s nothing under 40-45k or so that can top the N cars. Trust me…I’ve driven a lot of what else is on offer. If you love driving but need a practical package that doesn’t break the bank it doesn’t get much better.
 

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i dont have a n, but i have a 2020 limited 1.6t, i had a 2015 mk7, which i absolutrly loved, a kid totalled me, coming from the mk7 to the newest one at that time seemed like a downgrade in components and quality, the mk7 interior from the steering wheel to almost everything else was superb, i test drove a mkl7.5 i think, i hated it, it flet like their cheaper jetta i had to drive for a day, i test drove alot of cars from jeep to kias, i jumped in this and drove for two miles and bought it. i dont miss the gti at all. i saw the n and i prefer that over any vw, which id never think i wouldve said that, i was a hardcore vw snob, had a 68 bug for years, always loved the rabbit as a kid and almost cried when i bought my gti cuz it was a dream come true to me. i would get an n but mine is plenty fast and fun, plus i got a retarded deal on it, i got it just before car prices turned to ****, i think i paid 21k for it , only thing ill give vw is the resale value was insane, i got around 17k for my 5 year old car i bought for 25k
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are a lot of us. I daily-ed a MK7.5 GTI for a few years but for some reason it always left me wanting a bit more…they’re fun cars to drive but after a few weeks it just didn’t make me feel much of anything. In my humble opinion they’re too refined for their own good. They’re a good gateway into enthusiast life but after you drive a wider variety of cars they just feel so vanilla.

They sound like vacuums. VW’s systems don’t really allow you to go harder than 8/10. They run out of oomph at about 5,000 RPM…and I found the power delivery to be a bit inconsistent, not to mention the brakes had too much initial bite and the DSG got jerky in traffic. After only about 18 months with it I was ready to move on.

Was planning on a GR Corolla but got bored on a Sunday and decided to go check out the N cars. They absolutely blew me away and offered everything my GTI was missing…they sound mean, the power delivery is butter smooth, the brakes are way more progressive, there’s more steering feedback in the heavier modes, et cetera. You sacrifice a little refinement and ride quality, but who cares. If I wanted something smooth and comfy I’d buy a Lexus.

I originally wanted an Elantra N, but the seats just didn’t work for me. Way, way, way too stiff, and I road trip a fair amount. Plus my fiancée thought the styling was immature and for some reason believes a CUV is somehow exponentially more practical, so I took a Kona N out and the rest is history. I actually think the Elantra N drives a tiny bit better, but the Kona more than makes up for it in comfort and general usability.

Welcome to the Nthusiast family! We’re happy to have ya. It’s interesting to see how many people seem to be moving to the N products these days. I think Hyundai has cooked up something pretty special…that being said, it seems like the Kona N and MK8 GTI are pretty much neck and neck when it comes to speed. The stats say the Kona N is faster, but it seems like actual results vary based on what I see online, if you care about that sort of thing.

I personally don’t…I care about smiles per mile, and there’s nothing under 40-45k or so that can top the N cars. Trust me…I’ve driven a lot of what else is in offer. If you love driving but need a practical package that doesn’t break the bank it doesn’t get much better.
I agree with everything above! I have a friend who has only had Gti's and now he is in the market for an N after seeing mine. He wants to test out the Elantra N but is leaning towards the Kona. Hyundai is making big moves in this segment and plucking away life long VW fanboys such as myself.
 

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I agree with everything above! I have a friend who has only had Gti's and now he is in the market for an N after seeing mine. He wants to test out the Elantra N but is leaning towards the Kona. Hyundai is making big moves in this segment and plucking away life long VW fanboys such as myself.
My family has owned VAG cars for ages and a GTI was always my attainable dream car…but owning one was just underwhelming. They’re good at most things but not amazing at anything in particular. I got bored of mine quickly and it just left me wanting more edge. The analogy I’ve been using to explain my choice to people is that the GTI is like a buttoned down business casual approach while the Kona N is like wearing a patterned shirt to work. One gets dull to a fault, the other is a way to have more fun without breaking all the rules.

The Elantra N is an amazing drivers car if you can get past the boy racer styling and seats. I personally couldn’t, but different strokes for different folks. There’s a reason they offer multiple N cars now.
 

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Congratulations! Also recently switched to a Kona N after close to 25 years of VW ownership. Loved my GLI's but this N is an amazingly great bang for the buck!
 

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hing above! I have a friend who has only had Gti's and now he is in the market for an N after seeing mine. He wants to test out the Elantra N but is leaning towards the Kona. Hyundai is making big moves in this segment and plucking away life long VW fanboys such as myself.
A good friend of 22+ years that got me into the car scene has been in the Kona N a few times now. He said compared to the Tiburon GT and the 2020 Elantra Sport that I have owned he definitely can see Hyundai tuned this car for the track. He has been in my ear now since I bought my car to AutoX it and I told him after I hit 1K mileage. Well that happened this past Sunday when went out for coffee and now it is a matter of finding time and actually doing it.

I've been a fan of Hyundai since 2002 when they launched the second gen of the Tiburon. I wanted a Genesis track edition but simply didn't have the funds at that time to buy a new car. And I'm glad I waited to buy the Kona N.
 

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Congratulations- picked mine up just a week after you- also Ultra Black! Paid 4% over MSRP :( but did well on the sale of my 2013 Civic Si on Cars & Bids so... pain alleviated a little. We're already calling ours The Batmobile. It's such a blast and I just don't get all the complaints about height and stiffness- this thing is a modern sleeper and the height just helps hide it's true intentions and abilities. And no, I'm not going for lap times at Watkins Glen in it. Would I lower an inch if OEM springs were available? Maybe. Do I love driving a giant-killer that looks like the demon child of a GTi and a CRV? Yes, yes indeed. I did consider briefly the GTI- but the messed up infotainment, VAG maintenance history, and lower performance for the $ turned me off. Only real other consideration was the M240i but $$$$$ and none to test drive anywhere near me... oh and HEAVY... and did I mention $$$$$? So here I am, glad to be part of the N family and happy to be driving a "CUV" named after good coffee and good earth :). My other car is a 2004 Miata- now I go from smiles per gallon to... more smiles per gallon!
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Congratulations- picked mine up just a week after you- also Ultra Black! Paid 4% over MSRP :( but did well on the sale of my 2013 Civic Si on Cars & Bids so... pain alleviated a little. We're already calling ours The Batmobile. It's such a blast and I just don't get all the complaints about height and stiffness- this thing is a modern sleeper and the height just helps hide it's true intentions and abilities. And no, I'm not going for lap times at Watkins Glen in it. Would I lower an inch if OEM springs were available? Maybe. Do I love driving a giant-killer that looks like the demon child of a GTi and a CRV? Yes, yes indeed. I did consider briefly the GTI- but the messed up infotainment, VAG maintenance history, and lower performance for the $ turned me off. Only real other consideration was the M240i but $$$$$ and none to test drive anywhere near me... oh and HEAVY... and did I mention $$$$$? So here I am, glad to be part of the N family and happy to be driving a "CUV" named after good coffee and good earth :). My other car is a 2004 Miata- now I go from smiles per gallon to... more smiles per gallon!
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Volkswagen’s poor reputation for reliability has been earned, unfortunately. I had a 2020 GTI S for two years and it wound up in the service bay multiple times for unexpected issues…the biggest of which were misfires. 3-4 times in the first 4000 miles the car would misfire, shut down two cylinders, drive like a dog, and light up the dashboard like a Christmas tree.

I worked with VW service centers 3 different times. The first told me it was essentially a “common bug” (pardon me?) and to simply ignore it. The next time it happened on a road trip and forced me to stop at a VW dealership in another city. They said they couldn’t find the issue, put an additive in the gas tank, and sent me on my way. It then happened again and my local dealership couldn’t find an issue and just changed my oil. Mind you I was using premium the entire time so it’s not like I was dumping garbage fuel in it.

And don’t get me started on the quality of materials (or lack thereof) on that thing. The paint would scratch if you so much as breathed on it. I eventually gave up on getting them buffed out because they’d just start appearing again in a few days. That thing was frustratingly sensitive, and my sister’s Tiguan has similar fit and finish issues. If you so much as look at it funny it’ll be scratched into oblivion.

I’d wanted a GTI since I was a teenager but the actual experience of owning one wound up leaving me wanting more. It seems like the MK8s are two steps forward one step back…they’re way faster (there’s a video on YouTube of one smoking Kona N, but it’s by SamCarLegion and I don’t really trust him/he seems like a total a hole with an agenda) and the styling is less of a snooze fest but that infotainment nonsense is a crime against humanity and would be a dealbreaker for me.

I also considered an M240i and the new Golf R but at the end of the day we couldn’t justify throwing the extra money away when the N cars had everything I really wanted and needed for 10-15 grand less. I have 0 regrets and like my Kona N much more than my GTI and more than the MK7 R as well, which I’ve also driven. The German cars are stat machines but they don’t offer the type of engaging, emotional driving experience that the Ns do unless you have the funds to buy something that’s 60kish or more, which we don’t at the moment.

At the end of the day I want an engaging and entertaining drive. The Ns do that better than just about anything under 50 grand that isn’t a coupe….and I love the DCT options. I enjoy driving stick but I live in the middle of the city and am not willing to put up with a manual when probably half of my driving is in traffic. I know that lots of enthusiasts say that diminishes my credibility, but I don’t care. The IT HAS TO BE A MANUAL OR IT’S INVALID crowd has never had to live with one in a dense area…and the sporty Japanese offerings are all essentially manual or GTFO. If they do offer an auto it’s so bad that it ruins the car…like in the BRZ/GR86 and WRX, and Honda has no interest at all in anything but stick for their Civic variants.

You’re lucky to have a Miata as a second car too! My aunt has a pristine NA that she lets me whip around every couple months. That car is the benchmark for me as far as an engaging drive is concerned. I could never make one work as a daily or really for any purpose other than pure driving joy, but in the future I’d love to buy a nice secondhand NC or ND as a weekend/project car.
 

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Congratulations- picked mine up just a week after you- also Ultra Black! Paid 4% over MSRP :( but did well on the sale of my 2013 Civic Si on Cars & Bids so... pain alleviated a little. We're already calling ours The Batmobile. It's such a blast and I just don't get all the complaints about height and stiffness- this thing is a modern sleeper and the height just helps hide it's true intentions and abilities. And no, I'm not going for lap times at Watkins Glen in it. Would I lower an inch if OEM springs were available? Maybe. Do I love driving a giant-killer that looks like the demon child of a GTi and a CRV? Yes, yes indeed. I did consider briefly the GTI- but the messed up infotainment, VAG maintenance history, and lower performance for the $ turned me off. Only real other consideration was the M240i but $$$$$ and none to test drive anywhere near me... oh and HEAVY... and did I mention $$$$$? So here I am, glad to be part of the N family and happy to be driving a "CUV" named after good coffee and good earth :). My other car is a 2004 Miata- now I go from smiles per gallon to... more smiles per gallon!
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Thats awesome! I like the demon child reference as it fits perfect. I have been stopped a few times by people asking what the **** it is so that will be my new response lol. How are you liking yours as a daily driver? I have seen alot of complaints for ride quality and bad gas mileage. Here in St. Pete Florida the ride has been stiffer but easily tolerable and if I want better gas mileage I just throw it in ECO mode but wheres the fun in that lol.
 

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My Kona N gets a ton of attention. I assumed no one would know what it is but I was wrong. I brought it out to a cars and coffee a few weeks ago and tons of people (mainly young folks) were checking it out. The other day an employee in the Costco lot walked up and told me he liked my car. I even had a guy driving a truck point at me and snap a picture the other day. I literally never got a single comment about my GTI the entire time I owned it…

The ride is harsh, but that comes with the territory. If you leave your suspension in its softest setting it’s comparable to other performance oriented cars in this segment. N mode is basically unusable anywhere but a freshly paved track, but who cares…just use your custom mode. I’ve found that the sweet spot for having fun with it as a daily is to have the engine and steering in sport +, the suspension in normal (its softest setting), ESC and transmission in sport (sport + means no traction control and the transmission basically holding gears until redline every time), LSD in sport +, and exhaust in sport +. The crackles and pops really only happen after 4,000 RPM, so it’s not hard to avoid them during daily driving if you don’t want them.

Gas mileage is what I expected…if you’re stuck in traffic or hoon the daylights out of it it doesn’t do great. In horrific traffic mine dips to around 15, but nothing does well in my area other than hybrids and EVs because the traffic is some of the worst in the country. When I beat the snot out of it on a backroad for 45 minutes last weekend it managed a little over 18.

On suburban roads I manage about 24 or so, however my car beats its EPA estimates on country roads and highways. I’ve gotten as high as 32-33, and I managed over 30 both ways on a recent 4 hour highway trip and managed over 30 both ways on long drive into a rural area where my family has a vacation property.

Such is life with a performance car. It genuinely doesn’t bother me personally. In my experience almost nothing actually hits EPA city estimates, but I find that most cars will beat their highway numbers without much effort. The Kona N really hasn’t been any different from my GTI when it comes to gas. It just is what it is…if gas mileage is your primary concern then buy a hybrid or EV. No pure ICE performance car is going to blow you away on that front.

I think the people that have voiced displeasure with the Kona N are expecting it to be something it isn’t. It’s a performance car first and a practical car second…not to mention you need to spend the time to really figure out the drive modes and which ones best suit your needs. If you don’t put in that time and expect it to function every day like a RAV 4 or something of course you’ll be disappointed…but that isn’t the car’s purpose.

It’s meant for fun. The fact that it happens to be a hatchback with 5 seats and great headroom is a bonus. If you understand that you’ll love it-I know that I do and most automotive journalists are singing its praises. Really the only negative press I’ve seen is the result of people not understanding the car and its design philosophy.
 

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Well my experience with my Kona N has been a mixed bag. People who like cars are shocked when I drive by with the Kona and many are confused by how good the car sounds.

When the engine is off and I am either getting out of the car or getting in the car the compliments I receive about the car looks are from older ladies that are around 60 years of age. In fact my mom really likes how it looks but won’t buy it because it’s not AWD.

With all that said, engine on = cool for younger crowd. Just sitting in the parking lot = cute car from the older ladies. It’s a car that both older and younger generation like.

My daughter calls it the broom 🧹 car…not vroom but broom, lol…

As for me, the N models are what I wanted from Hyundai when I bought my Tiburon GT 20 years ago. In fact exactly 20 years to the day I bought my Kona N.

Hyundai performance cars are grown up and for me I feel 20 years younger behind the wheel.
 

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Thats awesome! I like the demon child reference as it fits perfect. I have been stopped a few times by people asking what the **** it is so that will be my new response lol. How are you liking yours as a daily driver? I have seen alot of complaints for ride quality and bad gas mileage. Here in St. Pete Florida the ride has been stiffer but easily tolerable and if I want better gas mileage I just throw it in ECO mode but wheres the fun in that lol.
I'll be honest- it is only my daily during summer on days when it is too hot (>90ºF) or too rainy for Dory the Miata. I'm still under 300 miles! It will get even more use in the winter, so as you can imagine I'm already shopping for winter rims & tires (gonna go with 18's and either Blizzaks or something comparable or perhaps 3-peak all seasons). Having said that I find myself taking the Kona aka Batmobile on many marginal days because I do simply love it. Ride quality: yes firm, yes a little bumpy but the car is TIGHT and PLANTED. My 2013 Civic Si was also firm, but NOT nearly as tight and not nearly as planted feeling. I don't find it obnoxious at all. It's a performance car, maybe a little over-damped but the complainers must be very spoiled. It feels fine to me and I'm 54 years old with a history of back problems. As far as mileage- sure, a little disappointing especially compared with the EPA spec of the M240i but I do get >30mpg on the highway no problem. Around town in Sport with a lot of stoplights and... you will be seeing 16-18mpg. Like you said- you could stick it in ECO and hypermile it but if you're doing that you bought the wrong car. Buy a Prius. I'm getting 18-20 combined, about the same as the aforementioned Civic Si it replaced. Biggest loves are #1 Ridiculous sleeper ability / acceleration (I've already seen a couple of "what the @#$! was that?" faces from older model Audi/Bimmer drivers ;)). I LOVE the stealth aspect. 2. The tech/infotainment- SO intuitive and adaptable. 3. The seats- SO comfortable & just the right amount of bolstering and 4.The climate controls- again, intuitive, and with KNOBS (hear that, VW), and the A/C is ice cold. The Kona N for me creates boxes I didn't know I needed, then checks them right off. By the way- I did invest in an actual spare from modernspare.com. Got it with jack kit etc.- not cheap but it's light, fits perfectly and eliminates the apprehension of relying on the useless pump. Can't really give Hyundai demerits for not including one; seems to be the status quo for all mfr's these days. Cheers!
 
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