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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning everyone! I’m new around here checking in from the DC area. Just picked up my 2022 Kona N on Saturday and have put about 120 miles on it already. So far so good! I’d originally wanted an Elantra N but couldn’t stand the stock seats, didn’t want to give up the hatch I had on my GTI, and I just couldn’t get past the super aggressive front end…as I’m in my early 30s and don’t want to go full boy racer looks wise. I also think the Kona N just feels a little better on the inside, not to mention it’s a good compromise for partners that don’t like edgy cars. My fiancée loves it because she thinks it’s a practical SUV…which it is to an extent.

The driving experience is just amazing. It’s a huge step up over my GTI…just a way more engaging drive all around and a little bit quicker too. I got tired of the GTI because it just felt too vanilla. It did everything well, but nothing amazing, and it just felt like it was a little too serious for its own good. When people ask me the difference I say the GTI is like a well buttoned up business casual approach, while the Kona N is like wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work. You’re not breaking the rules but you’re here for a good time. The N cars do pure fun and driving joy better than just about anything else with a starting price in the 30s…and many things in the 40s too.


I like it best with everything set to its highest except exhaust, traction control, and suspension. The second highest exhaust is plenty loud as is, I want a little bit of traction control (Sport+ fully shuts it off), and as great as the car is if your roads are rough it’s pretty much softest suspension or no dice. I feel like the full N mode is asking for a headache on anything but perfect roads.

All in all I think it’s an amazing car that people are sleeping on because it’s marketed as a CUV. Once you think of it as a slightly lifted hatchback it makes a lot more sense…either way, I couldn’t be happier. It’s a quirky car, but I’m a quirky dude so I feel like we were meant for each other.
 

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Congratulations on your new N! I was cross shopping the KN with the 2022 GTI SE back in December. While the new GTI was an improvement over the prev gen, it still felt short of exciting. Not to mention it cost about $5k more than the KN.

I’ve test driven SUVs that cost over 3x as much and still felt the KN was more fun to drive than those. This is the best kept secret in the automotive world right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congratulations on your new N! I was cross shopping the KN with the 2022 GTI SE back in December. While the new GTI was an improvement over the prev gen, it still felt short of exciting. Not to mention it cost about $5k more than the KN.

I’ve test driven SUVs that cost over 3x as much and still felt the KN was more fun to drive than those. This is the best kept secret in the automotive world right now.
Thank you! I’ve driven a fair amount of pretty fun stuff in the 30-50 range…obviously I daily’d a GTI for 2 years, I’ve driven a Golf R, I’ve driven a current gen V6 Camaro, the current 330i and X2 M35i, my dad has a V6 Audi A6 that I get to drive on occasion, etc…really the only thing I’ve driven that gives the N cars a run for their money fun wise is an NA Miata, but that’s a purpose built sports car that offers 0 of the practicality.

Agreed on the Kona N being the best kept secret right now…it seems like no one is really talking about it, and a lot of people that are write it off because it’s marketed as a crossover. Hopefully it stays that way, I like having a sleeper and I managed to get it under MSRP….whereas dealerships are currently getting away with huge Elantra N markups in my area.

I get that, naturally, the Kona N is the most compromised N car from a performance standpoint, but when it comes to day to day livability it’s head and shoulders above the other two. If you’re only focused on lap times then I see why it wouldn’t be appealing, but if you’re going to daily it I’d take it over the Veloster or Elantra N every time. I find it’s a much comfier car that feels bigger than the other two inside, even if the actual numbers say it isn’t.
 

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Like you I bought mine this past Saturday. I am bit older than you, in my mid 40’s. My first Hyundai sports car was the 2003 Tiburon GT the month it launched. I have owned a variety of cars from Elantra GT, Elantra Sport, Mazda MPV, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Outback, Subaru Ascent, Saab 9-3 Aero Wagon, Jeep Cherokee, etc….

I was planning to buy the Elantra N as well but none available in my area. Fairly local dealership in Maine had a Kona N and it was discounted which made it an easy sale for the dealership because after doing a bit more digging the Kona N made more sense for me as a daily driver. I love the Kona and plan to keep this car for the same amount of time I have owned my Saab, which is 10+ years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like you I bought mine this past Saturday. I am bit older than you, in my mid 40’s. My first Hyundai sports car was the 2003 Tiburon GT the month it launched. I have owned a variety of cars from Elantra GT, Elantra Sport, Mazda MPV, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Outback, Subaru Ascent, Saab 9-3 Aero Wagon, Jeep Cherokee, etc….

I was planning to buy the Elantra N as well but none available in my area. Fairly local dealership in Maine had a Kona N and it was discounted which made it an easy sale for the dealership because after doing a bit more digging the Kona N made more sense for me as a daily driver. I love the Kona and plan to keep this car for the same amount of time I have owned my Saab, which is 10+ years.
In my area Elantra Ns are getting slammed with markups too. People are paying 38+ for them without even blinking…which is ridiculous to me. They’re cool cars, but part of their appeal is their price point. Once you start brushing up on 40 grand they’re a much harder sell. That’s decent Civic Type R/Golf R/M240i territory.

The Kona N began as a compromise with my fiancée…she’s the opposite of an enthusiast (despite my best attempts to initiate her haha) and wasn’t going to sign off on me switching cars prematurely unless there was some sort of non-performance benefit the car offered us over my GTI. She discovered the Kona N existed and was like “why don’t you take a look at that, it’s a small SUV, therefore I like it”.

…turns out the Kona has some serious benefits over the Elantra. I personally think the interior space is MUCH nicer. While the Kona is fairly basic, the Elantra N feels like it’s trying too hard…and combine over styling with cheap materials and the interior just didn’t wow me, not to mention the seats are atrocious. I can’t imagine road tripping in the Elantra/Veloster N seats unless you’re about 5’7 and 150 pounds. They’re extremely constricting and don’t offer much adjustment.

The Kona N has way better seats and I think the interior looks and feels nicer. The materials aren’t all that different, but I think the Kona makes better use of them, if that makes sense. The touch points are all pretty nice as well. Also…it’s hard to beat a hatchback when it comes to hauling stuff.

Overall I think the Kona N is a better package if you don’t have track aspirations. It’s also the right amount of styling to me…it looks good and distinct without being overdone. On the other hand the Elantra N’s front end is a disaster. The all black front fascia looks pretty ridiculous to me. I get what they’re going for and a lot of the boy racer crowd wants styling cranked up to 11, but for professionals in their 30s or 40s it’s a bit much.
 

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In my area Elantra Ns are getting slammed with markups too. People are paying 38+ for them without even blinking…which is ridiculous to me. They’re cool cars, but part of their appeal is their price point. Once you start brushing up on 40 grand they’re a much harder sell. That’s decent Civic Type R/Golf R/M240i territory.

The Kona N began as a compromise with my fiancée…she’s the opposite of an enthusiast (despite my best attempts to initiate her haha) and wasn’t going to sign off on me switching cars prematurely unless there was some sort of non-performance benefit the car offered us over my GTI. She discovered the Kona N existed and was like “why don’t you take a look at that, it’s a small SUV, therefore I like it”.

…turns out the Kona has some serious benefits over the Elantra. I personally think the interior space is MUCH nicer. While the Kona is fairly basic, the Elantra N feels like it’s trying too hard…and combine over styling with cheap materials and the interior just didn’t wow me, not to mention the seats are atrocious. I can’t imagine road tripping in the Elantra/Veloster N seats unless you’re about 5’7 and 150 pounds. They’re extremely constricting and don’t offer much adjustment.

The Kona N has way better seats and I think the interior looks and feels nicer. The materials aren’t all that different, but I think the Kona makes better use of them, if that makes sense. The touch points are all pretty nice as well. Also…it’s hard to beat a hatchback when it comes to hauling stuff.

Overall I think the Kona N is a better package if you don’t have track aspirations. It’s also the right amount of styling to me…it looks good and distinct without being overdone. On the other hand the Elantra N’s front end is a disaster. The all black front fascia looks pretty ridiculous to me. I get what they’re going for and a lot of the boy racer crowd wants styling cranked up to 11, but for professionals in their 30s or 40s it’s a bit much.
The last gen Civic Type R was marked up by dealers by about $3-5k. The new MK8 Golf R is marked up anywhere between $5-20k (yes, $60k for a Golf). At that price point, I’d be looking at a GLA 45 instead.
 

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But then the GLA 45 is marked up 10 grand. Ha ha. Looks like it never ends. All I know now is you guys are making me feel stupid for paying MSRP for my Kona N. Lol.
 

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But then the GLA 45 is marked up 10 grand. Ha ha. Looks like it never ends. All I know now is you guys are making me feel stupid for paying MSRP for my Kona N. Lol.
No, in my area there are no markups on the GLA 45. The whole point I was trying to make is that if you’re gonna spend close to $60k for a Golf R, you might as well get something like a GLA 45 because it typically isn’t marked up. In any case, if you’re paying MSRP in this market, you’re doing pretty well. The worst situation to be in is spending close to new money for a used car.
 

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To be fair, I only got $500 off lol….but in this market you bet I’m going to wear “under MSRP” as a badge of honor 😉
I got really lucky! I paid $500 below invoice, not MSRP but invoice pricing to the dealership. I also got exactly what I wanted for my 2020 Elantra Sport. I feel good about buying the Kona N after doing a bit more research for the pricing of it well after the fact. I know I got a deal, didn't know how good it was until this past weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got really lucky! I paid $500 below invoice, not MSRP but invoice pricing to the dealership. I also got exactly what I wanted for my 2020 Elantra Sport. I feel good about buying the Kona N after doing a bit more research for the pricing of it well after the fact. I know I got a deal, didn't know how good it was until this past weekend.
Yeah, people are paying over MSRP for these, unfortunately….and Elantra Ns in my area are going for as high as 40k.
 
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