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Just picked up a 19 Ultimate Kona with Thunder Grey exterior and Lime trim interior. I was kind of bummed about the colors at first, thought they all looked extremely cheap. My local dealer had a white Kona, but with the plastic "cladding" it looked super cheap. So then based off the website I figured I'd find the trusted Blue I like in almost every car. Until I saw it in person and that looked cheap and baby blue too. So then I went to a dealer after hours and really liked the sonic grey and thunder grey exteriors, but again the interiors looked cheap. UNTIL! I came across one with the black interior and lime accents, this finally looked like a high end little hot hatch interior. Fell in love and drove down to a dealer this morning and picked one up. Only have a couple miles on it so far, but right now I already know my favorite feature is going to be the remote start this coming winter. You can set the internal temperature and turn on the heated seats from the app!

Not sure if there's a real difference between sport and normal mode just yet. I'm very much a stoplight racer when it comes to driving. So when most people put 30% throttle in normal and then do 30% throttle in sport and say they see a huge difference. I don't see that the same, because I either drive at 10% or 100%. Either crusing along in the middle lane or punching it to pass someone. So, for me in the small mileage I have on it, both normal and sport downshifted and accelerated with no hesitation.
 

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I decided to spend the day burning through an entire tank of gas today. I have a loop of tight twisty backroads that are normally only reserved for my motorcycle. Did the loop in normal mode first and this takes about an hour. Then switched over to Sport mode and was blown away at the difference. It felt faster than the 18 WRX I had a couple years ago and I think that's also the reason it felt slow yesterday.

Basically, two vehicles ago I had a manual WRX, so the slow starts in first because you're slipping the clutch and that transmission is junk shifting from 1st to 2nd. Diehard fans call it a "notchy characteristic", but shifting time is slowed way down as you work through the notch. So you start slow unless you want to beat the **** out of your clutch every time and you're shifting slow and losing speed going into second unless you're killing the synchros.

Then I went to a 18 Ridgeline, which is actually about as fast as a WRX, it's silly how much they accelerate and handle like a car with the horsepower they have. But all you do is floor it and next thing you know you're at the speed limit.

So then I came to the Kona. Got in did a test drive after doing a ton of research and immediately noticed the lag at the start because of the DCT. So instead of just driving like I was in the Ridgeline, I way overcompensated and drove like I was not only in a manual, but anticipating the characteristics of a WRX manual, basically waiting until 2nd or 3rd gear to really give it throttle.

Test drives really don't do these cars justice, neither does just an hour or two commuting home. But after driving for 4 or 5 hours today and getting a feel for it, this may be the fastest car I've used on twisty backroads. It's so incredibly nimble, the AWD always has grip. I'd love to take this out on a trackday. If there was any gripe I had at this point it would be that when you shift manually, which I basically don't have to do in sport mode. But when you do shift manually, the engine braking is really non existent. It revs high, and it's loud, but it doesn't actually give you the control you want from engine braking. However, I normally hate when a manual shifting auto won't hold the gear at high RPM, but I completely forgive this tranny, because when It does shift out into a higher gear, it is so fast and retains so much powercurve that it's perfect.
 
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