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Let's try to keep this thread focused on what the Kona N is, instead of what it isn't... Please and thank you.

This is my first Hyundai, and as a car enthusiast that has has been fortunate enough to own many fantastic cars over the years, I can voucher and say the Kona N is a very good car for the money. My goal here is to share my ownership experience with others who may benefit from it.
Ok, Sorry I will, this will be my last rant on your thread. I by no means meant to degrade YOUR choice. Yes, I am on a mission, The hot hatch, which the Kona is, IS the PERFECT car for AWD and high HP combo. LIke the Golf R and say the WRC Hyundai i20 rally cars. The wheel base is perfect, the dimension of the car is at the perfect level to "throw it around " at high speed corning. In my opinion Hyundai wrecked "this perfect car " to have AWD and high HP to throw into corners, finally the Kona N with a GREAT robust 8 speed wonderfully designed transmission where the 7 speed is not. AWD is and never will be in Veloster N or the Elantra N The Kona N was meant to be the AWD king. As half of them are already AWD. I know I have one and it is at that level of doing it, BUT the crap 7-speed trans and an easiness of high HP is a lot harder with the 1.6T. Unless people fight for it Hyundai would never know it screwed up on an option that many want and would pay for. Mr Beirmann had a smity vision for the Kona N. I know it could be so so much more then last on the list N as far as performance. It could be the KING if it was not "crippled" by such a horrendously stupid choice of deployment specs.

Ok I am done on this thread. Sorry, but it is my mission as a Hyundai "tuff love non fanboy-fanboy."
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I'm curious (as a potential buyer in a year or so), is that regular setting the softest you are able to find? I know there's a couple of fully customizable buttons on this car and I'm wondering if you've been able to create a Full Soft mode and what it's like to drive. I'm all in for the sporty stuff but I need a mellow mode, too.
For the benefit of this forum, I drove the car extensively this morning in “non-N” mode for the first time and I’m happy to report that in normal or snow mode the suspension isn’t bad at all. I’d say it’s similar to what you’ll get in a Prius. You can definitely live with the Kona N every day, but when you want a little ruckus, just hit the NGS button on your steering wheel!
 

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That's very encouraging, N Sync. I of course wouldn't be looking for a super-soft ride out of a hot hatch/CUV, just a setting that isn't bonkers stiff. Thanks for the report!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
And for those that live in a harsh winter climate, don’t worry! Buy yourself some nice winter tires and the Kona N can go where the Veloster and Elantra N’s can’t. I put Nokian hakkapeliitta’s on mine and I have so much traction on snowy and icy roads. Honestly, this is gonna be the best winter ever!
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Vehicle Car

Wheel Tire Vehicle Snow Car

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Here she is.... Snowed pretty bad yesterday when I picked her up so the first thing I did was driving to the tire shop to put some Nokian snow tires on... Initial impressions.. Definitely rides a lot harsher than the Veloster N, very jittery. You feel a lot of movement on the steering wheel, like you always have to take firm control of it. Last time a car made me feel this way was a Mclaren LOL. However, putting it in snow mode helps quite a bit with both the suspension and the steering wheel feel. I didn't realize how small this car actually was until I parked it in my garage, and back seat room is very tight as to be expected.

The exhaust is as good as the one found in the Veloster N. For me this is what sells the N cars, the stock exhaust note. Even a light off-throttle delivers some berp berp berp from the back. For a Hyundai, this car gets a lot of attention on the road.

It was between this and a 2022 GTI SE. The SE was about a couple of thousand dollars more than the Kona N. The GTI rides better than the Kona N, the interior I think is better, but the exhaust is no where near as good and the entire package is less fun relative to the Hyundai. The styling of the Kona N is way more appealing to me than the GTI, so the decision was not hard. Any questions, fire away!
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Does it have automatic steering? My 2017 Kona Highlander (Australia) has this, so as long as there are painted lines, the car will steer itself. Makes for a bit of twitch in the steering. It also has selectable AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Does it have automatic steering? My 2017 Kona Highlander (Australia) has this, so as long as there are painted lines, the car will steer itself. Makes for a bit of twitch in the steering. It also has selectable AWD.
If what you mean is Lane Keep Assist, then yes. I've used it a few times and it's actually fun to have the car steer itself in the corners. Another nice safety feature I like is how you get an alert in the gauge cluster when there's a vehicle in your blind spot.
 

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"Lane Follow Assist", it continuously monitors demarcation lines and maintains middle of lane direction.
My previous vehicle, 2019 Kia Cerato GT (called Forte in US), was equipped with an old-gen Lane Keep Assist which "bumps" the vehicle away once it neared road lines, rather annoying, and I switch it off every time on start-up. Esp given our older (2nd) car, '17 Kona 1.6T has LFA which works very well.
We replaced the Kia with a i30N DCT in Oct, the LFA works just like that on our Kona, plus it is "switchable" via button on steering, so I only turn it on when on Highway.
 

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@N Sync I currently drive an Audi RS3 in the New England. Just checking in to see what you think about the handling in the snow. I was looking at the Veloster N and then stumbled upon this car. I am a bit weary about moving away from AWD, but am interested in your take since you have had it for a couple of weeks. I would definitely put snow tires on it. I'm used to that cadence with my RS3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
@N Sync I currently drive an Audi RS3 in the New England. Just checking in to see what you think about the handling in the snow. I was looking at the Veloster N and then stumbled upon this car. I am a bit weary about moving away from AWD, but am interested in your take since you have had it for a couple of weeks. I would definitely put snow tires on it. I'm used to that cadence with my RS3.
I live in Minnesota, so we're used to harsh winters here. I'll tell you this - If you put a good set of snow tires on the Kona N, it will handle like a champ in the snow. We've gotten 6-7 inches at least a few times now, and I have had zero issues with traction. Honestly, I've never had this much fun with winter driving as I am now with the Kona N wearing Nokian Hakkapeliittas. I almost bought the Veloster N last year but I'm glad I waited to get the Kona N instead.
 

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Thank you for the compliment! I think you have to compare the Kona N to other alternatives out on the market, not fantasize on what the Kona N could've or should've been. I guess you could sort of compare the Kona N to the Civic Type R or the Mini Cooper GP, but I'll compare it to the last gen Golf R because I'm most familiar with that one and they have similar horsepower and torque figures. I think the Kona N is as much fun as the Golf R, if not more fun. Out on the street, it accelerates and corners just as well as its German rival. But the Golf literally had no exhaust note so Kona N beats it by a landslide in that regard. A new 2018 Golf R was about $42k with the dual clutch transmission so it was also significantly higher priced than the Kona N. Yes, AWD was on the R, but it was a Haldex system and many VW owners have noted that in real life it really didn't do much for performance...
@N Sync I coincidentally owned both a 2016 Mk7 Golf R 6MT and a 2019 Mk7.5 Golf R DSG. As well built and designed as the Golf Rs were, I personally never found them to be fun. Fast, serious, and highly capable yes, fun, no. I test drove the Kona N today and what a blast! I took it through some of my favorite twisty roads and it brought giggles to my drive. Immediate it reminded me of the the Fiesta ST!

The Kona N is absolutely FUN with just FWD, quick steering, delightful suspension, and intoxicating exhaust. What I really appreciated was Hyundai's tuning of dual clutch shifts. They have a motorsport feel to it where you get a shove of the engine during upshifts. VW/Audi DSG tuning -while fast and smooth- was too smooth making it feel like the gears all roll into one. There's no violence to it. If that's your thing great, but it's too subdued IMO. The Kona N transmission hit the sweetspot for me!

I do have a question for you though. Did they omit the heated steering wheel for the Kona N? I thought I saw it advertised with this feature but couldn't locate the button. Thx and congrats on your new purchase!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
@N Sync I coincidentally owned both a 2016 Mk7 Golf R 6MT and a 2019 Mk7.5 Golf R DSG. As well built and designed as the Golf Rs were, I personally never found them to be fun. Fast, serious, and highly capable yes, fun, no. I test drove the Kona N today and what a blast! I took it through some of my favorite twisty roads and it brought giggles to my drive. Immediately it reminded me of my short owned Fiesta ST that I miss dearly that I've been looking for a replacement. The Kona N is absolutely FUN with just FWD, quick steering, delightful suspension, and intoxicating exhaust. What I really appreciated was Hyundai's tuning of dual clutch shifts. They have a motorsport feel to it where you get a shove of the engine during upshifts. VW/Audi DSG tuning -while fast and smooth- was too smooth making it feel like the gears all roll into one. There's no violence to it. If that's your thing great, but it's too subdued for IMO. The Kona N transmission hit the sweetspot for me!

I currently drive a 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance modified on MPP coils but am looking for fun cars I can replace this with when my lease is up in 2 years. The Kona N is now top of that list.

I do have a question for you though. Did they omit the heated steering wheel for the Kona N? I thought I saw it advertised with this feature but couldn't locate the button. Thx and congrats on your new purchase!
You hit the nail on the head with that one. The VW DSG is excellent, but it is too refined for my tastes. There's simply no drama to it, for better or worse. The way Biermann tuned the Kona N makes it feel like you're driving a race car.

A heated steering wheel is not available on this side of the pond, unfortunately. In the UK you can get it, as well as ventilated seats, but it costs like the equivalent of $48K USD.
 

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You hit the nail on the head with that one. The VW DSG is excellent, but it is too refined for my tastes. There's simply no drama to it, for better or worse. The way Biermann tuned the Kona N makes it feel like you're driving a race car.

A heated steering wheel is not available on this side of the pond, unfortunately. In the UK you can get it, as well as ventilated seats, but it costs like the equivalent of $48K USD.
All you need is a DSG tune to wake up a VW/Audi DSG. Hyundai modeled the Hyundai made DSG off of the VW/Audi DSG.
 

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You hit the nail on the head with that one. The VW DSG is excellent, but it is too refined for my tastes. There's simply no drama to it, for better or worse. The way Biermann tuned the Kona N makes it feel like you're driving a race car.

A heated steering wheel is not available on this side of the pond, unfortunately. In the UK you can get it, as well as ventilated seats, but it costs like the equivalent of $48K USD.
Thx for checking. I'll keep an eye out on these boards to see if anyone does an retrofit mod to add it. I'm totally new to Hyundai N car forums. Is this the defacto site for the Kona or is their another forum you would recommend?
 

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Thx for checking. I'll keep an eye out on these boards to see if anyone does an retrofit mod to add it. I'm totally new to Hyundai N car forums. Is this the defacto site for the Kona or is their another forum you would recommend?
I assume there will be a dedicated Kona N Kona site from VerticalScope. They are the KING of forums and they always seem to have broad spectrum and pinpoint forums for cars.

There are people here that installed a heated steering wheel and if I remember right they needed a new wheel, module and the wiring harness. As a guess, that would about $700 if buy the parts off of ebay from the Korean importers at a discount. I think there are 2 of them that are legit and their pricing is lower then local online dealer discount parts sellers. If you go through those dealers before covid it took 2 to 2.5 weeks to get parts here in North America.
 
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I assume there will be a dedicated Kona N Kona site from VerticalScope. They are the KING of forums and they always seem to have broad spectrum and pinpoint forums for cars.

There are people here that installed a heated steering wheel and if I remember right they needed a new wheel, module and the wiring harness. As a guess, that would about $700 if buy the parts off of ebay from the Korean importers at a discount. I think there are 2 of them that are legit and their pricing is lower then local online dealer discount parts sellers. If you go through those dealers before covid it took 2 to 2.5 weeks to get parts here in North America.
Thx for the tips.

In regards to your point that a tune will wake up the DSG on VW/Audi, I'm sure it does. However, not many are willing to risk a warranty denial if the tranny goes bad. That's why I really appreciate what Hyundai offers right out of the gate for this Kona N. I wouldn't want to change a thing.
 

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Because of Hyundai World dot com an crap forum/low use took the Hyundaikonan dot com before verticalscope could buy it.
Thx for the tip. In regards to your point to a tune waking up the DSG on VW/Audi, I'm sure it does. Not many are willing to risk a warranty denial of the tranny goes bad. That's why I really appreciate what Hyundai offers right out of the gate for this Kona N. I wouldn't want to change a thing.
The trans is the biggest reason I want a Kona N AWD. My 7 speed DCT for one needs a better clutch as mine is showing hints of end of life at 30,000 miles. And the coding of that DCT from Hyundai is horrid. The minute you go into performance driving mode you get flaky shifts clutch hangs/slips and overly hard hits between shift. Yet they a butter smooth if Grandpa is driving. But luckily there are now DCT tunes available that will help this I hope and clutches coming on board as of about 1 month ago. Clutches may be till summer time. I can't give up AWD, it makes too much of a difference for me. I am stuck on my plateform it seems. Hyundai has dismantled their N division so nothing will be added. The 1.6T platform is good to about 325 hp, which is fine. I would of like to seen a Kona N AWD because that would be good for about 450 hp I bet. If my stock hits a Golf R 2022 may be in my garage, but until then I will keep building on my current plateform.
 

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I just got my Red rocket 2022 Kona N. I am coming from the 2021 veloster N DCT and I have to say I really dig this little beast. I have to get past the 600 miles of break in but so far it’s a blast. I did put 18s on the VN and I still have them. We are going to have to see if they are going to be necessary for this one. The color really pops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I just got my Red rocket 2022 Kona N. I am coming from the 2021 veloster N DCT and I have to say I really dig this little beast. I have to get past the 600 miles of break in but so far it’s a blast. I did put 18s on the VN and I still have them. We are going to have to see if they are going to be necessary for this one. The color really pops.
Very nice color indeed! I just hit 1k miles on mine and the exhaust just keeps on getting better and better.. Enjoy!
 
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