Sunday, May 28, 2023

2023 Hyundai Kona N: The Brand’s Subcompact Performance Crossover

Highlights: Its all about the horsepower with the Kona N. It's a great alternative to sports cars.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $36, 645 (Base N Line): $29,185

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a stability control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; a blind-spot collision warning system; a rear cross-traffic collision warning system; a forward collision assist system with pedestrian protection; a lane following assist system; a lane keeping assist system; a Blue Link connected car service; and a temporary spare tire

Standard Equipment (N-Line): 18-inch wheels; a 195-horsepower engine; a power sunroof; rear spoiler; power driver lumbar support; and heated front seats

Standard Equipment (N): 19-inch summer tires; LED headlights; an 8-speed automatic transmission; paddle shifters; 14-inch (front) brakes and 12-inch ventilated rear brakes; gloss black exterior mirrors; large wing type rear spoiler; heated side mirrors with turn indicators; leather/suede performance seats; a 10-inch color touchscreen infotainment center; a Harman Kardan premium audio system; N-badge carpeted mats; ambient lighting; and a high beam assist system; and a tire mobility kit

Options: roof rack cross rails; and Sonic blue exterior paint

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker audio system with AM/FM/HD SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles 

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard N Horsepower: 276-horsepower with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine

Recommended Fuel: Premium

MPG: 20-city/27-highway

Towing: N/A

What’s New: Besides the Kona receiving a midcycle styling update during the 2022 model year, the zippy compact receives a few package changes in 2023.


A performance-oriented driving experience

A turbocharged engine spews out 276-horsepower

A stylish design with athletic design cues

19-inch wheels

A rear dual exhaust system

Comfort fitting sport bucket seats

Sounds like a sports car

A high level of standard safety features

A 10-inch digital cluster screen

Easy to maneuver

USB drive for rear occupants

Seemingly great fit and finish

Lane following assist system

One of the best new car warranties the industry

A premium 8-speaker audio system


No manual transmission

No highway driving assist system (this would be great for cross country road trips)

No all-wheel drive configuration

Limited rear legroom and cargo area ... its a subcompact!!

Verdict: For those in the market for an exhilarating driving experience packaged as a utility vehicle, the athletic Kona N fits the bill. The nimble four-seater, which is powered by a 276-horsepower turbo charged engine, with its dual exhaust system and growling performance sound, is the perfect pocket rocket to cruise the streets.

With a starting price just under $37,000, the Kona N is loaded with a host of standard features. For those on a budget, the Kona N-Line is a great alternative. However, with the Kona N, one will have to sacrifice the horsepower and a few other amenities to help hold down the price.

The Kona is great for the tuner crowd and those who are looking to make a performance statement without breaking the bank. The spunky compact is an excellent choice for those yearning for something a little larger than a sports car or an expensive German engineered vehicle.

Indirect Competition: 2023 Mazda CX-30

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