2022 Hyundai Kona N - Ultimate performance!  Complete In-Depth Walk Around Review! 

Hi everybody, it's Peter, and in this video we're gonna review the Kona N. Now the Kona N is a very special model that a lot of people confuse with the Kona, sort of the turbo engine. This is a massive step up and we're gonna go through it in detail. And if there's a question that I didn't answer in this video that you want me to answer when it, and you're done watching, make sure you let me know when the comments below because I'm filming here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals where they gimme complete access to their entire vehicle line. And if you have a question that I don't get to in this video, I can answer it both in the comments and in future videos. So make sure you hit subscribe and let's get going with this review. So if we're gonna talk about this car, we have to talk about the powertrain.

From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...

The two liter turbo engine is not the same turbo engine that is used in other Kia and Hyundai products around that 201 horsepower, 195 foot pounds, not with this 276 horsepower, 289 foot pounds of torque. This thing is not just a powerhouse, but it delivers that power right throughout that rev range. So really, really performance oriented things. And a lot of cars in this class kind of have, you know, the, the fancy wheels and fancy brakes. This one has those, but it's not just that there's extra welds in this car, extra strengthening in the frame, it's got an electronically tunable suspension. So it's not just tunable in the sense that it's, you know, comfortable or sort of sporty. This is full on firm racetrack Ready and filming here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. It kind of reminds me of the Kawasaki line of vehicles.

You've got Kawasaki motorcycles that are street going, uh, bikes that are sporty street going bikes. And then you've got the race bikes that are road legal. That's kind of what this is a race car that is road legal. And how does this begin? Well, it starts with Albert Bierman. Albert Bierman used to be in charge of powertrain and handling at BMW's M Division and he came to Hyundai and took on this project and they didn't just create something that kind of goes fast or kind of looks good. This thing competes with the best of them and it's pretty cool. So we talked about those breaks, those enlarged brakes. You've got electronically limited slip differential here. So you've got that power putting down to the ground. You've also got an eight speed dual clutch wet clutch transmission. What that means is it's a performance transmission with lots of gear ratios.

Most of the time Kona has no more than six gears, but you've got eight in this and it is the true performance vehicle. Take a look out front here. You've got full L e D lighting. This model also has all of the luxury goods that you would get in a fully top of the line vehicle. So you're getting pretty good value for the price because not only is it a performance car that is capable of going to the racetrack just as is, it's also got all the luxury features here. So we're gonna talk about not just those l e D lighting, put the auto high beam, we're gonna talk about the forward looking cruise control, smart cruise control, lane keeping cyst, all the safety features. And that's kind of the benefit of this Kona. You have the benefit of not losing any practicality of this small crossover, gaining all the features of the top of the line version. 

And then you get the performance version. It's a lot of car, a lot of cars combined into one. So let's take a look at some of the practicality before we get into the dash and take a look at some of the technology that a lot of the videos aren't showing you. So the first thing I wanna talk about is this is still a Kona. You still have things like the roof rails up here. If you're going camping for the weekend or something like that, you can throw a kayak or a canoe or a roof box up here. You can take all kinds of stuff. You don't lose that practicality in the name of sport. They've still got these very aerodynamic kind of roof rails here. The Kona is known also for in the lower trim levels, having sort of the dark black plastic around the wheel wells. 

This one's sports it up a little bit by having nice painted or body color painted matched, uh, everywhere there. So this looks really sharp. We've got a lot of sun in here, so it's a little harder to show everything on camera, but it all looks sharp. And then you've got a hatchback as well. And there are not many performance cars like this that have the, the cargo flexibility that the hatchback offers here or the crossover body style offers. Let's just take a quick look at the trunk before we move through. Moving to the back end here, you can see that you have extremely large tailpipes on both sides in the rear diffuser here. Now I say extremely large, they are as almost as far as I can reach my finger and thumb apart. So they are very large. They show off that sporting ability along there with the rear diffuser.

Now we're gonna try to scroll up here in one shot here. My camera work may not be perfect, but taking a look at the spoiler up here, you've also got some nice things as well. You've got that race style looking triangle brake light in the middle here, but this is sort of a dual level spoiler. The regular Kona has the spoiler kind of built in the body that's extended out here and that will take your slower high speed stuff. And this is a functional spoiler, it's not just style. So it will catch the wind here, uh, at a higher speed and still give you the down force you need on the rear of this vehicle making everything fully functional. Scrolling back down for just one second here. We should point out some of the extra safety features. I don't know if you can see it on camera here actually.

Let's just see if we can zoom in since I'm doing terrible camera work. Anyways, see that little circle in the middle of your screen? I'll point to it in one second here. Right over here. These are your backup beepers. Again, just cuz this is a performance card doesn't mean it skimps on the luxury you have, of course a backup camera. You also have the backup beepers. Let's take a look inside the trunk now. All right, I've gone to a wide angle camera so I don't have to move the vehicle at all here. So it's a little bit skewed at the edges, but you can see over here a very large trunk opening. You don't tend to see this on a typical even the veloster end. It's kind of closed off. And then you've got the uh, alantra end, which is a sedan. This allows you to fold these seats down and fit all kinds of stuff the same way you would be able to do in any other small crossover. There's a tiny bit of storage under the seat here. Maybe hold a laptop. This one's got a um, extra cord for the um, block heater and there's also a cargo net which can take these cargo tie-downs here and hold things down so you can drive athletically and hold your cargo in place. Rear seat space on a performance car is never something to about and the Kona is not the largest

Of small crossovers, but you can see even with these very thick looking performance seats, you can see that as a six footer sitting behind a six footer. I still have plenty of leg room, the seats are nice and high, so my legs are on the seat sitting square and this is a fun place to be. Now the only thing that you'll notice back here is the rear seat is basically regular Kona stuff. The front seats are complete sport seats. We'll talk about them in a second. So you will find yourself in the back moving around a little bit more compared to the driver and the passenger who are locked into their seats. But it's comfortable and you can take friends along for a joy ride.

So now we're gonna jump inside the driver's seat and this is where the car feels special. First of all, let's just show you what the key fob looks like. Hyundai has a nice decently sized key uh, fob here, lock unlock, remote start and then the panic button there. And that's about it. So as you approach the car, if it was locked, you would just tap this button once tapping it once unlocks just the driver door. A double tap unlocks both doors. If you want you can set it up to have a single tap unlock all the doors.
Jumping in here. We do have the sports seats. I just wanna show you before

We go too far, they are adjustable. So you have the uh, powered seats with the lumbar support and it doesn't show here, but they are nicely sculpted out. Uh, sports seats, they are very much, you know, not quite full on uncomfortable race seats, but they very much hold your place from the shoulder bolsters. You have that n uh, marking up there. And these are not really an al andera, but they're a s suede type feeling here. So you can see they look like they've uh, been marked up here. But uh, as you rub your hands there you can kind of see that's just the way you rub them there. That is important on a car like this because it holds you in place instead of something like leathers. So let's jump in here and take a look at some of the dash. Take a look at some of the features

And we'll shut the door now and get nice and quiet here. Now I should point out the speakers, if I forget to mention that the stereo in here is a Harmon Carden stereo system. It's a very nice stereo system but you're probably not gonna wanna listen to it because you have an amazing engine sound. So because we're indoors, we're gonna turn the car to the on position, but we're not gonna fully start it up. We're gonna turn the climate system off for a second. Alright, ice possible cuz drive with care cuz it is very cold. <laugh>, this car was outside for a while. So I wanna show you some of the dash features here. This looks like a traditional Hyundai. If I can zoom in here a little bit, you can see you've got a very nice, uh, detailed gauge cluster here. Um, it's hard to see the detail on video, but you can sort of see those like lines throughout there.

This is typical Hyundai stuff in your regular setting. So this one I believe is in the eco drive mode. We can cycle through them here. Now there are steering wheel buttons. This one here is customizable actually they both are. Uh, this one here is set up to go through your drive modes right now there are drive and traction modes, which we will show you, but you traditionally use this button here. Uh, I'm gonna use the one on steering wheel. So if you catch me using this and say, oh, that's what that does. Remember these can be programmed to do variety of things and the way it's set up right now is that. So cycling through the, uh, drive modes here. Let's just hit the um, end mode. First of all, I should point out here when this car is cold, I dunno if you can see here because there are digital gauges here. The red line actually lowers a little bit when it's colder so that you don't, uh, you know, over rev it. So when it's very, very cold, that yellow line kind of creeps up into here and as it warms up, it moves away. So you kind of have a lower red line when you're just starting to uh, work with this car. Now hitting this button here on the steering wheel, you have the sport gauge that look just like that. You have the eco gauges which look like that and the normal gauges look like that. Again, this kind of stuff is very typical Hyundai stuff. There's also a traction side, which we'll show you in a little bit, but let's hit the other end button down here. This one's the fun one. This one transforms gauges when I press it right now instantly into all kinds of fun stuff.So again, you've got that red line that's moved up because the car is very, very cold right now. Oil temperature, transmission temperature, uh, turbo torque, all kinds of things. You can customize all these things here. And then again, engine steering and suspension are both three, three and three. So they're set up to the most, um, precise, most aggressive. So engine most aggressive steering, most firm suspension, most firm as well. And I should show you here that there is a heads up display and they are very difficult to film. It looks like it's a long ways away there and I can't get it clear because again, the camera won't focus on the thing, but the heads up display screen also changes from a normal, um, let me just switch back here from a normal, just the speedometer there again, trying to get it focused is very difficult here to a full on race speedometer, uh, or race, uh, tachometer there with uh, the gear shift on the right. (10:27)
So on the right you're looking at one through, um, that's your gear shift, uh, or gear indicator I believe. And then down here you have the traditional gauges. Again, all of this is customizable as well. So while we're showing you some of these customizable things, let's jump into this amazing 10 accord inch screen. These are both 10 accorded screens there and there you can swipe across here and you can go to the, as soon as I find it, these can be moved around. Oh there it is, right at the top and mode right there. So in this mode, this is also customizable in this car and you have some of those same things. So this is what your heads up display is currently showing, but you can customize all this stuff up. There's all kinds of things you can put in here. So again, engine sport thing, this is the custom one setting. 

So you can set your traction control, the electronic split, uh, limited slip differential, the exhaust sound, which when we talk about exhaust sound, there's a story right now actually of a uh, guy with a Elantra N in California who got pulled over for having too much exhaust noise and it was a factory exhaust noise. So that's how good it sounds. Uh, you know, California's a little strict on some of those things, but again, heads up display, you can set your heads up display to just the normal or the sport transmission, normal sport. And this is a custom mode. So you can customize every one of these things. The engine to three different levels. Steering, suspension, transmission, uh, from aggressiveness kind of thing, electronic slip, limited slip differential, electronic traction control, uh, exhaust noise, uh, to different levels, heads of display. And when you shift through these gears, it is an automatic transmission here and we'll talk about that in a second, but when you shift through them, there is a real popping and you know, it's just a really fun, exciting noise. 
You'll also notice here you've got launch control, being a front wheel drive car, you want some launch control to help you go, you can activate it right there. So all kinds of cool things in here and this is just the menus that have to do with the end model. Let's talk quickly about the transmission here. Uh, actually before we get to that, let's just talk about those traction modes as well. So the drive modes here, we're gonna switch to traction modes there and we're gonna show you in the screen here, lemme just try to zip in here. Uh, let's go a little closer again. There we go. So we're gonna try to show you in here. So we're in the traction modes here. You have snow, deep snow, mud, and sand. Now this is not an off-road vehicle, but again it will set up this vehicle to be customized to literally everything. 

So if you're gone camping, you get a little bit of a muddy spot. You've got some options here for mud, sand, deep snow and snow. Now I will be very, very clear, these are summer tires on this car. They're not good in the winter. I don't recommend using them, they're just, in my opinion, not safe in the winter. Uh, but you have amazing traction in the summer. Throw winter tires on for the winter and you'll have amazing technology there as well. So the benefit here of this traction control is once you have those snow tires on everything in the car, just like it works on the track to give you enhanced performance will also work to give you enhanced low traction performance. All you gotta do is make sure that you give the shoes on this car, the the tires, uh, enough of what you need in order to uh, get what you need for traction. (13:20)
Alright, coming down here, let's take a look at some of the other features here. You've got all of the nice features, navigation, lemme just zoom back out a little bit. Navigation, which is a nice navigation menu here. Uh, let's just go to the map, actually we'll go to the map setting. There we go. Nice. Uh, color display. So we're just gonna cancel this stuff out. Uh, and it, then we've got this extra wide screen. You can bring in extra things here so you can look in and just set extra maps on the side, that kind of thing. You can set these up to how many there are here and how many there aren't. So, uh, kind of nice things like that, but very clear, very simple to use stuff. And when we wait a little bit, these buttons will disappear, give you a nice clean look like that. 

So very kind of, you know, typical nice stuff. This little S star button here. You can customize that to anything you want. We're just gonna go back to the home screen here. Quiet mode you can use in other SUVs. Uh, basically turns the, uh, rear speakers off. Uh, so you can let them people in the back kind of listen to their own music or asleep. You're not gonna do that in this car. All right, let's go down to the climate control because this is another system that is very good. It's a single zone climate control, but this is the updated versions here. So when you have it on automatic climate control, sometimes if you get in after a hot summer day or something like that, the air conditioning will just blast until it reaches 22 degrees for instance. Uh, you can turn that down so it still will go to 22 degrees but it will never have the fan blowing super, super hard. 
Um, and you can use that summer or winter. So you still have it in the auto setting, but it'll just control the level of fan that's used there. Everything else, easy to control controls right there. USB port there, 12 volt port there, USB port there. This is your wireless charging indicator. Indicator, excuse me. And this here is the updated Hyundai Wireless charging. It has ventilation in here so it's a little bit faster charging than some of the previous models. You've also got things like rump, roasters, heated seats, you've got a heated steering wheel as well. A lot of features that are just really nice for luxury. Coming across to some of the safety features here. You've got your smart cruise control, so not just regular cruise control. The cruise control that can sense the vehicles in front of you, um, and give you that uh, smart cruise control. (15:14)
And then you've got the lane follow assist. Now on most cars that say, you know, use this kind of thing, what it can do is it actively steers the car for you. It seizes the lane markers and it can center your car in the lane. If you're doing a long trip in this car, that is a super helpful thing to have. You're gonna want to turn it off when you're driving athletically and uh, you can hug the corners. There's one more button down here on the automatic transmission, which I am going to get to in a second. I wanted to talk to about this button first. N G S N standing for Hun Hyundai Anton, like the N models G is for grin and s n grin shift. It sort of gives you an extra over boosto of power for about 20 seconds or so, allowing you to have some crazy acceleration, crazy noise from the car in addition to the already pretty loud and fun noises that this car can make.Now this car can be set into an eco mode and brought quietly down the street just like a normal car, but you can really ramp it up because it has an active exhaust and that end grin shift is only available on the automatic transmission. And in most cars, again, this isn't only an automatic transmission, the veloster is still available in a manual or an automatic. This is one of the very few performance cars that I actually prefer. The automatic, um, this and something like a Porsche, because of the way it works, it's so much fun, it makes so many good noises. Uh, the H speed gear shift does not work like a traditional boring cars automatic. It is a true performance car. You've got the paddle shifters in here that you actually use. Um, just as it goes through its own gears, it sounds so much fun. 

It rev matches down shifts. It is super, super fun. Um, it's just one of those cars that it can be more fun in an automatic than a standard and I am a huge proponent of standards, so I've never thought I'd say that, but this car and some of the Porsches, the automatic could be better, uh, or it could be the better option for you. Another thing is both those paddle shifters is they are not column mounted, but they are very, very long. So you can reach them just about, whoops, you can reach them just about wherever you're on the, on the car. That is the fault of my watch. I have my watch as a, uh, doesn't matter, my watch is also filming there. Okay, so you've got, uh, the grip shifts in there. Alright, coming down in here, the heads of display can be brought up or down. 
So if you don't want it there, you can get rid of it as well. It does have downhill, uh, descent control, which is just an odd thing for a car like this. The, the other thing you have is your blind spot detection. You can kind of see it if I can get it there, right there on the mirror. Let's see if I can zoom in here. There we go. That little area right there is your blind spot, um, detection. So you'll have some warnings if someone is in your blind spot and uh, that works very, very well. So you have all the functions you want, including something called blue link. Blue link is a cell phone connectivity that Hyundai has. It's very good. Um, poorly rated in the app store because there is a major delay between hitting the buttons on your app to getting the car to respond. 
But a lot of features in there, which is kind of a fun way to kind of keep an eye on your car, see what's going on, make sure it's locked, unlock it, those kind of things. You also have the bene benefit of SOS and a tow truck. I don't believe the navigation is offered anymore on Blue Link, but that's, these buttons are for, and it used to be that when Kia and Hyundai put these buttons in, they started getting rid of your HomeLink buttons. You, you still have your link buttons over here to open your garage doors up to three garage doors and a lot of vehicles in the Kia Hyundai lineup. Put some more electronics up here. You don't have sunglasses holder, but on this one you do. So really, really, really good stuff. Let's flip the camera around, just show me for a second and then we'll jump outta the car and we'll finish off. 
So as a six footer sitting in this car, it is quite good. I can of course move the seat up or down. You don't feel like you're sitting crazy low down like you would in some performance cars, but you absolutely feel like you're in a performance car so that Kona gives you a little bit more ride height. But trust me, when you're driving you don't notice it. You are glued to the ground. Uh, like a true performance car would be overall. Whoops. Let's flip the other way here. Uh, you can see the steering wheel here, tilt and telescopic adjustable. So you can bring it sort of, I have it forward for filming. I would bring it a little closer for sport driving, but again, sometimes when you're sport driving you want it close right there and when you're casual driving you just kind of wanna lay it back so you can do both of those with that here.
Uh, the adjustability I think really matters on a car like this. But again, full functionality, a lot of comfort. It's just overall a very comfortable place. The sport seats are the best seats that uh, Hyundai makes. Um, you know, maybe some of the ones in the palisade are pretty good as well, uh, but very comfortable for a long drive. Even though they're firm, they're very supportive. And again, that suspension you can set for racetrack firm where the car really bounces around a little bit, uh, gives you that really, really flat level cornering. But you can also soften it up just a bit. It's never as soft as the regular Kona, but it is something that it can be quite comfortable as a daily driver and with all the technology in here, safety and otherwise you've got a really comfortable daily driver with a true performance car.

So let's talk about who this car is for. First of all, this is not your typical crossover. This is intentionally aimed at a very narrow market. You have to want a performance car to have this. It's gonna have loud, verbally, verbally exhaust noises. It's gonna have a firm ride even if it's in its most set, in its most tamed settings. Now that loud exhaust noise can be toned down so you can drive through your neighborhood where it makes nice sound but not too much noise, but you can dial that up to make a lot of noise as well. So it is something that you have to kind of be goofy and having fun. That end grin shift is what it's all about. It's about grinning having a blast in this car. So that's really who it's aimed for. You need or want a performance car. 
The flip side is the Kona offers you a lot of practicality if you're taking your kids to school. It's a typical five passenger small crossover. It's got the good size trunk, it's got the roof rails, it's a do everything car. You must put winter tires on it to have good traction in the winter. But in the summer months you also have way better traction than you're gonna get from just about anything else on the road. It is a really good compromise. A bit of a sleeper as it is when you just kind of tone everything down. But when you start dialing up the suspension, dialing up the uh, exhaust note and everything else, this thing will rock. It is a ton of fun and it's not all about pure horsepower. Numbers 276 and 289 horsepower and torque is a lot but it's not like it's, you know, 400 horsepower. 

The balance of this car for fun in a package is absolutely perfect. This thing is a whole lot of fun. And again, the Kona is really for people who want the fun, want the technology and the safety features, but also need something that they can use as their only vehicle or a vehicle that is practical every day. And that's what this is an absolutely great car. So if you wanna see it in person, you can compare this Kona to the Kona Electric version. Totally different car. You can compare it to the um, Kona. I think it's the limited model we have in stock with a lot of the same features but sort of toned down with the regular 1.6 liter turbo engine. And you can compare this, you can compare them with all of the competitors here as well at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. So we want to thank them for offering, uh, this card for me to review and if you have questions, let me know when the comments, make sure you hit subscribe cause I'll respond in the comments and I'll respond to future videos. Thanks everybody for watching.

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