Hyundai Kona N Line review: Sporty SUV adds excitement to range

Hyundai’s newest SUV is slick and sporty — however there are some downsides. That is what we discovered after we put it to the open street check.

However they’re muscling down to the reasonably priced SUV section, together with the up to date Hyundai Kona.

A brand new N Line is the hero of the refreshed small SUV.

The Kona is the primary of Hyundai’s 5 SUVs to get the N therapy, constructing off the motorsport-inspired excitement of the i30 N pocket rocket.

Hyundai has spiced up its Kona small SUV range with a new N Line version.
Digicam IconHyundai has spiced up its Kona small SUV range with a brand new N Line model. Credit score: Equipped

Whereas it’s solely an N Line – “Line” centered on aesthetics over tempo – it’s going to broaden to a full-blown Kona N inside months.

Hyundai Australia CEO Jun Heo says N is “essential” in constructing model picture.

Even with the N Line’s 146kW 1.6-litre turbo the five-seater is nicely endowed.

Visually, too, the N Line steps up. A novel grille is flanked by a slotted air consumption and extra aggressive bumper, plus there are aspect skirts. Inside there’s pink stitching and extra sculpted seats.

Different Konas get higher security and now mate an unchanged 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre engine (renamed SmartStream) to a CVT auto driving the entrance wheels.

A full-blown N performance version will arrive later this year.
Digicam IconA full-blown N efficiency model will arrive later this yr. Credit score: Equipped

Even the most affordable Kona comes with autonomous emergency braking with digicam and radar, the latter incorporating energetic cruise management.

Wi-fi cellphone charging, rear USB and 16-inch alloys make the circa $2000 rise to $30,203 drive-away simpler to digest. There’s Android Auto whereas Apple CarPlay is now wi-fi on the 8.0-inch display.

Some $1600 for tinted home windows, partial leather-based, 17-inch alloys, a rear arm relaxation, classier steering wheel and seat again pockets is tempting within the step to the Energetic.

The Elite is one other $3500 and will get good key, blind spot and exit warning and rear cross visitors alert. Harman Kardon audio adds critical punch, though the ten.25-inch infotainment display with embedded navigation does away with the wi-fi CarPlay performance.

The Highlander ($41,945) will get 18s, digital instrument cluster, sunroof, head-up, ambient lighting, ventilated entrance seats and heated entrance and rear seats. Then there are the N Strains ($40,194 or $46,477 Premium), every of which will get the extra highly effective engine, a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. The fundamental N Line mimics the Elite tools and the Premium the Highlander.

The interior is well kitted out.
Digicam IconThe inside is nicely kitted out. Credit score: Equipped

Even non-N Line Konas get a sharper look with bolder bumpers, silver highlights and revised lights.

The refreshed Kona additionally improved noise suppression and even within the base automotive the atmosphere has improved with textured sprint patterns and tender door materials. Dig deeper and a few plastics lack tactility and the button blanks surrounding the gear selector are a reminder you’re lacking one thing.

These blanks are stuffed in as you step by the range and completely different finishes raise the aesthetic.

No modifications to inside area as a result of the physique is unchanged.

With the next seat base and tight knee area the again seats are greatest left to smaller folks. There are additionally no air vents though a USB port is useful.

The N Line combines a punchy 1.6-litre turbo engine with all-wheel drive
Digicam IconThe N Line combines a punchy 1.6-litre turbo engine with all-wheel drive Credit score: Equipped

The boot is comparatively shallow though a foam shelf beneath hides smaller odds and ends. There’s additionally an area saver tyre and 60/40 break up folding again seat.

The two.0-litre engine steps away well with the CVT fast to reply and the transmission retains issues effervescent away properly, with rev changes between seven pre-selected gears in case you maintain the throttle planted and name for optimum acceleration.

Gas use has dropped to 6.2 litres per 100km – 14 per cent much less – though for the 1.6T the added grunt has stepped it up barely to 6.9L/100km. The two.0 has some harshness in case you faucet into all 110kW.

It’s a disgrace as a result of there’ve been real enhancements to refinement elsewhere. The Kona higher quells tyre noise.

The 1.6 turbo is a nicer engine due to the extra mid-rev muscle, whereas the AWD system adds confidence. It’s additionally smoother and quieter, the flutter of the turbo’s wastegate an surprising dollop of efficiency character. Much less spectacular is the first-to-second gear change below onerous acceleration, with jolting seemingly added to ramp up the sporty flavour.

No modifications to the suspension, which finds a stability between management with consolation.

As with the earlier 1.6T, the N Line will get a extra subtle multi-link rear suspension system in lieu of torsion beam.

The N Line also gets grippy Continental tyres.
Digicam IconThe N Line additionally will get grippy Continental tyres. Credit score: Equipped

In addition to housing the AWD system, it adds composure over mid-corner bumps and the marginally tauter suspension tune doesn’t wildly adversely have an effect on consolation.

Grippier Continental tyres fitted to Konas with 18-inch wheels adds to the superior cornering finesse of the N Line.

The most recent updates not solely convey a extra trendy look however increase on a regular basis liveability.

Whereas the N story will likely be accomplished later in 2021, for now the N Line adds a dose of excitement.

VERDICT 3.5/5

Grown up small SUV now mounts a extra convincing case with sportier N Line fashions, at a value.

HYUNDAI KONA N LINE VITALS

Value: From $40,194 drive-away

Guarantee/servicing: 5 yrs/limitless km, about $1550 for a pre-paid 5 yrs/50,000km service plan

Security: 5 stars (ANCAP 2017), 6 airbags, autonomous emergency braking, lane maintain help, driver monitor, blind spot warning, door exit warning, rear cross visitors alert

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo, 146kW/265Nm

Thirst: 6.9L/100km

Spare: Area-saver

Boot: 361L