2024 Hyundai Kona N Line

Introducing the 2024 Hyundai Kona, a dynamic compact crossover SUV that seamlessly combines gasoline and electric power alternatives. In the vibrant landscape of compact SUVs, it boldly competes with formidable adversaries such as the Trailblazer, HR-V, Kia Niro, CX-30, Crosstrek, Volkswagen Taos, and a host of others. The Kona is poised for the challenge, presenting a myriad of options for drivers who prioritize both efficiency and style in their everyday adventures.

DESIGN

The 2024 Kona maintains its signature two-box utility design, now enhanced with sleeker lines reminiscent of higher-end models, complemented by an upgraded interior. Retaining its bold character, the new Kona strikes a balance, reducing its youthful vibrancy while still standing out prominently.

Embraced by light bars, the Kona displays angular body contours reminiscent of the Ioniq 5 electric car, with a more subdued presentation of its distinct black-accented oversized wheel arches. Our test model, adorned in Ultimate Red Metallic as part of the N Line series, features 19-inch N Line alloy wheels, a power sunroof, and roof side rails.

The interior highlights of the N Line variant include sport combination seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and alloy sport pedals. These features are enhanced by the inclusion of smart cruise control and highway driving assist.

In terms of interior design, the Kona boasts a dual 12.3-inch panel setup, contributing to a sleek and modern aesthetic. The predominantly digital display is integrated into a clean, horizontally oriented dashboard design that remains consistent across all variants. Despite the continued use of black plastic elements, the redesigned interior surpasses its predecessor by elevating the overall material quality.

PERFORMANCE

The Kona N Line utilizes a 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic, featuring 190 hp at 6000 rpm. However, achieving that power involves a delay due to the turbo’s gradual spooling and the transmission’s multiple downshifts, a consequence of tuning for low revs to meet strict fuel economy standards while still providing ample acceleration for merging into faster traffic.

Its handling strikes a balance between composed and sporty, aided by the top-tier 19-inch alloy wheels that offer good cornering grip despite generating some tire noise on specific road surfaces. Overall, its road performance can be described as unremarkable, falling between neither subpar nor exceptional standards.

During testing of the all-wheel-drive Kona N Line, notable enhancements emerged, including the replacement of the front-wheel-drive model’s rear twist beam with an independent multi-link rear suspension. This alteration could potentially elevate the AWD versions slightly closer to their performance limits.

VERDICT

The 2023 Kona N Line AWD, which we test drove for a week, has an MSRP of $32,150, with a total price of $33,695 when factoring in freight and handling, as well as the $210 for carpeted floor mats.

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