Hyundai continues to shine with their N racing-inspired series (including N and N Line), and the 2023 Kona N maintains the luster. Named after the research and development center for high-performance automobiles based in Namyang, South Korea, coupled with the world-famous test track in Nürburgring, Germany, this automaker has done a stellar job bringing the thrilling driving experience in various models. 

Focusing on the Kona N, its sporty look pops with a roof spoiler, LED lighting package, roof side rails, 19-inch alloy wheels, and the welcomed “N” badge accents various parts of its body and interior to further brandish its identity. The review model’s “Sonic Blue” color scheme with red piping and black interior is a highly recommended combination. 

The racing-inspired design is legitimized thanks to a punchy 8-speed, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine powered by 276 hp and 289 lb.-ft. of torque. The standout enhancements to make every trip more invigorating include paddle shifters, the ability to customize your own driving mode by touchscreen, and a red “NGS” power boost button on the steering wheel to activate a 20-second driving surge ideal for passing or simply feeling the need for speed. (Note that the exhaust can be sonically enhanced in different modes to flex muscle as well.) The N-Corner Carving Differential (eLSD) and N-Tuned electronically controlled suspension also deliver optimal handling.

Photos courtesy of Hyundai

Along with the gracious warranty package Hyundai is renowned for, safety ratings are at the top of the class, the Harman Kardon sound system is theateresque, it has Android/Apple connectivity, and affordability is wows with a $35K asking price. 

Overall, the Kona N is the perfect car for anyone who demands being invigorated behind the wheel without breaking the bank. 

Fuel Economy: 20 city/27 highway/23 combined. 

Price: Base price is $34,700 and $36,645 with handling, freight, the roof rails, and Sonic Blue paint scheme 

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