Hyundai has decided to attach the letter N, and above all the know-how it induces, to its SUV.

A risky bet at first glance, because very few SUVs can claim the qualifier "Sporty";

mass and raised architecture not being likely to promote agility.

To avoid this pitfall, Hyundai has firmed up and lowered the chassis of its Kona, just to approach the center of gravity of the bitumen.

As for the engine, it is borrowed from the i30N.

It therefore delivers 280 hp and 392 Nm. The 12.5 cm less of the SUV compared to the compact should compensate for the hundred kilos more in terms of agility.

The performances are also substantially identical: the new model requires 8.5 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h;

8.4s for the i30 N.

Pure sportsman… and hard!

The excellent surprise is that these promising figures translate very well into the facts.

Let's leave aside the wisest modes (Eco or Normal) for everyday use, and go directly to Sport modes and, above all N. The latter, accessible via a dedicated button on the steering wheel, places all the parameters (engine, transmission, exhaust , steering and suspension) to their sportiest setting.

The SUV is then a pure joy to handle, as it provides raw, mechanical sensations!

It accelerates strongly and cleanly in a straight line on a rather flattering soundtrack, but above all, it manages to be precise and incisive in curves while remaining solid on its suspensions.

Perhaps a little too much, because this control of roll comes at a high price in terms of comfort.

And on an uneven road, we prefer to leave a little more travel to the shock absorbers, the stability remaining anyway excellent in turns.

This Kona N still has a secret weapon: whatever the driving mode engaged, press the red NGS (N Grin Shift) button on the steering wheel and the car will instantly deliver all its torque and power for 20 seconds, perfect for overtaking. cannon!

The Kona N therefore fully deserves its name as a Sports SUV, as the ramage relates to the plumage which, as you can see, is not in the lace!

The bad news?

Hyundai France does not distribute the Kona N. We therefore tried it in Belgium, where it is charged €40,499.

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