Ignore the slanted H on the steering wheel, and for a brief moment, you could be fooled into thinking you've climbed behind the wheel of one of the latest BMW M cars. That's how overtly sporty the interior of the Hyundai Kona N is. The leather steering wheel has prominent thumb grips, perforated leather at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, a bright red button labeled NGS for when you need an extra 10 hp, and two N buttons in blue for you to save your preset drive modes. There's Performance Blue contrast stitching, the seats are N sport buckets, and the large touchscreen and simplistic dash layout let you focus on the important bits rather than getting distracted by little details. It's mostly high quality, too, although digging around reveals out-of-the-way plastics with sharp edges that cheapen the overall effect slightly.
Though the Kona N was developed on the Nurburgring, it doesn't skimp on the base model's practicality. It still fits five occupants in reasonable comfort, but it's the front riders who are treated to the best seats in the house. The N model gets sport bucket seats that offer more support than the standard car, though they are less grippy than the buckets offered in the Elantra N and Veloster N. This is likely for the best, as the Kona N was developed more as a family fun car than a track monster. Rear space is generous for a subcompact, with a little over 35 inches of legroom in the back.
|Hyundai Kona N Trims
|Headroom Front Seat
|Headroom Back Seat
|Legroom Front Seat
|Legroom Back Seat
|Shoulder Room Front
|Shoulder Room Rear
|Hip Room, Front
|Hip Room, Rear
Keeping it simple and letting the Kona's fun antics do the talking is the route Hyundai has taken with the interior, selling it in a single choice of material color - black. The N sports seats are black cloth and leather combination items, with the steering wheel and N-badged gear shifter finished in perforated black leather. Throughout the cabin, Performance Blue contrast stitching features, and the pedals are finished in sporty aluminum. The dash is simply finished with black textured inserts that do little to shake up the segment but look pleasing overall.
Just like the cabin retains the standard Kona's practical accommodation, so too does the trunk. Behind the rear seats, you get 19.2 cubic feet of storage capacity, increasing to 45.8 cubes with the split-folding rear seats lowered. These seats utilize the traditional 60/40 split. While this may not be the most practical, falling behind the levels of practicality proffered by in-house siblings like the Kia Seltos, for its size, weekly shopping for a small family can still be easily accommodated. Curiously, the Kona N does away with the dual-level load floor of the standard model.
Typical in-cabin storage spaces are provided, like a map pocket on the back of the front seats, dual front cupholders, cupholders in the rear armrest, standard door pockets, and a few storage cubbies in the center console of the car.
It may top the range, but the Kona N doesn't just throw everything at the spec sheet for the sake of it. It's a performance car first, which is why you won't see things like a sunroof available here. Instead, once the keyless entry and push-button start has given you access to the cabin, you'll find an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster greeting you. Hyundai throws in the drive mode controls and quick-access buttons on the steering wheel, too. From a driver-assistance perspective, most of the features you want are included. A rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision avoidance, lane keep assist, cruise control, driver attention warning, and even a safe exit warning are all here, but the Kona N misses out on highway driving assistance and rear park sensors.
The Kona N comes standard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's simple to use, with an intuitive split-screen mode that lets drivers view multiple functions at once. Sadly, this screen doesn't get Hyundai's wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, so you will have to remember to bring your cables. In addition to the standard infotainment features, the N model gets a special screen filled with performance goodies, such as a lap timer, gauges, and more. Drivers can view this information on the central infotainment system, or on the standard 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster with multiple design layouts.
Being a range-topper, you get a Harman Kardon sound system with eight speakers, and wireless device charging helps you keep your phone fully charged while streaming all your favorite tunes. Navigation, SiriusXM, and HD Radio are all included in the suite, as is traffic flow data.