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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Buying

What should I be paying?

Prices start at £35,395. And practically finish there, too, for Hyundai has lobbed just about everything imaginable inside the Kona N and options list spending might be limited to colour. Red is standard, with a bunch of whites, blues, blacks and greys another £565.

If the price looks lofty for a small SUV, then consider that this is actually £300 cheaper than an i30N with the DCT gearbox fitted. And it’s much less than its most obvious rivals: an Audi SQ2 starts at £38k, a Cupra Formentor with the correct engine at £41k, the VW T-Roc R at £42k. The BMX X2 M35i is a fairly eye-watering £47k before options.

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The Kona is a completely different proposition to all four, differentiating itself from them by shunning not only rear driveshafts, but a thick layer of polish to end up much more of an extrovert. It’s smaller, lighter and simply more fun to be around. Mind they’ll all be significantly less thirsty while riding more amiably day-to-day, too. Hyundai claims over 30mpg, but expect high 20s in mixed driving. Low 20s if you’re making mischief.

Perhaps a more vociferous foe is the Ford Puma ST. On paper it’s 80bhp down on the Kona N, but it won’t feel much slower in reality – and it’s also £29k pre-options. It too is a right old laugh if you can tolerate the ride. Pop a £675 Mountune kit on it and you’ve a 256bhp hot hatch on stilts for under thirty grand.

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