2022 Hyundai Kona Debuts With Sporty N Line Trim: What Do You Think?

It takes on a more aggressive look

Korean automaker Hyundai just unveiled its facelifted Kona crossover in its home market. Changes include fresh styling, tech upgrades and even the addition a new, more powerful N Line variant to the range. In their own release, design boss SangYup Lee mentioned a “happy vibe” when it came to this new aesthetic, but if anything it looks more aggressive and a bit meaner (in a good way) than before.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona looks much sharper, while still retaining its endearing funky character.

Hyundai redesigned the front bumper, as well as the LED daytime running lights and headlights. Instead of a wider top portion that thins toward the bottom in their “cascading grille” design, this one looks more symmetrical. It’s still quirky, without a doubt. That said, at least it looks interesting, and if anything there are a few more hot hatch vibes kicking around this model. Maybe the Kona’s been spending some time with the new Veloster.

Look around back, and the 2022 Hyundai Kona is broadly the same as before. You do get more streamlined taillight clusters, but the overall shape will be familiar to the existing model.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona N Line manages 195 horsepower

Right now, the Kona’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine manages 175 horsepower. We’d consider that adequate, but an N Line would need some more oomph. Fortunately, that’s what Hyundai has given it, as the new “Smartstream” powertrain manages 195 horsepower. As before, it still comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Hyundai says it will offer the Kona N Line in front or all-wheel drive.

Mind you, the company made no mention of a U.S.-spec model, so it’s not 100 percent clear what configurations will make it over here. We will undoubtedly see the new styling for the 2022 model year, but some other pieces are a mystery. Hyundai also mentioned a 1.6-liter diesel engine and a 1.0-liter gasoline mild hybrid. However, we doubt the diesel will launch in the U.S., and the small gasser isn’t too likely either. If we are wrong about that, we’ll make sure to post a correction — again, the manufacturer has yet to release official details on the U.S.-bound facelifted Kona.

As with the current model, the 2022 Hyundai Kona range will offer wheel options ranging from 16 to 18 inches depending on the trim. The N Line, as shown in Wednesday’s announcement, has 18-inch wheels in addition to all the bespoke styling touches and upgraded turbo engine.

Looking at the inside, the updated Kona hasn’t changed drastically from the model we already know. This one does offer a 10.2-inch infotainment display, while the standard unit is now an 8.0-inch screen. The overseas models also pack a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, though we aren’t sure if that will make it over to the U.S. models.

Finally, the 2022 Hyundai Kona will pack updated safety equipment. The “SmartSense” suite features Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Lane Following Assist, Safe Exit Warning and Rear Seat Alert, while the Forward-Collision Avoidance Assist adds an optional cyclist detection feature. Across the range, Hyundai says tuning updates to the suspension make the car generally more comfortable to drive.

While we wait for the updated Kona, check out how the car performs off-road in the video below: