The Kona gets a little bit funkier for the 2022 model year.
When it first went on sale a few years ago, I commended Hyundai for thinking outside the styling box with the Kona. Now, the updated 2022 model follows on what we first saw debut in South Korea. There are some distinct changes to the aesthetic, but you still get plenty of distinctive touches to the front and rear fascia that make it unmistakable from other small crossovers on the road.
Up front, the 2022 Hyundai Kona gets a wider grille, with more rounded headlights integrated into the design just above the bumper. The daytime running lights are still their own separate units just beneath the hood, while Hyundai says the changes give the Kona a more sophisticated look while keeping its unique signature on the road.
Overall, the outside isn’t drastically different from the Kona we already knew. Apart from the revamped fascias, the 2022 Hyundai Kona brings a new (plastic) skid plate up front and new alloy wheels to the table. This car rides on the same 102.4-inch wheelbase as before, although the car is 2 inches longer in overall length. That amounts to slightly better rear legroom and cargo volume — definitely not a down side in this segment.
Inside, the 2022 Hyundai Kona also matures in the infotainment department. A new 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard, but that is upgradable to 10.25 inches on higher trims. New for 2022 is an equally large digital instrument cluster, as well as a revamped center console and ambient lighting. The new Kona should be quieter on the road as well, as engineers focused on reducing harshness with new acoustic windshield glass and more insulation in the cargo area.
New N Line model adds a sporty look, but no extra power
While the 2022 Hyundai Kona sports a fresh look, the powertrains remain the same. At the entry-level end, a 2.0-liter engine making 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque comes mated to a continuously variable transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard fare, while all-wheel drive is still an option.
One addition to the lineup is the Hyundai Kona N Line. Both the N Line (shown above) and the Limited get a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 195 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. As before, it’s connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Great for snappy changes on the pavement, but be careful if you plan on heading off-road. Specifically, the sportier-looking N Line adds body-colored cladding, bespoke 18-inch wheels, a rear diffuser and a dual exhaust setup. While a more potent Kona N is coming, this mid-range version doesn’t pack any extra power. Interior changes are also cosmetic, coming down to red contrast stitching on the black interior and unique badging.
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric
Beyond the gasoline-powered Konas, the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric also gets a host of styling updates. This time around, though, the car takes on a smooth front end. If you weren’t a fan of the dimples on the front before, that’s a welcome change. Like the standard Kona, this model sees no more power and no greater range than before. You get a 64-kWh battery pack sending poewr to the front wheels through a 201 horsepower electric motor with 291 lb-ft of torque.
The range figure stands at 258 miles on a charge, which is still fairly competitive in the segment. Charging up takes a bit over 9 hours on a Level 2 charger, and between 45 minutes to one hour on a DC fast charger.
Hyundai didn’t mention pricing for either model yet, but we should know more in the coming weeks prior to the car’s official launch.