Tech reviews

US-bound 2022 Hyundai Kona revealed, sharper N Line trim makes 195 ponies


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You can tell the new Kona N Line apart by its color-matched body cladding and more dynamic steering tune.


Hyundai

After debuting in European-spec last year, Hyundai has finally given us the goods on the version of the 2022 Hyundai Kona we’ll be seeing stateside, as well as its sporty N-Line trim. Predictably, our Kona won’t be much different from what we’ve already seen.

Details line up almost perfectly with the European model. Here in the States, the Kona will be available with the choice of two powertrains. The new base powertrain retains last year’s 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder base engine making 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. However, this year the six-speed automatic has been dropped in favor of Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), the automaker’s special spin on the continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Limited trim and the N Line model will feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that steps down in displacement, but up in horsepower. Output is estimated at a nicely symmetrical 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, a gain of about 20 ponies over last year’s most potent powerplant. The turbo engine is mated to a seven-speed “EcoShift” dual-clutch transmission, which promises quicker shifting and more brisk acceleration.

Front-wheel drive is standard and optional all-wheel drive should continue to be offered. Hyundai boasts of “new levels of performance and efficiency” from these rejiggered powertrains, but we’ll have to wait until the new fuel economy estimates are eventually released to measure that claim.

The Kona’s suspension will see a slight retuning to enhance comfort. However, like Hyundai’s other N Line models, the Kona N Line differentiates itself from the rest of its line with a sportier steering tune and, hopefully, a more engaging drive.

The 2022 Kona gets the customary midcycle front and rear bumper refreshes with the new N Line model sporting new, unique body bits of a more aerodynamic style. Up front, the N Line grilles are larger and with more pronounced winglet-style corners that sit lower. Out back are more sharply sculpted details, a contrasting rear diffuser and dual exhaust tips. In between, you’ll find color-matched body cladding and N Line-specific 18-inch wheels with a diamond-cut design.

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The Kona’s dashboard has been redesigned, but the biggest changes are the optional dual 10.25-inch screens it houses.


Hyundai

The entire 2022 lineup benefits from new acoustic windshield glass and revised cabin and cargo area insulation with the aim of reducing cabin noise. More noticeable cabin revisions include a new separation between the center console and dashboard, an optional electronic parking brake on upper trim levels and new ambient illumination. The automaker has also made small improvements to second-row legroom and rear cargo space.

Inside, a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sits just ahead of the steering wheel, complemented by a matching 10.25-inch, split-screen center infotainment display that is powered by the latest generation of Hyundai’s Blue Link software and telematics. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay continue to be standard technologies with wireless connectivity joining the feature set. Kona owners will also be able to use select smartphones as the SUV’s Digital Key, a feature that debuted with the 2020 Sonata.

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The standard Kona gets a design revision of its own and a host of tech and comfort upgrades.


Hyundai

The Kona continues to offer Hyundai’s SmartSense driver aid suite, adding Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist — which automatically brakes to prevent collisions when reversing — to the 2022 model’s bag of tricks. Highway Drive Assist, a lane-centering version of the automaker’s lane-keeping technology, is also new this year.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona and Kona N Line will hit the road alongside the updated Kona Electric in the spring of this year. Pricing has not yet been announced, but shouldn’t stray too far from the current model’s $21,685 to $29,335 range (including $1,185 destination).



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