2022 Hyundai Kona Preview

Liz Kim and Christian Wardlaw | Sep 02, 2020
  • New N Line sport-tuned version debuts
  • Updated exterior styling and colors
  • New interior refinements and colors
  • More rear-seat and cargo room
  • Additional power, revised ride and handling traits 
  • Numerous new safety and infotainment technologies
  • Arrives in mid-2021

Introduction - Find the best Hyundai deals!

A refreshed 2022 Hyundai Kona is on the way, equipped with revised styling and available in a performance-tuned N Line version that is certain to turn the little crossover SUV’s fun factor up to 11. And if what you see here isn’t appealing enough, consider that spy photographers have been snapping what appears to be a full-blown Kona N with huge exhaust outlets on Germany’s fabled Nurburgring.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line Red Front View

Exterior Features - Find the best Hyundai deals!

When the Hyundai Kona went on sale for 2018, it brought a polarizing look to the small SUV segment. With thin LED running lights up top, headlights to either side of the grille and, on some models, fog lights added low on either side of the lower air intake, it certainly didn’t look like anything that came before it. Add a significant amount of gray plastic body cladding and several colors that would be right at home in a box of Mike & Ikes, and the Kona made a decidedly bold statement.

2022 Hyundai Kona Blue Rear Quarter View

Not everyone loved it.

Now, the 2022 Hyundai Kona is looking all grown up – at least in N Line specification. The headlights are redesigned into LED strips (vertical on the Kona and angled on the Kona N Line), and the grilles are wider to give the little SUV a broader stance. The standard Kona continues with gray body cladding, but it gives way to body-color trim with the racy N Line, which also adds new air intakes above its uniquely textured grille. 

Additional updates include redesigned 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum wheels (the base 16s carry over), five new exterior colors, and an available Phantom Black roof treatment that’s offered with any paint choice. Ten 2022 Hyundai Kona colors are available, including new Surfy Blue, Dive in Jeju, Ignite Flame, Cyber Grey, and Misty Jungle. Continuing from before are Phantom Black, Chalk White, Dark Knight, Pulse Red, and Galactic Grey.

Interior Features - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The Kona’s interior has always been agreeable, and for 2022 Hyundai improves the overall quality of its bits and pieces while adding ambient cabin lighting and aluminum detailing. The center console is also rearranged to make more space, the front passenger’s seat gets a manual height adjuster, and heated rear seats are a new option. Hyundai also claims the new 2022 Kona offers more rear seat space and cargo room than before. 

2022 Hyundai Kona Dashboard

As far as colors go, Hyundai offers black woven houndstooth cloth or perforated leather in black, light beige, or khaki. A Kona N Line color package is rendered in single-tone black with metallic pedal covers and red exposed stitching for contrast. It comes with cloth, leather or simulated suede upholstery.

Under the Hood - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Currently, the Kona uses a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, driving the front or all four wheels. 

Hyundai didn’t divulge details for the U.S.-specification Konas, but the base engine is likely to continue while swapping out its existing 6-speed automatic for Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The IVT is a continuously variable transmission, and as far as those go, it’s a good one.

The performance-oriented 2022 Kona N Line will use the turbo 1.6-liter, which routes power through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Hyundai says this engine will make 195 horsepower, 20 more than is available today. 

In global markets, a Kona Hybrid model is available, equipped with the same powertrain as the Ioniq Hybrid. Don’t look for that version of the Kona in the U.S. However, the zippy long-range Kona Electric will return.

Additionally, steering and suspension changes make the new 2022 Kona more agreeable to drive, with N Line versions getting special tuning to maximize handling capabilities.

Safety - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The current Hyundai Kona performs well in crash tests, so the refreshed model should, too. And the new standard LED headlights will certainly enhance forward visibility.

However, to ensure maximum safety, the 2022 Kona offers numerous enhancements to its SmartSense collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). New standard and available features include the following:

  • Stop-and-go capability for the adaptive cruise control
  • Available cyclist detection for the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking system
  • Lane-centering assistance
  • Automatic reverse braking
  • Speed warning that is based on speed limit data from the navigation system or the road sign recognition camera
  • A Rear Seat Alert rear-seat reminder system
  • A Safe Exit Warning system to assist with visibility when exiting a parallel-parked Kona

Another new feature is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert. This technology notifies a driver, who may or may not be texting or scrolling through social media at a red light, that traffic ahead is moving. No, we know that’s not you. Only other people do such things.

Technology - Find the best Hyundai deals!

The 2022 Hyundai Kona also gets a new top-shelf infotainment system for the new model year. It measures 10.25 inches and includes enhanced Blue Link connected services. The standard infotainment system is also improved, offering an 8-inch touchscreen instead of the previous 7-inch display. Both systems gain wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection.

Additionally, in Europe, the Kona is available with a new 10.25-inch digital instrumentation display. It remains to be seen if that technology will make it to America.

The information in this article is from Hyundai, based on a release for European markets. It was accurate on September 2, 2020 but may have changed since that date. Also, some information might not pertain to the U.S. market.

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