2022 Hyundai Kona updated with N Line sport variant

February 17, 2021

The 2022 Hyundai Kona small crossover SUV wears some minor updates that are overshadowed by the introduction of an N Line sport variant. The automaker revealed the changes to the gas and electric models on Tuesday, while touting the expansion of the N performance subbrand and the N Line trim level. 

With its turbocharged engine and cosmetic upgrades, the N Line is a first performance-oriented model for the Kona. It joins N Line versions of the Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, and Tucson, yet the Veloster N is the only true high-performance N model sold in the U.S. 

Hyundai leans into the Kona's pronounced black cladding and off-road cosmetics with new front and rear bumpers with "skid plate elements"—their words, not ours. A panel divides the large mesh grille in half, so the lower half frame appears like a skid plate. The rear has a similar framing device that breaks up all that rear black cladding. But with 6.7 inches of ground clearance and standard front-wheel drive, the Kona shouldn't be mistaken for the Subaru Crosstrek it tries to emulate; Subaru SUVs have 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. 

Those cosmetic elements add another 1.6 inches to the Kona's length, but the interior remains mostly the same. A new climate control bar streamlines the horizontally stretched dash, and Hyundai says the console is disconnected from the instrument panel, but all we can see is a recess for a wireless smartphone charger. Some clever repackaging adds 0.6 inches of leg room in back. 

The 2022 Kona will be sold in SE, SEL, N Line, and Limited trims. Standard features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, dual front USB ports, manual cloth seats, power features, and driver-assist systems such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and active lane control. 

Available features include a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.3-inch touchscreen. In a quirk of technology, the larger touchscreen does not come with wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto; it must be tethered. 

The 2022 Kona uses the same 147-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 with a continuously variable automatic transmission, while the N Line and Limited trims use a 1.6-liter turbo-4. 

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

The turbo-4 used on top trims elsewhere in the Hyundai family makes 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in the 2022 Kona. The CVT gets swapped out for a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, but all-wheel drive is still an option. The main differences between the N Line and top Limited trim come on the outside. 

Body-color cladding replaces all the black plastic, and the hood dips into three horizontal slots at the top of the fascia. A lip splitter replaces the faux slid plate and broader air intakes fill the space beneath the optional LED headlights (standard on Limited). The profile is buffed up by 18-inch alloy wheels (16s are standard) with a busier design, and in the rear, dual exhaust tips underscore a diffuser. 

Inside, in addition to all the N badging, metal petals grace the foot well, and black cloth seats gain 8-way power adjustments for the driver. 

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

The refreshed 2022 Kona EV wears a new front end that replaces the old dimpled golf-ball nose. New DRLs and headlights oversee sharper corner vents, and the rear gets new taillights as well. Inside, the Kona Electric gets the dual 10.3-inch screens mentioned above, and the console now has a wireless charger.

The EV uses the same 64-kwh battery pack to power a 201-hp motor that makes 291 lb-ft of torque sent to the front wheels. It has a 258-mile range. At its best, with DC fast charging, the Kona Electric powers up to 80% in under 50 minutes, and at home a Level 2 240-volt charger can fill it up in about nine hours. 

Sales of the Kona Electric will be limited to the 11 states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, though Hyundai spokesperson Derek Joyce said rollout will expand to "states near the ZEV state regions as production volume allows."

Made in South Korea, the 2022 Hyundai Kona goes on sale this summer, and pricing will be announced then.  

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