With new style, new tech, and a new sport trim.
Hyundai's relentless push to take on Japanese stalwarts Toyota, Nissan, and Honda continues with the reveal of the 2022 Hyundai Kona, which includes new tech, tweaks for both piston-powered and all-electric drivetrain, and a sporty N Line trim. The regular Kona retains its base model 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. However, the six-speed automatic transmission has been swapped in favor of Hyundai's take on a continually variable transmission (CVT) called Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). Both Limited trim and the N Line model get the smaller but more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged engine making 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The drivetrain of the 2022 Kona Electric remains unchanged with the electric motor generating 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque and delivering 258 miles of range.
However, the electric Kona gets a sharper and more aerodynamic front end, new taillights, revised aero-pattern wheels, and an upgrade in cabin technology. The piston-powered Kona models get refreshed bumpers and daytime running lights. The N Line model gets new body parts, including a larger grille, a rear diffuser, an aerodynamic lip with low corner fins, new 18-inch diamond-cut design wheels, and dual exhaust tips. Attached to the more powerful engine is a seven-speed "EcoShift" dual-clutch transmission.
Inside the electric model, the center stack has been redesigned, and there's a new center display featuring a 10.25-inch screen, which is matched in size by the digital gauge cluster. The center console has been rejigged for a wireless phone charger, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are added to the feature list across the lineup along with the 10.25-inch infotainment screen and digital gauge cluster. All models also get the latest generation of Hyundai's Blue Link software and telematics system.
Hyundai says there's an improvement in second-row legroom and rear cargo space for the Kona. The whole lineup benefits from new acoustic windshield glass and improved insulation in the cabin and cargo area. On upper trim levels, there's new ambient lighting and an optional electronic parking brake. Hyundai's Digital Key is also now available, while Hyundai's extensive SmartSense driver aid suite carries over with the additions including Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Highway Drive Assist.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the Kona, but we don't expect it to change dramatically from the current $20,500 - $29,550 range or the Kona Electric's $37,390 starting price. There's still no word on the when the high-performance Kona N will arrive.