Hyundai’s entry into the subcompact class, the new-for-2018 Kona crossover, sure made a splash. It was small and affordable, but wore bold styling with odd eyebrow-like running lamps hovering over headlights disguised as fog lamps in the bumper. Mix in its fun paint colors, available turbo engine, and cheeky vibe, and the Hyundai Kona was about as exciting as subcompact crossovers come. A couple years later, it’s due for an update, and it is getting one: Meet the 2022 Hyundai Kona.
2022 Hyundai Kona: A New Face
Will the ’22 Kona make as big of a splash as the original? As a mid-cycle refresh, not an all-new design, you’d expect it to wear mildly revised exterior lights, maybe add a new paint color option, and get some new touchscreen or something. The 2022 Kona receives all of those and more—and even what appear to be more comprehensive cosmetic changes than is typical for this sort of refresh.
Hyundai has reworked the little SUV’s schnoz, extending it 1.6 inches and shaping the hood into a prow that leans out over the grille. The Kona’s signature eyebrow running lights are reshaped, too, as are the low-mounted headlights; they fit into a face with more curves and angles than before. There aren’t any notable changes to the car’s tail, but the net effect of the changes up front is a reduction in the current Kona’s blockiness.
2022 Hyundai Kona: Get ‘N Line
Following a few other models in Hyundai’s lineup, including the Elantra and Sonata sedans, the 2022 Kona will be available in N Line trim. This package brings sportier design, but no actual additional sportiness, to the Kona. It includes body-color trim, cooler-looking wheels, and a more businesslike interior scheme with red-colored seat piping. The Kona N Line also gets a blacked-out roof, metal pedals, and available leather or suede seats. Consider the N Line a preview of what’s to come: Hyundai is widely expected to introduce a high-performance Kona N (N is the automaker’s new performance sub-brand, similar to BMW M or Mercedes-AMG in concept). That full-blown N will bring a big power increase, suspension changes, and more.
2022 Hyundai Kona: More Changes Lurk Nside
The Kona adopts a few upgrades to its dashboard, including more upscale appearing finishes around the console and air vents, as well as a switch to a bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard (today’s Kona has a 7.0-inch unit standard). On the optional front, buyers will now be able to swap out that touchscreen for a massive 10.25-inch unit, and they can also opt for an identically sized digital gauge cluster to replace the Kona’s analog gauges.
Hyundai also has added heated rear seats to the mix (as an option) and upgraded the entry-level manually adjustable front seats to include a height adjustment. There are fun new seating options, including a Khaki leather choice and a houndstooth cloth material.
Safety equipment has been upgraded, as well, with a new blind-spot monitoring function that can use the brakes on one side of the Kona to guide it back into its lane if the driver attempts to change into an occupied lane. The 2022 Kona also can be equipped with a rear-seat reminder (to check for children left in the car), a lane-centering self-steering function, and stop-and-go ability for the adaptive cruise control system.
2022 Hyundai Kona: New Wrapper, Same Drivetrain
No specific mechanical changes are noted, which we assume means the 2022 Kona will keep its 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and optional 175-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, the latter of which uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A hybrid will continue to be available globally, at least, and Hyundai says it’s adding a 48-volt electrical system to the mix, as well—again, likely not for the U.S. Ditto the brand’s clever new clutchless manual transmission. We’ve reached out to Hyundai for clarity, and will update this space when we hear back. In the meantime, look for the 2022 Hyundai Kona to reach dealerships sometime early next year.