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2022 Hyundai Kona Review

The 2022 Hyundai Kona SUV gets a redesigned body and interior, a more powerful engine, and a new racy trim that teases the Kona N.

What’s New for the 2022 Hyundai Kona

Don’t look now, but it seems as though Hyundai might be encroaching on territory that many thought impossible a decade ago. The Kona is one of the most compelling small SUVs on sale regardless of trim level. It’s a very well balanced vehicle with a wonderful combination of technology, comfort, practicality, and efficiency. Today, we’ll take a deep dive into this spunky, sporty, people mover and explain what makes it so special.

The Kona was released in 2018 and already it’s getting a slew of new and enticing upgrades. A whole new trim level, the N Line, features a 195 horsepower engine and performance-oriented styling. The interior and exterior of every 2022 Hyundai Kona in the lineup have been massaged to be a bit more modern. The old base 7-inch infotainment system has been swapped out for a larger 8-inch unit and an even larger 10.3-inch screen can be optioned.

2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com

2022 Hyundai Kona – hyundainews.com |  Shop 2022 Hyundai Kona on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $22,135

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

29 MPG Combined

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Attractive styling

Great dual-clutch transmission

Impressive interior

Base engine is lethargic

Cargo or passengers, you can’t have both

Can’t wait for the Kona N

2022 Hyundai Kona Specs

Trims & Pricing

SE - $22,135
SEL - $23,935
N Line - $26,685
Limited - $29,435

2022 Hyundai Kona Powertrain

2022 Hyundai Kona 1.6L I4 - hyundainews.com
2022 Hyundai Kona 1.6L I4 - hyundainews.com

The 2022 Hyundai Kona is an interesting little SUV as the base engine and transmission are just good enough to keep it from feeling unqualified for normal roads. 147 horsepower isn’t much and merging onto the highway takes a bit of gusto, but overall the driving experience is mostly pleasant.

In fact, between the two transmissions, the six-speed found with the less powerful engine is the smoother of the two. Still, the more authoritative drivetrain isn’t bad by any means. Both can be equipped with all-wheel-drive regardless of the trim level. The additional power makes the Kona downright fun to drive as it feels much more nimble and zippier than its 3,200-pound curb weight might suggest.

The seven-speed dual-clutch is outstanding when actively engaged and it’s only when driving slowly through a parking lot, or in stop-and-go traffic where it seems a bit unsure of how to behave. That’s a very small price to pay for how good this little car is though, we can’t wait for the even more powerful Kona N.

2022 Hyundai Kona Fuel Economy & MPG

2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com
2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com

Overall the 2022 Hyundai Kona is a bit better than average compared to most of its competitors. The base engine paired with all-wheel drive is actually the least fuel-efficient configuration achieving 29 mpg combined. Every other Kona gets at least 30 mpg and up to 32 mpg combined with either motor provided that only the front wheels are powered.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

It’s almost strange to think of how normal the higher quality materials feel in any Hyundai these days. This brand can’t be looked down upon anymore, and the 2022 Hyundai Kona is further proof of that. Even in the base SE model the cloth seats look classy, the touch materials are softer and more refined than rivals that cost ten grand more, and the ergonomics are lovely too.

While we love how easily the Kona can be chucked into a corner without flinching, it proves itself just as capable of soaking up bumps in the road too. That’s a rare combination and even rarer when we’re talking about a vehicle that can be had for less than $25,000. There’s decent space in both the front and rear seats and visibility is excellent as well.

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If there’s anything in here that we’d complain about its storage and climate control. There’s very little in the way of usable storage if you’re transporting four or five adults and the discomfort might not stop there as the HVAC system takes longer to reach desired temperatures than we’d like. Still, be patient and the Kona will get there, but you’ll have to remove people to get extra cargo room.

2022 Hyundai Kona Entertainment & Technology

2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com
2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com

While it’s not the fastest infotainment system, we do like the unit in the Kona. Even the smaller 8-inch screen is bright and big enough to get around the system easily. Generally, things are laid out well and the larger 10.3-inch screen is even easier to navigate. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard and a great addition. The new adaptive cruise system is also impressive and as much as it’s a safety feature, it adds real comfort in the form of excellent technology.

Safety Features

The Kona was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS in 2021 and we expect more of the same when they get around to testing the 2022 version. In addition, the 2022 Hyundai Kona has lots of advanced safety equipment and technology that puts it on par or far ahead of every major competitor. It also has great small touches like alerts to keep occupants from opening doors when traffic is approaching from the rear of the car.

2022 Hyundai Kona Trims & Pricing

2022 Hyundai Kona SE - carsforsale.com
2022 Hyundai Kona SE - carsforsale.com

SE – $22,135

The base Kona is a good car even without options. Features include advanced safety features like lane-keep assist, automated emergency braking, and a driver attention monitor. The SE also gets 16-inch wheels, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and remote keyless entry.

2022 Hyundai Kona SEL - carsforsale.com
2022 Hyundai Kona SEL - carsforsale.com

SEL – $23,935

At the SEL level buyers get remote start, Bluelink (a service that allows users to interact with their car remotely), HD Radio, heated mirrors, rear cross-traffic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and 17-inch wheels.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line - hyundai.com
2022 Hyundai Kona N Line - hyundai.com

N Line – $26,685

Not to be confused with the upcoming Kona N, the N Line version features a 195 horsepower engine and some special N-Line styling cues. In addition, it gets a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, special 18-inch N-Line only wheels, a power-adjusted driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a premium Harman Kardon audio system with eight speakers.

2022 Hyundai Kona Limited - hyundai.com
2022 Hyundai Kona Limited - hyundai.com

Limited – $29,435

The luxurious Limited trim level uses the same drivetrain as the N Line but adds much of what would be optional otherwise as standard equipment. Features such as 18-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, lane following assist, lane-keeping assist, LED headlights and taillights, a sunroof, leather seating, and a 10.3-inch infotainment system with dynamic voice recognition.

Warranties

No other company (aside from brand partner Kia) can match the warranty coverage that Hyundai provides. It comes in the form of a 5-year/60,000 mile limited warranty and an incredibly 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. In the past Toyota could seem more attractive thanks to 2 years of complimentary maintenance, but Hyundai has usurped that now with 3 years or 36,000 miles of coverage.

What we think

2022 Hyundai Kona - hyundainews.com

2022 Hyundai Kona – hyundainews.com |  Shop 2022 Hyundai Kona on Carsforsale.com

For those in the market for a smallish inexpensive SUV, the 2022 Hyundai Kona is one of the best possible options. It’s not as posh as something like the Mazda CX-5, but it offers nearly as much technology, a better warranty, and a lower overall cost.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion. In his free time, he’s usually at a hockey rink, walking his dogs, or on a road bike. His automotive tastes lean towards cars that oftentimes seem to take a pound of flesh for the ethereal pleasure they provide: things like the Lamborghini Diablo, TVR Cerbera, and a C4 Corvette turned into a street-legal go-kart. He drives his Bugeye Subaru WRX in Autocross, Rallycross, and track day competitions throughout the year and daily drives a twin-turbo BMW 535i.

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