The 2022 Hyundai Kona Refresh May Look Funky But That’s Only a Disguise

It seems Hyundai can’t help but stay in the news. The Korean automaker keeps giving us refresh after refresh, new models, EV news, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Take the 2022 Hyundai Kona, for example. When it came out in 2018, the Kona was seen as maybe a bit funky but fresh. The strange styling is still going strong, but the 2022 Hyundai Kona refresh may look funky and playful, but there is an edge on this new version. 

The 2022 Hyundai Kona came ready to play

As noted by MotorTrend, the Kona made quite the impact in the compact SUV game when it first landed a few years back. The small package of the Kona, along with its unique design, grabbed many people’s attention. At first glance, you may think that the thin, blade-like headlights are cool and modern until you realize they are actually just illuminated eyebrows for the real headlights below. It was features like this and the bold paint options that really struck people and helped make the Kona a success. 

What is new with the 2022 Hyundai Kona?

We got ourselves a regular ol’ midcycle refresh here, folks. Three years after its launch, the Kona is more than ready for the refresh. Unlike most refreshes, the 2022 Kona is really going to the mat.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona driving around a curve of a road
The 2022 Hyundai Kona in action | Photo via Hyundai

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Hyundai has decided to rework the entire front end of the Kona by extending it 1.6 inches and reshaping the hood almost to resemble the maw of some predatory reptile. The razor-thin running lights got a lift and reshaped, as did the low-slung main headlights. The entire face is slashed with angles and curves that make the previous version look even more cartoonish by comparison. 

2022 powertrain options

The 2022 Hyundai Kona will still come with the 147-hp 2.0-liter inline-four as standard. Admittedly the new, more aggressive styling doesn’t pair all that well with that motor but never fear, there are more options. Although there is an N Line version of the Kona, it comes with the same motor you get with the Limited model, a turbocharged 1.6-liter four making 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The previous verison only made 175 hp. So although the optional engine got more powerful, it’s not quite the same drama from the other N Line cars like the Sonata and Veloster N. 

Hyundai is giving the 2022 Kona the N Line treatment

I am sorry to say this doesn’t mean nearly as much this time around. Unfortunately, the Kona N Line won’t be getting a massive power boost like the other models. As I mentioned, the turbo engine will be available, but the same engine can be optioned for the base model, making the N Line only really a design package. 

The N Line will come with body-color trim, cooler-looking 18-inch wheels, more aggressive front and rear fascias, a more businesslike interior scheme with red-colored seat piping front and rear. The Kona N Line continues to dress the part with metal pedals, a shifter head, and leather and suede seats. All we have to do is hang tight, though. Hyundai says that a high-performance Kona N might be in the works. 

2022 Hyundai Kona N line interior
2022 Hyundai Kona N line interior | Hyundai

Hyundai dressed the interior with fancy new surface materials on the dash and around the air vents to top off the refresh. The infotainment screen grew an extra 3 inches from around 7 inches in the old version to over 10 inches in the 2022 model. There is also a touch more legroom in the back, thanks to the redesign. 

Overall the 2022 Hyundai Kona is getting some major updates, and I suspect many customers will be excited by the new looks and features.