Hyundai knocked it out of the park with the launch of the subcompact Kona crossover for the 2018 model year. Now Hyundai hits another home run with the Kona’s first major redesign since. New for 2022, the Kona receives terrific style updates inside and out as well as major technology upgrades, along with a more powerful engine option and a bit more room. Trims consist of the SE, SEL, N-Line, my Limited test model, and a new performance-oriented N model. There’s an all-electric version, but I’m driving the gas-only model.
I love the Kona’s significant exterior design changes, which give it a sleeker, more polished presence. Major changes to the front end include a redesigned, much slimmer vertical grille that loses its wider geometric design. It’s flanked by sleeker LED headlights but newly missing are fog lights.
My model’s Cyber Silver really sets off terrific-looking, newly-designed, 18-inch alloy wheels and the Limited’s premium dark gray body cladding. A rear spoiler adds style to the tail end that also sports new LED tail lights. Up top you find black roof rails and a power sunroof.
The Kona Limited benefits from the lineup’s available powertrain upgrade. Its top-range 1.6L turbocharged engine now delivers 195-horsepower (up from 175-hp) and matching torque. It feels peppy, with great off-the-line acceleration, and overall perfectly powered for a subcompact SUV. The engine is paired with a smooth shifting 7-speed automatic. My model is equipped with available all-wheel drive and remote start. Start/stop isn’t too noticeable, but can be disabled. Fuel economy is 29 mpg combined.
More great updates continue in the interior. My test model sports comfortable leather-trimmed gray seats, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob. The Limited’s front seats are heated but only the driver’s seat is power adjustable. While the Limited features premium soft door panels up front, I’d still love to see more soft touch areas.
Above the steering wheel, a newly available 10.25-inch fully digital driver’s display is also standard in the Limited. It features great graphics, color and easy to read information.
A redesigned center stack highlights another major update to the Kona’s technology. The scene stealer is my model’s new available 10.25 inch responsive multi-media split-screen equipped with Navigation and Dynamic Voice Recognition. Map quality is excellent as is the fantastic backup camera. Hyundai’s voice recognition is one of the best systems I’ve experienced next to Lexus’ top-of-the-line system. The Limited’s premium 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system sounds great in the space, too.
Further down on the center stack, Hyundai also updated the single-zone climate system with new knobs and digital temp display.
Connectivity includes available SiriusXM Radio, Bluetooth and three USB ports. The Limited model is equipped with non-wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SE, SEL and N Line are equipped with wireless versions.
The 2022 Kona is 1.5 inch longer than the outgoing model, which Hyundai says improves back seat leg-room. Slightly raised stadium rear seating does make head-room a bit sparse, something to consider if your passengers are on the tall side. There is a new USB port in the rear seat, but no A/C vents. The 60/40 split folding rear seat offers passengers a center drop down armrest.
There’s no remote release for the liftgate so you’ll open it manually to what Hyundai says is increased cargo space, and close it with a grab handle. The cargo area offers a cargo cover, dual level cargo floor and an under floor storage tray. There’s also a spare tire underneath.
Standard Limited features include an electronic parking brake, rain sensing wipers, sunroof, Blue Link remote start and new ambient lighting.
Ride and Drive
The 2022 Kona delivers an enhanced ride and drive. It’s comfortable and all-in-all very easy to like with confident acceleration and braking. Sport is my preferred drive mode with the most responsive steering. However, like the 2021 model I reviewed, I wasn’t thrilled with the highway road noise, despite new acoustic windshield glass and insulation added to the 2022 model.
Hyundai’s robust SmartSense technology safety suite is one of my favorite systems. Standard lineup SmartSense features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Rear Occupant Alert.
Limited models also come equipped with Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Parking Distance Warning – Reverse.
Blind Spot Monitor View, one of my favorite features, is absent from the lineup.
Another big update is that Hyundai’s terrific Highway Drive Assist comes to the Kona lineup and it’s standard on the Limited. It’s intuitive and easy to activate and great at staying centered between highway lane markings. The Limited’s standard Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go also operates very well.
Hyundai simply has some of the easiest to operate safety technology out there.
What You’ll Pay
My test vehicle’s MSRP is not provided on the monroney sticker, so I calculated it using Hyundai’s build tool. As equipped this model MSRP’s for approximately $31,330 (including $1,500 for AWD, $155 for carpet mats and $1,225 for freight charges.)
A great job by Hyundai on the 2022 Kona redesign. This subcompact SUV at the Limited trim should be on your shopping list.
2022 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD
- What I liked most: Looks, Tech Updates
- What I would change: Reduce highway road noise, add a remote liftgate for this price point.
- MSRP: Base: $28,450 / No official MSRP available. Estimated $31,330 with transportation.
- Official color: Cyber Silver.
- Fuel economy: 27 city/32 highway/29 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,651 miles.
- Spare tire: Compact spare.
- Weight: 3,271 – 3,327. Equipped with optional AWD.
- Length-width-height: 165.6” long/70.9” wide/61.6” high when equipped with roof rails.
- Fuel-tank capacity: 13.2 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing capacity: Not recommended.
- 2022 Hyundai Kona Limited in a few words: If you’ve never considered the already great Kona subcompact before, the redesign should catapult it to the top of your shopping list.
- Warranty: America’s Best Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, 7-year anti-perforation warranty. Complimentary Maintenance: 3 years/36,000 miles of normal oil changes and tire rotations.
- Final assembly location: Ulsan, Korea.
- Manufacturer’s website: Hyundai