Hyundai's Subcompact CUV Says "Aloha": Hyundai Unveils Refreshed 2021 Kona
The refreshed 2021 Kona sports a new exterior design, a new infotainment system, and a new "N-Line" trim level, among other improvements.
Ever since it made its debut for the 2018 model year, Hyundai's Kona compact crossover SUV (CUV) has been a very popular vehicle. In fact, the Kona has been so popular, that the Brand has dropped its compact hatchback offering, the Elantra GT, in favor of adding more CUV's to its lineup. Hyundai has officially unveiled the new 2021 Kona in its home country of South Korea, and it's likely that the new Kona will be making its way to North America for the 2022 model year (the 2021 Hyundai Kona goes on sale this month, in September of 2020). Read on to find out more about what's new with the 2022 Hyundai Kona. NOTE: Any any all pricing discussed in this article includes a mandatory destination fee, but does NOT include any applicable taxes, or other fees.
Starting with the exterior, the 2022 Hyundai Kona gets a bolder front end design, with a new front fascia that features a "Split" front grille design, and apparently on certain trim levels, triple front hood vents that are reminiscent of the 1980s Chevrolet (Chevy) Camaro Berlinetta. Moving onto the side of the vehicle, the 2022 Kona still features large front and rear wheel flares, as well as a "Rugged" design, but features new side skirts. Out back, the 2022 Kona features a new rear tail lamp design with integrated LED daytime running lamps (DRL's), and a new rear fascia design. Of course, there will also be new aluminum-alloy wheel designs for all trim levels. And yes, the Kona will still offer "Two-Tone" exterior paint options, just as its predecessor, allowing for owners to personalize their Kona and make it stand out from other Konas on the road.
Moving onto the interior, the 2022 Hyundai Kona retains much of its interior styling cues from its predecessor. There are new interior trim designs, and the standard touchscreen infotainment system size grows from seven inches (7.0") to eight inches (8.0"), with a 10.25-inch (10.25") "Widescreen" touchscreen infotainment system with integrated GPS navigation replacing the previously-optional eight-inch (8.0") unit with integrated GPS navigation. The South Korean-market Kona will offer an optional 10.25-inch (10.25") full-color Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) LCD display for the instrument cluster, though we don't know if this instrument cluster will make it onto North American-market models. Konas equipped with manually-adjustable front seats gain a seat height adjuster for both front seats.
Another noteworthy change for the 2022 Hyundai Kona is the addition of a new trim level, named the "N-Line". Unlike other Kona models, the "N"-Line trades black front and rear wheel flares, front and rear fascias, and side skirts for color-keyed units, and features the "Tri-Vented" front hood mentioned previously. The interior of the "N"-Line model will also be unique, with either cloth or luxury leather-trimmed seating surfaces being available. And if the color-keyed exterior accents weren't enough to tell the "N"-Line apart from other Kona models, there are "N" emblems on the upper front grille and rear liftgate. The "N"-Line also features unique tires and aluminum-alloy wheels. Of course, buyers who seek a more "Rugged" exterior appearance can still opt for any of the Kona's other trim levels, which, in the United States of America (U.S.A.), include base SE, well-equipped SEL, feature-packed SEL Plus, luxurious Limited, and range-topping Limited Ultimate.
For 2022, the Hyundai Kona also gains a host of newly-standard safety features, which, for the first time, include Lane Following Assist (LFA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistant (FCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Alert (RCCA), Rear Seat Alert (RSA), and Safe Exit Warning (SEW). Powertrain options for the 2022 Hyundai Kona haven't yet been announced, but in North America, base Konas are powered by a naturally-aspirated, 2.0L "Nu" Gasoline Direct Injection (GDi) Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine from the Hyundai Elantra Sedan, producing 147 horsepower and 133 lb. ft. of torque, although most Kona trims are also available with the more exciting 1.6L Turbocharged "Gamma II" Gasoline Direct Injection (GDi) Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) gasoline engine that produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb. ft. of torque (essentially a detuned version of the Hyundai Elantra Sport's 1.6T I4 gasoline engine). The naturally-aspirated (2.0L) Kona can be paired with either a standard six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic transmission, while the turbocharged (1.6T) Kona is exclusively paired to a seven-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic (DCT) transmission. Regardless of engine choice, the Hyundai Kona is available with either standard Front Wheel Drive (FWD) or optional All Wheel Drive (AWD) on all trim levels. In addition to the standard gasoline-powered model, there's also the Hyundai Kona EV ("Electric Vehicle"), which uses a 150 kilowatt (kW) electric motor that produces a respectable 201 horsepower and an even more impressive 291 lb. ft. of torque (paired to a single-speed automatic transaxle (transmission)), all with a driving range of 258 miles (or approximately 415 kilometers). Hyundai hasn't announced an updated Kona EV as of this writing (September 2020). All of the powertrains currently available in the 2021 Hyundai Kona (including the Kona EV) are expected to carry over to the 2022 Kona and Kona EV, although the six-speed manual transmission option on base Konas may be dropped for the 2022 model year, as it has been on other Hyundai models (including the entry-level Venue, and compact Elantra Sedan (for NON-N-Line models)).
There's no word on pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Kona, though the base 2021 Hyundai Kona SE, with the 2.0L I4 engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and Front Wheel Drive (FWD) starts at $20,400, without any added options, packages, or accessories. The range-topping 2021 Hyundai Kona Limited Ultimate, powered by the 1.6T I4 engine, a seven-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic (DCT) transmission, and All Wheel Drive (AWD) starts at $29,450 without any added options, packages, or accessories. The base 2020 Hyundai Kona EV starts at $37,190 before any applicable state or federal tax credits (and without any added options, packages, or accessories), while the range-topping 2020 Hyundai Kona EV Ultimate starts at $45,400, before any applicable state or federal tax credits, and without any added options, packages, or accessories (2021 Hyundai Kona EV pricing wasn't yet available as of this September 2020 writing). Hyundai builds the Kona at its assembly plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The new 2022 Hyundai Kona is expected to reach Hyundai dealerships nationwide in late Spring or early Fall of 2021. What do you think of the new 2022 Hyundai Kona? Let us know in the comments down below, and stay tuned right here for more information as it becomes available!