For 2022, the Kona receives the magic we have seen in the Veloster Hatchback.
We have been anticipating Hyundai’s N performance sub-brand to integrate with more vehicles. The byproduct is an impressive turbocharged four-cylinder with sharp handling and stiff suspension. Additionally all the sporty goodies are present to the exterior: blacked-out grille, curved and vented front hood, large air intake, subtle light signatures, N badges, low profile tires, twin exhaust, and a red pin-stripe along the front bumper, skirt and diffuser. Inside the cabin, a red button on a perforated steering wheel is just screaming to be pushed. The button engages a boost mode, upping the 276-hp to 286 for 20-seconds. Seat coverings, more N badging, and Performance Blue accents complete the package.
Behind the Kona’s N aggressive-looking, hole-punched nose sits the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that propels the tuner Veloster. Oddly enough, on a bases the Kona makes 192-horsepower, however as the aforementioned red button will unleash 10 extra horsepower for 20-seconds. Currently the Kona does not share the manual transmission option seen in the Veloster. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic shifts the Kona and boast the torque. The drivability is certainly pleasant. With engaging handling and responsive steering feedback this crossover embraces the N sport performance. The only knock, is that the interior can be a bit noisy at greater speeds and can feel almost too stiff at times.
Every Kona N gets launch control, 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero summer tires, a variable exhaust system that should provide plenty of snaps and crackles, and the aforementioned overboost function.
Inside striking N-specific details such as the Performance Blue accents seats cut through the all-black interior to spruce it up a bit. The near suede racing seats with N stamped badges looks and feels dashing. Contrast stitching, steering wheel, shift knob and metal petals blends the sporty design with the simplicity of the original Kona. The digital gauge cluster measures 10.3 inches and looks modern. Hyundai adds a dash-mounted head-up display to show you how fast you’re going. Underlining the Kona N’s sporting intentions, the 10.3-inch infotainment screen will present racetrack-minded Kona N owners—all five of them—with track maps and lap-monitoring information. Other features include Harman Kardon brings an eight-speaker setup, and buyers can charge their phones wirelessly.
While this Kona is equipped with many features, we feel this may be a very niche option. While it’s a more practical Veloster, this model may be lost in the weeds for those not keen to the Hyundai racetrack-mind. Did I forget to mention the N buttons on either side of the steering wheel can be toggled to desired drive modes, and they can also start the lap timer. The ever growing variations of the Kona keep coming.
2022 Hyundai Kona N
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 in3, 1998 cm3
Power: 286 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 289 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Passenger Volume: 2690L
Cargo Volume: 538L
Curb Weight: 3350 lb
0-100km: 4.9 sec
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 10.6/11.7/9.0 L/100km