Hyundai announced a number of updates for its subcompact Kona on Tuesday, all of which make the little crossover more attractive -- literally and figuratively -- than before. Updated exterior styling and tech upgrades keep the Kona fresh, and a more powerful N Line variant joins the lineup, as well.
Now, to be clear, the information we're working with is for the European-spec Kona. The automaker didn't release US-specific info and the brand did not return Roadshow's request for comment. We'll be sure to update this space if anything doesn't pan out the way we think it will, however.
For starters, the new Kona looks a lot cleaner than before. It's still weird, for sure, but a lot of the hard edges are smoother now, rounding out the otherwise boxy design. We particularly dig the new headlight treatment. The Kona N Line is set apart with its full-color bumpers, tiny air intakes between the LED running lights and unique 18-inch wheels. It's got a tiny-tough almost-hot-hatch vibe to it. Good stuff.
There's an upgraded 1.6-liter turbo I4 engine in the cards -- for Europe, at least -- with 195 horsepower. That's 20 hp more than the 1.6T in the current US-spec Kona. The N Line also gets a unique steering tune, which should make it more entertaining to drive. Again, it's unclear if the US version will get this upgraded engine, but we don't see why it wouldn't.
Moving inside, the general aesthetic hasn't changed too much, but Hyundai says there's slightly more rear seat space. A larger touchscreen infotainment system brings better tech inside the car, with the base screen growing from 7 to 8 inches, and Kona is also available with a 10.2-inch display running the most up-to-date version of Hyundai's BlueLink software, along with wirelessand . There's an optional 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, as well, but as with everything else, we can't say for sure if US-spec models will have this.
On the driver-assistance front, the Kona's adaptive cruise control now includes full-speed stop-and-go functionality and the Intelligent Speed Limit Warning function will -- you guessed it -- tell you if you're going too fast.
We should have more details on the US-spec Kona soon, so watch this space for more. The 2022 Kona should go on sale early next year.