Hyundai was quick to officially unveil its redesigned Kona to us after partial images released last week.
New styling, new technologies and an N Line version that will please performance enthusiasts are the main highlights.
A whole face
40mm longer than the previous model, the Kona is even more daring aesthetically, especially with a completely reworked grille and lighting units. The bumper is not left out and the new protective trim found at the bottom adds an element of symmetry with the top. The whole forms what Hyundai calls a “unique and robust armor”. Do you like it or not?
The sides of the vehicle don’t change except for new optional 17- or 18-inch rims, while the redesigned taillights feature horizontally stretched graphics. The rear bumper is new and also incorporates a contrasting trim.
Five body colors with evocative names are added to the palette, namely Surfy Blue, Dive in Jeju, Ignite Flame, Cyber Gray and Misty Jungle. Each can be combined with a roof and black mirror housings.
More refined and techno
Inside, the new Hyundai Kona features slightly more refined decor as well as better trunk and rear passenger legroom. The air vents and some controls have been revised, while new ambient lighting illuminates the central cup holders as well as the floor on the passenger and driver’s side.
There are also new colors and seat upholstery options, including a black woven houndstooth pattern. To meet the demand of several customers, an electric parking brake has been added and heated rear seats are optional.
As standard, the multimedia screen goes from seven to eight inches and becomes compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless. In the higher versions, it reaches 10.25 inches in addition to having a split screen function and several Bluetooth connections. A resolutely modern 10.25-inch digital instrumentation is also available behind the wheel.
Kona N Line
Following on from the new Elantra N Line sedan, the Hyundai Kona will be available for the first time in an N Line version. The grille (grafted with an exclusive badge), the bottom of the front bumper, the air intakes and the lights adopt a new design which gives the vehicle a more sporty and aerodynamic air.
There are other significant differences on the sidewalls, such as the spectacular 18-inch rims as well as the body-color trim around the wheels and under the doors. In addition, the rear spoiler is more pronounced and a large central diffuser in contrasting color matches with a dual exhaust outlet on one side.
On board, the Kona N Line features black decor with red stitching, metal pedals, and an N logo on the shift lever and seats.
The new Hyundai Kona has a host of safety and driver assistance features. The intelligent cruise control has been improved to include the stop and start function. The Blind Spot Monitoring System can now operate the differential brakes to avoid a collision if another vehicle is detected near the rear corner and the driver attempts to change lanes.
The arsenal is also enhanced with the addition of a departure warning for the preceding vehicle, active lane keeping assistance and emergency braking in reverse. Finally, to protect the youngest, there is the new rear occupant presence alert and the safe exit warning.
What about driving?
Hyundai says the Kona’s upgraded springs and shocks as well as modified stabilizer bars result in a smoother ride. The tires now have less rolling resistance and several parts of the vehicle have been updated to reduce noise and vibration.
Engineers have also revised the steering, which becomes more linear and balanced, taking care to adjust differently that of the Kona N Line. No word on the powertrains, which suggests that the Kona’s 147 and 175 horsepower engines aren’t changing. The N Line version should offer more than 200 horsepower.
The 2022 Hyundai Kona is expected at Canadian dealerships next spring. The new electric Kona, which will retain the engine and range (415 km) of the current model, will be unveiled soon.