Hyundai's 2022 Kona comes in variety of flavors, from 'green' to 'mean'

Dave Kunz Image
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Hyundai's 2022 Kona ranges from 'green' to 'mean'
Hyundai's Kona SUV offers buyers a range of styles, from the environmentally-friendly all-electric version to a souped-up 276-horsepower performance model.

Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes. And a great example of a car where variety is available is Hyundai's Kona.

The cute little mini SUV has been updated for 2022, and has picked up a loyal following since debuting four years ago. With lots of practicality and a reasonable starting price of about $23,000, the regular Kona model offers a nice package for those looking for a subcompact crossover.

Also restyled is the battery-powered model, the Kona Electric. Like the previous version of this vehicle, the range is impressive, at over 250 miles.

Considering this is likely to be popular with city dwellers, that range should be plenty for anyone. And if a road trip comes along, the Kona Electric can access public high-speed charging for a battery top-up during a coffee or lunch stop. Base price for the Kona Electric is about $35,000 before incentives.

The electric version of the Kona probably has more people considering it now than would have, say, a year ago. Other buyers aren't ready to make the leap to electric just yet; they prefer a conventional car. And still others would like a version with a bit of a hot-rod treatment.

And there's now a hot rod of the Kona line - yet another flavor, the new Kona N, with "N" being Hyundai's performance division. A high performance cute ute? You bet. The little turbocharged screamer of an engine under the hood puts out 276 horsepower, and you can paddle-shift your way through eight gears with the dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A trick limited-slip differential gets that power out to the tires. Available in essentially one loaded-up variation, the Kona N carries a sticker price of around $36,000.

The N in this line of Hyundais partly stands for Nurburgring, the famous race track in Germany. That's where the company's chassis engineers dial in these N models, and the Kona N may surprise a few people by how well it gets around corners. It might be practical, but it's also a blast to drive. Then again, it does cost $12,000 more than a basic Kona.

There is also a Kona N-line, which gets you much of the look without all the performance, and costs thousands less than the top N model.

So the N checks the high-performance box. The Electric checks the box for those who never want to buy gasoline, and the regular Kona checks the box of a nice basic baby SUV for those on a tight budget who may not need flashy or fancy.

Tough to find a vehicle model that can check three boxes at the same time, but Hyundai's come up with a formula for one that does. Automotive variety, for sure.