2022 Hyundai Kona N-Line new car reviews

Photography Courtesy Hyundai

Need a smaller SUV? Might want to start here.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

First, this is the Kona N-Line, not the Kona N. The difference: The Kona N gets the 276-horsepower engine, the eight-speed DCT transmission, and the 14.2-inch front brakes.

The N-Line, the one that we drove, is powered by the same 195-horsepower engine found in the Kona Limited. In fact, the two models share the same column on the spec sheet.

The N-Line, though, gets, some sportier touches, like the body-color cladding, unique bumper covers, metal pedal covers and those three little faux vents just north of the grille. Once you add the Technology Package to the N-Line–adding in a power sunroof, driving assist, smart cruise, navigation and some other niceties in order to make the two similarly equipped–the price difference falls to just $250.

A little while back, we played a little game on the forum: What smaller SUV?!

In this case, it needed to be AWD. (The Kona comes in both front- and all-wheel-drive flavors.)

At the end of that discussion–and a lot of test driving–a new Kona was purchased. In this case, it was an all-wheel-drive Limited model.

The Kona just answered all of the questions: It’s the right size, feels upmarket, looks good, drives well and is backed by a long warranty.

Why Limited over N-Line? The Limited’s dark grey body cladding gives it a more subdued look, while availability also played an important part.

After some time in this Kona, I’d second those feelings. The interior’s touch points feel soft and welcoming. The stitching has an upmarket look. The seats have enough support.

The 7-speed DCT transmission delivers smooth, confident shifts–no CVT here–while, despite the shorter wheelbase, the Kona feels good on the highway. Like others from Hyundai, the interior controls are just conventional enough.

And, yeah, it looks cool and is the right size.

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