New SUV

276-horsepower 2022 Hyundai Kona N brings track-ready performance to the pavement

The 2022 Hyundai Kona N is a new hot hatch for American families.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

If you were thinking that the 2022 Hyundai Kona N was going to be a slightly sportier take on the Kona, you were wrong. Way wrong. The new Kona N is a grown up hot hatch that is road- and track-capable.

The Kona N is another step toward Hyundai's commitment to incorporate N and N Line models throughout their stable. Eighteen vehicles bearing the N and N Line names are expected to be revealed through 2022.

The 2022 Kona N is being branded as a 'True Hot SUV'. To back up this claim, Hyundai has given the model a combination of versatility, rapid acceleration, and agility. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is matched with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. The powertrain makes the Kona N capable of achieving 276 horsepower. The SUV can get to 62 mph off the line in 5.5 seconds when Launch Control is activated. Its speed tops out right around 150 mph.

2022 Hyundai Kona N

2022 Hyundai Kona N

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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Hyundai has given the Kona N an electronic limited slip differential that controls torque distribution to the driving wheels and allows the SUV to drive into corners. The base model Kona N gets launch control, a variable exhaust system, and an N Grin Control System.

There are five drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and Custom. Those modes change up the operating parameters of the engine, electronic stability control, exhaust sound, and steering. It also has traction control with snow, mud, road, and track capability.

The Kona N has 19-inch lightweight forged wheels with high-performance brakes and tires that work with the car's body-colored fenders to give this Kona a beefier appearance. Hyundai has given the model a front lip spoiler, double-wing roof spoiler, and side skirts. The Kona N is offered in a variety of colors but is currently the only model Hyundai has that is able to wear a Sonic Blue paint color.

The interior of the model has brand-specific details such as the Performance Blue color accents, seats, steering wheel, shift knob and metal pedals.

The Kona N comes equipped with a variety of advanced driver assistance system features including forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, driver attention warning, high beam assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance alert, safe exit warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2022 Kona N is expected to arrive later this year.

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The Hyundai Palisade got a mild refresh for 2023.

Hyundai

Earlier this year, Hyundai announced changes to the Palisade for 2023. The list includes a new front fascia, an updated grille with new headlights and daytime running lights, a 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, and more. A new XRT trim joined the lineup as well, bringing brawny off-road styling and dar exterior trim. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the SUV, which starts at a little more than $32,000.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeA new XRT trim adds rugged styling. Hyundai

The Palisade's powertrain carries over from 2022, which includes a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Inside, the SUV got several new and updated technology features, including a more powerful wireless device charging pad, an updated digital key system, and a larger infotainment display.

As Hyundai's flagship SUV, the Palisade edges on luxury territory, with plush leather upholstery and a serene cabin that offers excellent noise cancellation and comfort. Captain's chairs and seven-passenger seating are available, but a second-row bench comes standard and brings eight-passenger capacity to the SUV.

Muscular SUVs are more popular than ever before, so Hyundai gave the posh Palisade an outdoorsy treatment with its XRT trim. The new Palisade XRT builds on the SEL trim with 20-inch wheels, a more rugged bumper and lower body cladding, a sunroof, and leatherette upholstery. To be clear, XRT is an appearance package that does not improve off-road capability to a large degree.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeTop trims border on the quality and design of some luxury brands. Hyundai

Standard safety equipment is generous, and includes forward collision warnings with avoidance, lane keep assist, lane following assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the base Palisade SE starts at $36,245, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The top Calligraphy AWD model starts at $52,095 after destination. All-wheel drive is available for all trims as an added-cost option.

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The N Line forms a midpoint between the standard Kona and the Kona N.

Hyundai

Hyundai has a lot going on, with new EVs hitting the market, but the brand has been on a surprising run with performance models lately. The Veloster N is an excellent, rowdy hot hatch, and the brand followed that act with the Kona N and Elantra N. Hyundai’s Kona N takes the hot hatch formula to the next level with an incredible powertrain and useful space, but it’s too much for many people. The mid-point is Hyundai’s N Line, which borrows styling cues from the hottest N variants but lacks the all-out grunt of those vehicles.

2022 Hyundai Kona N LineThe N Line gets aggressive styling cues from its sportier N counterpart. Hyundai

The styling works for the Kona N Line, as it does with the Kona N, but the powertrains couldn’t be more different. Where the Kona N gets a 286-horsepower four-cylinder, the N Line comes with a milder turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which adds a layer of engagement not found in the continuously variable transmission that standard Kona models get.

That modest output lends the Kona N Line modest performance, with more noise generated than expected. In motion, the powertrain feels decently responsive, but it lacks the razor sharp nerves of steel that the Kona N brings. Shifting into sport mode changes the gauge cluster to a bright red and hastens the vehicle's responses, but again, it's important to temper expectations for a milder experience here.

2022 Hyundai Kona N LineThe digital gauge cluster responds to drive mode changes. Hyundai

Styling is more aggressive than the standard SUV, with 18-inch wheels and mean-looking exhaust tips. The Kona’s front-end design is still busy and will still be polarizing, but the dark trim and sporty aero bodywork help the situation. The N Line’s all-black interior gets red stitching and accents that help break up the otherwise monotonous color scheme. The seats are supportive and comfortable, but could be deeper for better body-holding during spirited driving sessions. There’s plenty of room up front and a surprising amount of space in back, aided by the Kona’s large-ish rear door openings. Parents will find an easy time loading kids, and older children can ride in relative luxury with plenty of legroom.

A 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, which offers configurable colors and legible information. It’s paired with a standard 8-inch touchscreen, but a 102.5-inch screen with navigation is available. Hyundai’s excellent infotainment software runs flawlessly on both units, and offers an intuitive and straightforward way to interact with the vehicle. A Harman Kardon eight-speaker stereo also comes standard.

2022 Hyundai Kona N LineRed accents liven what is otherwise a dark, monotone interior.Hyundai

The Kona N Line, while not as hot as the Kona N, offers a reasonable styling upgrade for people wanting a small SUV with sporty looks. Enthusiasts should look at the full-on N model for thrills, though, because the N Line should be viewed as more of an appearance package than a performance model.

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