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Hyundai reveals powertrains, features of U.S.-bound, refreshed 2022 Kona SUVs

The Hyundai Kona has been given a facelift and new variant for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Last September, the 2022 Hyundai Kona and Kona N-Line debuted. Now, nearly half a year later, we have the answer as to which powertrains and features will be on the U.S. version of the subcompact SUV as part of its mid-generation refresh.

Power options

The 2022 Hyundai Kona will be sold with a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the U.S. That engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. No changes there from the 2021 Hyundai Kona S, SEL, and SEL Plus. Hyundai is doing away with the six-speed automatic transmission that was paired with the engine previously. Now, it is mated with a new Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line
Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company
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An upgraded four-cylinder will be offered in the Kona N-Line and Limited trim levels. It's a 1.6-liter turbo-four that delivers 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That's 20 horsepower more than the same engine put out in the 2021 Kona Night, Limited, and Ultimate models. The engine is paired with the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai will give the 2022 Kona Electric a 150 kilowatt hour permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor and 64 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that deliver 291 pound-feet of torque to the Kona Electric's front wheels - nothing new there. Expect the powertrain to deliver a Hyundai-estimated 132 MPGe in the city, 108 MPGe on the highway, and 120 MPGe combined. Charging time remains the same.

Features

Hyundai traditionally equips their models with a long list of standard and available features. The Kona is no exception. The options list includes a sunroof, shark fin antenna, leather-trimmed seats, heated seats, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity key with push-button start, and one-touch up/down windows.

Hyundai has given the Kona S a standard 8-inch infotainment touch screen. Satellite radio gets added in Kona SEL models while a 10.25-inch screen is available on Kona N-Lines and standard on the Kona Limited. An eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system is available on N-Line models while Limiteds get ut standard.

Curiously, the 2022 Kona has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto only on models with the standard 8-inch infotainment screen. The larger screen has compatibility for the tech, but it must be wired to connect. Two USB ports are standard. The Kona Limited comes with three - an extra in the rear. A wireless smartphone charge is standard on the Kona N-Line and Limited.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona will arrive stateside 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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