CHATHAM, Mass. – Smorgasbord might be a Swedish word, but the term perfectly describes Hyundai’s diverse sport-utility/crossover-utility (SUV/CUV) choices.
The American buyer can choose from seven SUV/CUV body variants, from the subcompact Venue to the three-row Palisade. The choice of powertrains increases the options as Hyundai offers electric, hybrid-electric, plug-in-hybrid-electric and gas versions within the mix.
We sampled the redesigned subcompact Kona N Line, a sporty, well-equipped CUV introduced for the 2022 model year.
Like all Hyundai vehicles – SUVs, CUVs and cars – the Kona N Line represents solid value, from the $25,850 price (which includes all the features and equipment discussed in this review) to the fuel economy (33.3 miles per gallon during our time behind the wheel) to the 10-year/100,000-mile warranty powertrain warranty.
The overall Kona styling is familiar but more flowing and fluid, less angular than the previous version. N Line designation brings unique diamond-cut alloy wheels, low-corner fins, larger air intake with mesh covering and body-color cladding.
N Line boasts more power, upgraded chassis pieces
There is more to the N Line than sporty looks beginning with the engine. While more elementary Kona versions have a naturally aspirated two-liter engine, the N Line comes with a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 195 horsepower and 195 pounds-feet of torque.
Power flows through a seven-speed EcoShift® automatic transmission to the front wheels (an all-wheel-drive version is available).
The suspension system includes MacPherson-type struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar up front and torsion beam in the rear. Electronic-stability control and vehicle-stability management supplement the mechanical pieces. Those diamond-cut wheels are 18×7.5 inches, fitted with 235/45R18 all-season tires.
The braking system features ventilated 12-inch rotors up front and 11.2-inch solid ones in the rear with four-channel, four-wheel, four-sensor anti-lock (ABS) system and a driver-selectable downhill-brake control. An electric parking brake complements the system.
Very simple, straightforward pieces which do a good job in providing a firm, comfortable ride while delivering solid roadholding capabilities. This is not a sports car, but it is satisfying to drive aggressively on rural roads scattered around Cape Cod. The Kona N Line will not embarrass itself when asked to move quickly!
Solid suite of advanced driver-assistance systems
The Kona N Line comes with the Hyundai SmartSense suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) furthering Kona value proposition by including an extensive variety including:
• Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
• Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
• Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
• Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
• Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop and go
• Highway Drive Assist (HDA)
• Lane Following Assist (LFA)
• Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
The RCCA is new for 2022 in Kona models helping drivers avoid a collision when backing up by applying the brakes if another vehicle is detected. This is an upgrade from the former Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, which provided a warning without any stopping power.
Technology, amenities and a comfortable interior
Hyundai has increased the capabilities of its infotainment system which incorporates an eight center-stack display at the top of the dashboard’s center. Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming Bluetooth audio complement the AM/FM infotainment sources. Speaking of wireless, there is a wireless-charging pad for mobile devices at the front of the console.
The Dynamic Voice Recognition system includes major enhancements for 2022 including the ability to control features like automatic climate-control operations, radio station/channel selection as well as the rear-window and side-mirror heating.
The adjustable front seats (heated, eight-way power adjustment for driver) and steering wheel allow the driver to find the right driving position. The roof is high, the windows large, thus providing an interior much more open and expansive in feel than outside dimensions might suggest.
It is all about value
Buyers looking for a roomy, capable, fun subcompact SUV will find the Kona N Line fits the bill. Comprehensively equipped and priced under $30,000 ($27,290 including the $195 carpeted floor mats and $1,245 inland freight & handling charge), this Hyundai is an excellent choice amongst the diverse selection of vehicles out there.