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2022 Hyundai Kona Electric First Look

The well-regarded Hyundai Kona Electric is refreshed for 2022.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona non-electric is reviewed separately.

A significant series of enhancements sharpens the Korean-made compact electric vehicle (EV) hatchback, as it competes with well-established rivals such as the 2021 Nissan Leaf.

Consumers interested in a small EV like the Kona will also want to consider the impressive 2021 Chevrolet Bolt and the Niro EV, from Hyundai’s sister company, Kia.

We think the current Kona EV is a front-runner in its field and like its functional and practical design as well as the way it drives. With the upgrades made for 2022, it becomes an even more compelling contender.

What’s New for 2022?

For 2022, Hyundai puts a new face – literally – on the Kona Electric. The car has a sleeker front-end design, with overtones of the Tesla Model 3. The car’s nose had a dimpled grille area – EVs don’t need cooling grilles like conventionally powered vehicles – but this has been replaced with a smooth, aerodynamic surface.

A distinct horizontal character line wraps from one side of the front to the other just below the brand badge and the daytime running lights. The headlights are redesigned and the air intakes just ahead of the front wheels are now more sporty looking and aerodynamically functional.

The only jarring visual element is the charge-port door, which is set off center on the nose of the car and disturbs the slick surface appearance.

The Kona EV receives a new alloy wheel design, optimized for smoothing the airflow. At the rear, there is a new bumper design and new taillights.

Overall length of the Kona EV has been increase by 1.6 inches and rear legroom has grown by 0.5 inches.

Inside, the 2022 Kona Electric is upgraded with a newly designed dashboard, which features two large screens, one 10.25-inch display in front of the driver and an 8.0-inch display in the center. The latter is upgraded to a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation in the Limited trim.

Hyundai has also remodeled the lower center console storage area to make better use of the space and to provide room for smartphone wireless charging.

The Kona EV refresh improves on the vehicle’s refinement by cutting down on noise intrusion into the cabin. New acoustic glass for the windshield, plus extra insulation behind the dashboard and cargo area bring a tad more serenity to the driving experience. Find a 2022 Hyundai Kona EV for sale near you

What We Like

  • Agile handling
  • Decent range
  • Excellent warranty

What We Don’t

  • Plastic cabin surfaces could be better disguised
  • Cargo space is on the tight side

How Much?

Pricing for The 2022 Kona Electric has yet to be announced but we expect it to remain close to the prior version, which started at $38,565 (including a $1,175 destination charge).

Fuel Economy

For 2022, the Kona electric powertrain carries over unchanged, with a 201-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels and powered by a 64 kWh battery.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not tested the 2022 Kona EV yet. The EPA uses a different formula, MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) for calculating fuel economy with EVs.

Hyundai’s own testing program gave the latest Kona EV a rating of 132 MPGe in the city, 108 MPGe on the highway and 120 MPGe combined.

The Kona’s battery range is estimated at 258 miles by Hyundai. Using an external fast charging, level 3 station, the 2022 Kona Electric can charge from 10 to 80 percent in less than 50 minutes. Charging from 10 to 100 percent using the internal level 2, 7.2 kw charger will take approximately 9 hours and 15 minutes.

When equipped with the optional convenience package, the base SEL trim Kona EV comes with a battery warmer to cut down on charging times in cold weather. The same warmer is standard on the top-end Limited trim.

Standard Features & Options

Just two trim levels are available for the 2022 Kona EV, SEL and Limited. The 5-passenger SEL comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and an 8.0-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

An SEL convenience package adds a power tilt and slide sunroof, battery warming system, wireless device charging, power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats.

With the Limited trim comes the 10.25-inch touchscreen (with navigation), a Harman Kardon premium sound system, radar cruise control, heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats and cooled front seats.

The Limited grade also rides on larger 18-inch alloy wheels.

Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment phone app allows drivers to use voice commands to control vehicle features like the climate and audio systems.

Kona EV owners can also utilize Blue Link to manage their home charging schedule to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity rates.

Safety

As with other Hyundai models, the 2022 Kona Electric comes with a useful array of standard safety systems. These include blind spot-collision avoidance assist, forward-collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist and lane-keeping assist.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to test the 2022 Kona Electric but the non-EV 2021 Kona performed well in NHTSA tests, with an overall 5-star rating.

Behind the Wheel

We were impressed with the way the 2021 Kona Electric drives. For a small electric vehicle, it feels quicker than its 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds suggests. And it handles crisply, with agile road manners, especially in tight city traffic.

We have yet to experience the 2022 Kona Electric but expect it will maintain such fun to drive characteristics.

Check back soon to see our update on driving the new Kona EV.

Other Cars to Consider

2022 Nissan LeafAs the original compact EV, the Leaf has experience on its side and its latest version is impressive, if a little short on range.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt – The Bolt is quick off the mark, good fun to drive and goes further than the Leaf Plus on a charge, making it a worthy EV candidate.

2022 Kia Niro EV – A little less impressive than its corporate kissing cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV, the Niro EV has lots of safety features and a long warranty.

Autotrader’s Advice

We think the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric SEL trim is the one to go for. Add the SEL Convenience package for good measure. Find a 2022 Hyundai Kona EV for sale

 

 

 

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