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The small SUV is great, but the reveal? Eh...

After witnessing the reveal of the 2022 Hyundai Kona that left much to be desired, I now have a curmudgeonly view of Zoom car introductions.

By Dave Wolin

Tue, Feb 23, 2021 01:29 AM PST

I was recently invited to attend a Zoom reveal of the 2022 Hyundai Kona. Since I'm 6 months into a 2021 Kona I had some special intertest; what did I miss, should I have waited a year etc.

2022 Hyundai Kona

So a brief review - My 2021 Kona gets 4 stars out of 5. Performance is so-so; when I want performance I drive one of my other cars. Handling is OK, it's not a canyon carver; when I want handling I have another car to drive. It is a $20,000, 30 mpg, small SUV, good transportation for 2 people, groceries, race car parts and a couple of dogs. Rockets through the grapevine at 75 and to date, no warranty issues.  

I highly recommend the base model, otherwise you can spend $30,000 and get options that don't enhance the driveability one bit. Speaking as a guy who came home often on a flatbed with my previous car's 30 series tires after a pothole encounter, the Kona's 55 series tires are a plus and it comes with a spare tire, not just a can of tire sealant.

Downsides - The giant touchscreen probably causes more accidents than anything; 30 seconds to change radio stations while you end up in median. Lane avoidance and all that b.s. - I turn off as much as possible; we're raising a bunch of drivers who depend on their car to drive them. Seats could be more comfortable though this is subjective and maybe related to my aging posterior.

2022 Hyundai Kona

So on to the 2022 model. This presentation was what you used to see at the auto show, then by the company president and with Hors d’oeuvres. Now the attendees are wearing T-shirts, the presenters looked to be high school age techies and you provide your own snacks.

Not knocking Hyundai or the Kona; as I said, I like the car a lot. But by not waiting until 2022, I missed out on an even larger touch screen, lower profile tires, some sportier (?) models with revised (?) styling, more computer controlled driving, and, oh yeah, an electric at about twice the price of the fossil fuel version.

Someone called it "a substantial and excellent freshening" - Guess I'm waiting for auto shows to return !!

About The Author

Dave Wolin's profile picture

Dave Wolin

Dave Wolin has years of experience in the automotive performance industry and professional racing. As a driver and a team owner, he’s won SCCA and IMSA races and championships in events as diverse as the Baja 1000 and Pikes Peak Hillclimb. While still racing, he’s also the Executive Director of the Racing History Project. An LA-area refugee, Dave lives in a cabin in the woods outside Yosemite National Park with his wife Jane, an uncountable number of standard and exotic pets, and a garage (that dwarfs his house) full of enough racing projects to last out the century.

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