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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2023 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2022 Hyundai Kona N

Vehicle Type: SUV Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 30

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $34,200
Price as Tested: $35,495

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 13.2
EPA City mpg20
EPA Highway mpg27
EPA Combined mpg23

Advanced Safety Features

  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Hyundai’s sporty-looking Kona is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of many. Four of its 5 trim levels mostly add more comfort and BASE PRICE: $34,200; PRICE AS TESTED: $35,495 NHTSA SAFETY RATING: Not Rated convenience features to a competent small crossover. The Kona N, however, is a different animal—its sights are set on the performance driver. Take the engine, for starters. Four Kona trim levels have 4-cylinder engines that put out either 147 hp or 195 hp. The N, by contrast, has a 276-hp turbocharged mill (with a boost mode) that serves up quick acceleration and plenty of power. Its multiple drive modes, sport- tuned suspension, and performance tires deliver responsive handling. In short, the Kona N is great fun to drive - although some will find its ride too stiff for a daily driver. In addition, the engine is noisy, the transmission lags during low-speed shifts, and torque steer is noticeable. The Kona’s cabin has decent overall interior space, more so for front-seat passengers than for those in the back. Amenities aren’t totally lacking: The front seats are heated and ventilated. But the interior looks and feels cheap, with too much hard black plastic. Rear vision is restricted by a small back window. Overall, the Kona N is a good value in a sports-oriented crossover - did we mention the sub-$40K price tag? - and those who insist on having a driver’s car will focus on its strengths and overlook most of its downsides.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • • Good handling from sport- tuned suspension and performance tires
  • • Sporty exterior styling
  • • Quick acceleration, multiple drive modes
  • • Good value in a sporty crossover

Weak Points

  • • Noisy engine
  • • Cheap interior
  • • Too-firm ride for most
  • • Noticeable torque steer

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3340.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 165.9 / 70.9 / 61.0
Wheelbase (in): 102.4
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 60/60,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli P Zero
Front and rear tire size: 235/40 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 8-speed
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 2.0L I4 turbo GDI
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 276 @ 5,500

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 8.91
Quality and Drivability: 7.33

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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