Hyundai Kona Electric review: Still the electric crossover to beat?

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(Pocket-lint) - The Hyundai Kona Electric rapidly became 1 of our favourite electric cars pursuing its motorboat successful 2018.

Sitting alongside the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai offered the Kona successful assorted guises - with hybrid and combustions versions - a strategy that continues successful this astir caller version.

What the Kona offers is crossover charms with axenic electrical powerfulness - including a scope that's respectable and prices that are approachable.


The plan of the Kona Electric has been simplified somewhat implicit the erstwhile outing. Fundamentally, this is simply a facelift of the compact crossover, truthful it's instantly recognisable arsenic the Kona.

There's a caller beforehand bumper, enclosing the country that antecedently had a covered grille. The grille remains connected the hybrid and combustion version, but the Electric exemplary present gets a amended beforehand design, looking a small much refined, a small much loved.


Hyundai Kona Electric photograph  14

From the sides the looks are broadly the same, but determination are immoderate bodywork changes resulting successful a somewhat simpler look. Plastic instrumentality arches and different detailing has been removed from the Kona Electric, portion besides providing a constituent of favoritism from the combustion motor models.

The effect is simply a somewhat cleaner look, portion the regular gas-guzzling Kona looks a small much rugged with those integrative instrumentality arch protectors. If thing else, it's casual to spot the electrical connected the roadworthy now, acknowledgment to the flimsy displacement successful styling.

There are immoderate insignificant exterior differences betwixt the trim levels offered - SE Connect, Premium, Ultimate - but that mostly amounts to however premium the little conception of the beforehand bumper looks. As is often the mode with Hyundai, determination aren't a full satellite of options, alternatively antithetic spec is dictated by those antithetic trim levels.


Hyundai Kona Electric photograph  13

That makes selecting your exemplary easier: we fishy the astir fashionable volition beryllium the Premium, which offers a prime of artillery sizes, but inactive comes successful astatine a terms that qualifies for the UK's Plug-in Car Grant, redeeming you £2500 disconnected the larger 64kWh version. What you're getting is simply a good equipped car for nether £30K, with decent scope too.

Minor interior updates

The interior of the Kona Electric hasn't seen immense changes implicit the existing exemplary - the largest noticeable quality being the determination to a afloat integer operator display.

The Kona is comfy and roomy capable successful the front, but the rear seats are a small much cramped. Put a gangly operator successful the beforehand and you'll beryllium near with minimal legroom successful the rear, truthful it's truly lone past suitable for smaller children, but determination is plentifulness of headroom, which saves it from feeling excessively cramped.



The highest level trim gets the enactment for leather facings and lighter colours, portion the little trims person a achromatic interior, which, if thing else, won't amusement up truthful overmuch muck if you're transporting a young household astir - which galore Konas volition be.

On the Ultimate trim we tested, determination are leather touch-points, but reasonably wide usage of harder plastics of assorted textures. As we said, this isn't retired of spot fixed the terms of the car - and for those who privation thing superior the Ioniq 5 is worthy a look arsenic an alternative. Although it's casual to constituent to higher-priced cars with interiors that are evidently higher quality, it's truly hard to kick astir the Kona astatine this terms point.

Ultimate trim does bring immoderate luxury, with spot heating and cooling for those beforehand seats, however, with that cooling being alternatively much unique.


Hyundai Kona Electric photograph  8

The footwear is simply a small compact, offering 332 litres of space, though the rear seats volition fold to summation the capableness if needed. For many, arsenic a regular run-around, that's plentifulness of abstraction for the play shop, but broadly aligns with the Citroën ë-C4 and others astir this terms point. There's a tiny retention tray nether the level of the boot, but not overmuch abstraction for thing else.

All in, it's an interior that fits its purpose. So agelong arsenic you tin judge that the Kona is simply a beauteous compact crossover, due to the fact that it's successful the backmost seats that you'll consciousness that the most.

Interior technology

One of the interior changes that we mentioned is the integer operator display. This replaces a show that had a azygous cardinal dial and gives a assistance to the driving experience, though it does look to beryllium sunken rather heavy wrong the cowl. No matter, it's wide capable with a left-hand speedo and right-hand powerfulness meter.

We similar that Hyundai presents plentifulness of information connected this display, similar the mean mileage you're achieving from that battery, which volition assistance you get a amended representation of however you're driving.

The centre conception allows you to leafage done information, specified arsenic much data, truthful there's a tiny grade of customisation too. Importantly, it's each wide capable to understand, which can't beryllium said astir each car displays. As you power done thrust modes it volition alteration colour too, with reddish for Sport, of course, to marque it a small much 'racy' looking.

The cardinal show is flat, there's nary curving of the compartment towards the driver, with a tally of buttons beneath it to instrumentality you to wherever you privation to spell - including a customisable button. Two dials mean it's casual to enactment with, portion besides supporting touch, though the measurement knob seems a stretch, amended placed for the rider than the driver. Fortunately, determination are broad controls connected the steering instrumentality too.

Again there's casual entree to accusation connected however efficiently you're driving and wherever the nearest nationalist charger is. Some of the graphics look a small dated, but with enactment for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, there's plentifulness of flexibility - adjacent if those smartphone-based systems don't capable the full screen. 

There's a small crossover into the driver's show - you tin spot the audio you're playing, for illustration - but different the buttons stay pointing to Hyundai's systems. That means that if you're driving with Google Maps done Android Auto, for example, and you property the Maps button, it volition revert to the Hyundai system, leaving you to excavation done the strategy to find your mode backmost to Android Auto. 

Despite immoderate of Hyundai's graphics looking a small dated, there's really a batch of accusation that's useful. You tin drill into what's utilizing your charge, find your mean consumption, positive more. You tin besides easy find navigation options to instrumentality you to an electrical car charger, but similar truthful galore systems, it doesn't person each the chargers and lists immoderate that you can't really use, similar successful backstage car parks. 

But you tin easy navigate to chargers and you person the enactment to nominate your favourites, truthful you tin easy navigate to those successful a peculiar country easily, without having to look done the immense list. The navigation itself is good, with a utile broadside model successful the show that volition springiness you halfway stats and speedy nav to those chargers.

Drive and range

With a poke of the D fastener you volition beryllium connected your mode successful blissful silence. Buttons are becoming much communal for these thrust functions, with cogwheel oregon thrust selectors being replaced with simpler interactions. What's possibly unusual is that the thrust mode selector is close astatine the backmost of the centre console alongside the spot heating controls - you person the scope down you to entree it, truthful it's not hugely applicable portion really driving.


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That's if you really consciousness you request to usage the modes. Eco is simply a small muted, but delivers the champion economy; Normal is simply a small much spritely; portion Sport volition astir apt beryllium a small excessively virgourous for some. We fishy that those buying the Kona won't beryllium doing truthful for speed, truthful Eco whitethorn good beryllium the champion mode to prime and permission the car in.

As mentioned, determination are 2 artillery capacities disposable for the Kona, which plays a large portion successful dictating the price. The smaller artillery is 39kWh and is the lone enactment for the lowest SE Connect trim, paired with a 100kW/136PS motor. The larger artillery is 64kWh and is disposable arsenic an enactment for the Premium trim, portion besides being the size you get connected the Ultimate trim - paired with a 150kW/204PS motor, truthful determination is going to beryllium a show quality betwixt the trims based connected the options you choose.

That's wherefore we fishy the Premium with the 64kWh artillery volition beryllium the astir popular, due to the fact that it gives you the champion show for the wealth and volition apt connection the aforesaid driving acquisition arsenic the Ultimate.


Hyundai Kona Electric photograph  6

Having spent clip driving the Kona successful assorted conditions, it's reasonably casual to get implicit 5 miles per kWh. Typical suburban driving successful Eco mode gave america an mean of 5.6 miles per kWh, which connected the 64kWh artillery would instrumentality a scope of 358 miles. Of people real-world driving is often much varied, but adjacent successful much carefree driving, you'll apt deed the 4.5 miles per kWh mark, which is 288 miles - again, adjacent to the cited scope for this model. 

That second fig is person to what you'll execute connected motorway driving, but carnivore successful caput this varies depending connected temperature, however loaded the car is, and however dense your close ft is. What's astir encouraging is that the Kona Electric feels economical - it's not hard to get bully scope and with small details similar the quality to restrict the instrumentality to the operator only; it each feels good considered.

The cited scope for the 39kWh artillery mentation is 198 miles, but again, the averages volition alteration astir that figure.

The achievable scope volition beryllium connected however you thrust the car, with Eco and Eco+ modes successful spot to assistance you trim the wonton dispersal of power. At the apical Sport level you person the twitchiest throttle effect (giving you that 0-62mph clip of 7.9 seconds), and the lowest regeneration connected lift-off.

Hyundai offers paddles connected the steering file to manually displacement the level of regen, truthful you tin beryllium driving successful Eco and take to crook disconnected the regen if you conscionable privation to seashore down a elevation without slowing down. Once you're successful the mindset of however regeneration works, this makes it truly casual to beryllium much engaged with the drive.

As with different electrical cars, the thrust is ace creaseless and it's comfy too. That was the content we had of the erstwhile exemplary and we inactive deliberation that Hyundai has a large look here, offering applicable scope and tenable prices, successful a car size that's hugely popular.

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Added to the premix is enactment for 100kW charging, which portion not the fastest retired there, volition get you backmost connected the roadworthy beauteous rapidly erstwhile you hook up to a accelerated charger.


The Hyundai Kona Electric comes from a beardown position, making a fig of tweaks successful this caller mentation to update the acquisition implicit the incumbent.

For those with a Kona already, moving to the caller exemplary would beryllium precise familiar, portion the halfway underpinnings - the options for powerfulness and batteries - are precise overmuch arsenic they were before.

What's truly changed is the competition: determination are galore much models to take from, with cheaper and much compact models similar the Mini Electric oregon Honda e, done to person rivals similar the Vauxhall Mokka-e oregon Peugeot e-2008.

But the Hyundai Kona Electric remains 1 of the champion electrical cars for the outgo and scope that you get. It's large for tiny families, with that 64kW enactment truly appealing.

Also consider


VW's electrical SUV for the masses. It's larger than the Kona, offering much applicable abstraction if you privation thing a small larger, but it is simply a small much expensive.

Citroën ë-C4

A small much unique, offering absorbing exterior stylings with that coupe benignant to boot. There's respectible interior space, but it's not rather arsenic blase arsenic the Kona erstwhile it comes to the tech - oregon the scope you get.

Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 22 July 2021.

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