Hyundai Kona Electric review
Big on range and performance, practical and stylish – the Hyundai Kona Electric is a fantastic EV
The Hyundai Kona Electric is one of our favourite EVs – punchy performance, a genuinely useful range and decent levels of comfort and practicality make it a great all-rounder. The only rival that’s worth considering over the Kona is the Kia e-Niro, a broadly similar EV that’s built on the same platform and uses the same powertrain, but is slightly longer and more practical. The Hyundai doesn’t trail too far behind, however.
The Kona Electric boasts a bolder look than many of its rivals, is very well made and comes complete with Hyundai’s excellent five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. A version with a 39kWh battery is available for those who don’t need a huge range and want to save on purchasing costs, but our favourite is the larger-batteried 64kWh version with its impressive 278-mile range. If range anxiety has been putting you off switching to an electric car, the Kona Electric 64kWh could well be the solution.
Hyundai has plenty of experience with alternative fuel vehicles – its Ioniq hatchback has taken on the Toyota Prius at its own game and become one of our favourite hybrids on sale. The pure electric version of that car paved the way for the South Korean manufacturer’s next generation of EVs, with the Kona Electric bringing usable electric power to the booming small SUV segment when it was released in mid-2019.
The Kona Electric is a practical small SUV powered by a single electric motor. There are two powertrain choices – a 134bhp motor with a 39kWh battery and claimed 180-mile range, or a 201bhp motor with a 64kWh battery for a 278-mile range. The latter option is the same as found in the Kona’s Kia e-Niro sister car.
There are three trim levels to choose from: SE, Premium and Premium SE. SE models come very well equipped, with 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors and camera, automatic headlights, keyless entry and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity included as standard. Safety kit includes lane-keep assist and pedestrian-sensing automatic emergency braking. SE models are only available with the lower-powered drivetrain option.
A step up to Premium brings an improved 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav, LED rear lights, a premium KRELL sound system, a wireless phone charger, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front and rear parking sensors plus more safety kit including blind spot detection, lane-follow assist and cross-traffic alert. Premium models can be had with either electric drivetrain.
Top-spec Premium SE adds electric seat height adjustment, heated and ventilated leather seats plus a heated steering wheel, full LED headlights, a head-up display and high beam assist. Premium SE models are only available with the more powerful 64kWh battery option.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingBig on range and performance, practical and stylish – the Hyundai Kona Electric is a fantastic EV
- 2Engines, performance and driveGreat performance and smooth, relaxed road manners make the Kona Electric one of the best-driving EVs around
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Kona Electric boasts a 278-mile range in 64kWh guise – more than enough for most buyers
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Kona Electric is just as stylish as its internal-combustion siblings, with build quality and tech to match
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWhile not as capacious as the Kia e-Niro, the Kona Electric is still a comfortable and practical EV
- 6Reliability and SafetyKona Electric customers benefit from good reliability, an excellent warranty and solid safety credentials