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Hyundai Kona Electric review - Interior, design and technology

The Kona Electric is just as stylish as its internal-combustion siblings, with build quality and tech to match

It may look more or less the same as Kona models with petrol and diesel engines, but that’s key to the Electric model’s appeal – it’s familiar inside and out to those who have yet to make the switch from more conventional models.

There are some styling touches that set it apart, though – a blanked-off grille with incorporated charge port flap, unique alloy wheels and the notable absence of an exhaust pipe. Still, many won’t realise this Kona is an EV at first glance.

It’s much the same inside where the standard car’s well-built, logically laid-out dashboard and interior remains. The fit and finish is good, but the materials used aren’t quite up to the same standard used in the BMW i3. One key design difference between the Kona Electric and its siblings is its lack of a gear lever – this is replaced by a bank of buttons used to select drive, neutral and reverse.

It’ll take even the most EV-phobic driver no time at all to get comfortable behind the wheel of the Hyundai Kona Electric. It’s a similar story with the very similar Kia e-Niro, however – a car that we feel makes better use of its interior space and offers better value for money in terms of standard equipment.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The eight-inch touchscreen infotainment set-up in the Kona Electric is a good unit. You get satellite navigation with live services including traffic, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Both of these smartphone integration packages work brilliantly, which isn’t a surprise given that the system is very similar to the excellent one fitted in the Kia e-Niro.

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There’s an EV sub-menu that gives you access to climate pre-heating functions, as well as efficiency data. The sat-nav also overlays the location of EV charging points onto the map. Zoom out and a radius of remaining range is superimposed, too.

All of these features are also present on the Kona’s e-Niro rival as well, but this does not detract from their effectiveness. The infotainment screen is sharp enough and nicely responsive, while the physical hot keys to jump to different features make the infotainment set-up easy to use on the move.

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