HYUNDAI

HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 100kW Premium 39kWh 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph9.9s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range190 miles

No manufacturer is more invested in the whole concept of clean automotive mobility than Hyundai. The brand has eco-petrol, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and even hydrogen fuel cell options in its current range. And of course, some full-electric battery-powered models. Here's perhaps the most appealing of them, the Kona Electric, now usefully improved.

HOME ON THE RANGE

Hyundai's Kona Electric re-defined the market for affordable EVs. Does it still? Jonathan Crouch looks at the revised version.

Ten Second Review

No manufacturer is more invested in the whole concept of clean automotive mobility than Hyundai. The brand has eco-petrol, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and even hydrogen fuel cell options in its current range. And of course, some full-electric battery-powered models. Here's perhaps the most appealing of them, the Kona Electric, now usefully improved.

Background

Prior to this Hyundai's arrival, the full-electric car market was pretty much divided into a couple of kinds of contender. There were relatively affordable ones, like the Nissan LEAF, developed steadily to the point where their lithium-ion batteries can offer up to around 180 miles on a good day. Or for around twice the money, buyers can graduate to the more sophisticated battery technology that luxury models use - cars like the Jaguar I-PACE, the Audi e-tron, the Mercedes EQC and various Teslas. With these, a driving range of around 300 miles or more is the norm. This Kona's chief selling point is that it can potentially offer the kind of range you'd get in a luxury EV for the kind of price you'd pay for a more affordable one. As selling points go, that's a pretty strong one, though unfortunately for Hyundai, it isn't an exclusive attribute. All the same engineering that features in this car can also be found for a similar price in its cousins, the Kia e-Niro and the Kia Soul EV. This Kona EV then, needed a little more than advanced battery tech to set itself apart - which may have been delivered with the more eye-catching styling of this improved version. Let's put this car to the test.

Driving Experience

There are no significant dynamic changes here; there didn't really need to be. The way this car hurls itself away from rest is pretty surprising the first time you experience it. Once you understand the drive dynamics here though, the rush of blood to the head that this Hyundai gets every time you press the loud pedal with any real vigour is only to be expected. There's a lot more pulling power than would be generated by an equivalent combustion engine - 395Nm of torque - and all of it's delivered to you right from the get-go, rather than building, as it would do with a fossil-fuelled powerplant. 62mph from rest takes 9.7s in the entry-level 39kWh version, which has a reasonable WLTP-rated 189 mile driving range between charges. But most Kona Electric customers are going to want the 64kWh variant, which manages a WLTP-rated range of 300 miles. Conserving that driving range requires careful management of the energy regenerative process that kicks in when you come off the throttle. Like some other Evs, this one provides you with paddleshifters behind the steering wheel that allow you to either intensify or reduce the regenerative braking feel. Alternatively, you can automise things using a 'Smart Regenerative Braking System' that constantly calculates the optimum level of braking regeneration, based on the positioning of vehicle ahead. On the open road, this car struggles a little with weight (it's 300kgs heavier than a conventional Kona) but the even distribution of the battery pack across the floor plan helps with handling and a more advanced independent rear suspension set-up has allowed the engineers to deliver a decent quality of ride.

Design and Build

Visual changes here are relatively minor but combine to give a much sleeker appearance. There's a restyled version of the closed front grille (probably the original model's least successful visual feature). And restyled daytime running lights and there are smarter, sharper headlights with multifaceted reflector technology. Length has increased by 25mm. As before, it helps that the EV model in question here is a high-riding SUV, so the batteries can be packaged in more easily without affecting cabin space, spread across the floorplan for a low centre of gravity, as they would be in a Tesla. Inside, the main change is the adoption of a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. The centre-dash infotainment screen is also 10.25-inches in size. And there's Hyundai's latest Bluelink telematics system, plus the usual 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. Along with mapping functionality that integrates into range read-outs and helps you to locate nearby charging stations. As before, an aircraft-style silver-trimmed centre console incorporates the 'shift-by-wire' push-button controls for the single-speed auto gearbox. And additionally includes a useful extra storage area in its lower section. And in the rear? Well it's in this part of the car that you're likely to be most keenly reminded that you've bought an SUV based on a supermini-sized platform, rather than that of a family hatchback. The same applies to the capacity of the 332-litre boot.

Market and Model

What Hyundai's EV competitors were expecting with the original version of this model was a fairly straightforward proposition: an on the road price in the £30,000-£35,000 bracket, battery capacity around 40kWh and 180 miles of WLTP-rated driving range. And indeed, that's almost precisely what's delivered by the base 39.2kWh version of this Kona Electric, which is offered in two guises, 'SE Connect (which costs around £30,000)' and plusher 'Premium' (which costs around £31,500). What the market wasn't expecting was the version of this Kona Electric that that most original customers for this model chose, the 64kWh variant that almost all customers of this battery-powered model will want. With this top derivative, there's 279 miles of WLTP-rated range for around £35,000 (if you go for a 'Premium'-trimmed model) or around £37,500 (if you go for the top 'Ultimate' variant). All the prices we've just quoted you include subtraction of the £2,500 government grant provided towards purchase of full-EV vehicles. This improved model includes a range of extra camera safety features, including Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. Another feature new to this model is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), which alerts the driver if they do not react fast enough when the vehicle ahead of them starts moving. Further new safety features include Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA). SEW warns passengers intending to exit the vehicle if it is not yet safe to do so. RSA is a door-checker feature that recognises if the rear doors have been opened prior to departing.

Cost of Ownership

As usual with an EV, you get plenty of cabin screen options to allow you to plan your route around your remaining available charge. Both models offer charging flexibility with standard 7 pin Type 2 CCS and 3 pin ICCB charging cables. When the battery is depleted, you'll be able to recharge your Kona Electric to 80% of capacity in just 75 minutes if you can find a 50kW DC CCS charging point. Or 47 minutes from a 100kW charger. Most of the time though, you'll be charging this Hyundai overnight using a 7.2kW wallbox that you'll have to pay a little extra to get installed in your garage. In the 64kWh model. You can revive the cells from empty in this way in around 6 hours (which would use around £9 of electricity at current rates). Of course, to maximise your driving range, you're going to need to make copious use of the various driving aids Hyundai provides. There's a power meter driving gauge to the left of the speedometer in the instrument binnacle and the idea here being to keep the needle in the 'Charge' band as often as possible. There's also a 'Driving Style' section in the trip computer screen that can display to the left of the instrument binnacle and award you percentage readings for 'Economical', 'Normal' and 'Dynamic' progress.

Summary

The looks of this Kona Electric are much improved in this revised form, but it's appeal remains much as before. Strengths include the kind of relatively usable driving range that would make it almost usable as an only car. Better still, we've found here that the claimed range isn't so far away from what's actually achievable in everyday use. In a Peugeot e-2008, you'd get a classier interior. In a Nissan LEAF, you'd get more rear seat passenger space. But both those cars are completely trounced by the driving range this Kona Electric can offer in its higher output form. Which is something that only this car's Kia cousins can match for the price. This Kona though, has wider appeal. Enough to take it mainstream? Probably not. It won't be on sale in large enough numbers for a start. But it's a clear signpost to an all-electric future. And that makes it a very important car indeed.

  • Electric front/rear windows with drivers one touch/anti-trap
  • Solar glass with windscreen shade band
  • Automatic windscreen wipers with rain sensor
  • Privacy glass - Rear windows and tailgate

  • Electric parking brake
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Regenerative brake shift paddles
  • Hill start assist control (HAC)
  • Electronic stability control
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake Assist

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

  • Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition

  • Forward collision warning
  • Drive mode selector
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Parking system with rear camera and guidance system
  • Lane keep assist
  • Front parking sensor
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear parking sensor
  • Power assisted steering
  • Lane follow assist
  • Cruise control - smart adaptive speed control with stop and go function
  • Intelligent speed limit warning

  • 10.25" touchscreen satellite Navigation with Bluelink and Mapcare
  • eCall emergency call system
  • Digital clock
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto
  • Windscreen washer fluid sensor and warning indicator
  • Smartphone wireless charging plate

  • Door mirror integrated indicators
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Power folding door mirrors

  • Battery heater

  • 6 speakers (2 front, 2 tweeters, 2 rear)
  • USB/aux input socket
  • Steering wheel mounted audio/phone controls
  • DAB Digital radio
  • RDS radio with MP3 player
  • Krell premium audio system with 8 speakers and subwoofer

  • Body colour door mirrors and handles
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof rails

  • Positioning Lights - LED
  • Full LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic headlights with dusk sensor
  • LED rear lights

  • Automatic climate control with defog system for front windscreen

  • 7 pin charging cable
  • Door scuff plate
  • Sunglasses holder
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel
  • Rear centre console with air vents
  • Luggage net
  • Luggage hooks
  • Parcel shelf
  • Luggage compartment undertray
  • Driver and passenger front seat pockets
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Front cup holders
  • Emergency 3 pin connector charging cable (ICCB)
  • USB charger in centre console
  • CCS Combo rapid charge port (50kW)

  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Centre interior light
  • Front interior light
  • Ambient lighting

  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Airbags - front, front side and curtain airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system with individual tyre pressure display
  • Fasten seatbelt reminder
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Childproof rear door locks
  • Passenger airbag deactivate switch
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition

  • Driver's seat manual adjustment
  • Front passenger seat manual adjustments
  • Driver's electric adjustable lumbar support
  • Driver's seat height adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • Adjustable head restraints
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat

  • Folding key
  • Smart key with keyless entry and engine start/stop button
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Alarm/immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Deadlocks

  • Driver/passenger sunvisors and illuminated vanity mirrors

  • 17" alloy wheels

  • Tyre repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 1020
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 10-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 360
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 7
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 10-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 260
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 11
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 10-100
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): 47
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: 100
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: 10-80
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 125000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 39
  • NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km: 14.3
  • NEDC Maximum EV Range Miles: 189
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 435
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 305
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 10
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 6.2
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.3
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 270
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 190

  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N

  • Engine Code: ZG
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: Premium
  • Coin Description: 39kWh
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 5
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 136
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 21A
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.3
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - RPM: N
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 291
  • Engine Torque - NM: 395
  • Engine Torque - RPM: N
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.9
  • Top Speed: 96

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Width (including mirrors): 2070
  • Height: 1570
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4205
  • Width: 1800
  • Wheelbase: 2600

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1535
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2020
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 332
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 485
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1114
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.4

  • Metallic paint: £565
  • Pearlescent paint: £565
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Special solid paint: £300

  • Heat pump: £875

  • Metallic - Surfy blue: £565
  • Metallic - Galactic grey: £565
  • Metallic - Cyber grey: £565

  • Pearl - Phantom black: £565
  • Pearl - Pulse Red: £565
  • Pearl - Misty jungle: £565
  • Pearl - Dark Knight: £565

  • Solid - Dive in Jeju: £0

  • Special solid - Ignite flame: £300
  • Special solid - Atlas white: £300

  • Cloth - Black: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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