Apart from a few details on the body and a few other controls in the interior, the electric Kona is practically no different from the combustion one. It doesn’t have crossover plastic fenders, it does have a blinded grille with a charging port, but that’s about it. It doesn’t matter because the distinctive and original design works and there is far more space inside the car than you would expect from its external dimensions.
The Kona has moved up a bit to sit halfway between Bayonne and Tucson, but that’s only true of dimensions. In terms of price, it is halfway in the combustion version, the electric car is of course significantly more expensive. And also heavier – depending on the selected battery, it gained 400-500 kg compared to the petrol version, and this is quite noticeable when driving. It’s not that the Kona is slow, it can get going nicely. But it’s a little heavier in corners, and while the low center of gravity prevents it from leaning too much, even an average driver can tell if they’re driving a 1,300kg or 1,800kg car.
The Kona Electric is available in the Eco version, which has a weaker engine with a power of 156 hp, a battery with a capacity of 48.4 kWh and a voltage of 300 V, but I tested the more powerful Power version, which has 217 hp, the same 255 Nm and a battery of 65, 4 kWh and 400 volts. Fast charging in both versions can charge from 10 to 80% in a little over 40 minutes, the range with a larger battery is up to 455 km on 19″ wheels according to the table, but in reality it is more like 400 and in winter around 350 km. Even that for an ordinary user will do, especially if it charges regularly overnight.
Hyundai has traditionally had very good recuperation control and the Kona is just overall very good to drive. The interior is spacious and comfortable, offers pleasant ambient lighting, plenty of storage space and also a Lounge mode, in which it can turn the driver’s seat into a sofa when the car is stopped.
The only thing that really fundamentally bothered me in the car was the poorly tuned security systems monitoring the driver’s attention and exceeding the speed limit. They can be turned off, but it is unnecessarily complicated and in real traffic their function is counterproductive – they distract the driver from driving rather than helping him. You can find out more pros and cons of the electric Hyundai Kona in the video.