Hyundai Kona Electric review

The Hyundai Kona Electric boasts smart looks, reasonable pricing and – crucially – a range that meets or beats that offered by many rivals

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Up to 300-mile range
  • Fashionable crossover styling
  • Well equipped for the asking price

Cons

  • Interior a bit bland
  • Some rivals more spacious
  • Weight saps driving enjoyment
Battery sizeOfficial rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
39kWh189 miles6hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)48mins (10-80%, 50kW)
64kWh300 miles9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)47mins (10-80%, 100kW)

During its time on sale, the Hyundai Kona SUV has variously been offered with petrol, diesel and hybrid power, but this fully electric version is the best of the bunch. While the others are only midfield contenders in their class, the zero-emissions Kona has long been one of best electric family cars on the market – even more so after its 2021 update and styling refresh.

That facelift left the battery and electric-motor line-up unchanged; there are still two versions depending on how much range and power you want. The entry-level car has a 39kWh battery and 134bhp motor, while the range-topper features a 64kWh battery and 201bhp motor. The latter is vastly more popular, but the 39kWh version's lower price may appeal to some who primarily want a car for shorter local journeys.

With a 7.4kW home wallbox fitted, charging even the larger-battery Kona Electric at home should take less than 10 hours. On long-distance trips, you’ll likely be using rapid-charging stations at motorway services, and these can give the Kona Electric an 80% top-up in less than an hour. Maximum range stands at between 189 and 300 miles depending on which battery you opt for.

So which spec should you go for? Even the entry-level SE Connect is well equipped, with 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, adaptive cruise control, electric windows and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav and smartphone connectivity, as well as a comprehensive safety package – although it's only available with the smaller 39kWh battery.

Premium trim is available with both battery sizes and adds luxuries like a heated seats, wireless phone charging and LED headlights, while Ultimate tops the range with a head-up display, plus ventilated front seats and a sunroof – although it's only available with the larger 64kWh battery.

On the road, the Kona Electric feels similar to its combustion-engined siblings, which means it’s not much fun to drive, but never less than competent. The electric version is more relaxing, as it’s so quiet and you don’t have the hassle of changing gear, but the considerable extra weight makes itself felt on twisty roads and when you’re accelerating. The 64kWh version will do 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, but never feels like a hot hatchback; top speed is 104mph. The ride is comfortable, though, which adds to the relaxing feel.

From a practicality perspective, the Kona isn’t as spacious or well thought-out as some of its rivals (notably the e-Niro) and the boot may feel pretty small to some users – or indeed anyone who looks in the back of a SEAT Arona. But the Hyundai is just about big enough to manage a family of four, and it has a good safety package, too. For a more detailed look at the Kona Electric, have a look at how we got on running one for six months – or read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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