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Hyundai Kona Electric

The independent definitive Hyundai Kona Electric video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

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

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 52

    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.

    Backgroundword count: 214

    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 Experienceword count: 275

    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.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Price:

    £30,750.00

    £38,645.00

    Insurance group 1-50:

    22

    27

    Max Speed (mph):

    96

    104

    0-62 mph (s):

    7.6

    9.7

    Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):

    279

    Length (mm):

    4180

    Width (mm):

    1800

    Height (mm):

    1565

    1570

    Weight (kg):

    1535

    1685

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    60%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    70%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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