The Hyundai Kona Electric offers superb range at a very aggressive price point
Introduction to the Hyundai Kona Electric
The Hyundai Kona Electric is already very popular on UK roads.
It builds on the success of Hyundai’s first electric car, the Ioniq. Like the Kia e-Niro, the Kona Electric is one of those cars that is accelerating the uptake of EVs dramatically.
Why? Because it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and has excellent range for its price, especially the 64 kWh version. It will also save you hundreds of pounds a year on fuel compared to a petrol / diesel car.
The Kona EV is a 100% battery electric vehicle BEV (no engine, just an electric motor and a battery) that you really should test drive to discover why both consumers and the media are so excited by this SUV.
Fortunately, the very long waiting list for the Kona Electric seems to be at an end. Hyundai dealers now say it’s 1-2 months from placing your order to having the car delivered. The Kona has also had a refresh for 2021, with the front looking even more sleek than it did before.
Read our written review below for a quick overview of the car and then watch the videos at the end.
- Fantastic range in miles for the price (64 kWh model particularly)
- Relatively inexpensive for what you get from Hyundai
- Comfortable driving position
- Good technology – easy to access
- Excellent road handling – lovely to drive
- Plenty of electric power and torque – get up to speed quickly
- Boot could be bigger
The Hyundai Kona Electric comes in two variants:
- Kona Electric 39 kWh
- Kona Electric 64 kWh
The ‘kWh’ refers to how big the battery is; how much electricity it can store. The 64 kWh Kona can do about 270 miles on a single charge, in the real world, on average – that’s an impressive range for an electric car at this price point. Official WLTP range is 301 miles.
Modern electric cars now offer a real alternative to a petrol or diesel engine. The 64 kWh model gives you both control over your driving destiny and high performance. The times they are a-changing with Hyundai.
You can travel for hours without stopping, and have space for 5 people. A motorway CCS type rapid charger will get you up and running again quickly.
The 39 kWh battery electric version of the Kona was re-introduced for 2020. Although the real-world range is lower at about 170 miles on a single charge, it’s still a compelling car. WLTP range is 190 miles.
Hyundai Kona Electric UK Price
The Kona Electric costs from £27,950, including the PiCG grant, where applicable.
There are three trim levels to choose from, mapped across both battery sizes:
- Hyundai Kona Electric SE Connect, 39 kWh: from £27,950
- Hyundai Kona Electric Premium, 39 kWh: from £29,300
- Hyundai Kona Electric Premium, 64 kWh: from £35,050
- Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate, 64 kWh: from £37,200
The Hyundai Kona Electric UK versions are therefore priced very aggressively. Combine this with cheap, off-peak overnight charging, and you have a driving cost of 1-2p per mile.
It’s worth mentioning though that the new, top of the range 2021 Kia e-Niro 4+ is currently priced at £39,395. As it’s a slightly bigger car – but otherwise very similar to the Kona – it’s certainly one to consider as well. Read our e-Niro review for further details.
If you do decide on the electric Kona, try one of the specialist, low-cost leasing companies like Select Car Leasing to secure as low a monthly payment as possible.
In this section you can discover what is included in the base SE Connect model, and what extras you get for upgrading to Premium or Ultimate:
Exterior & Interior
The Kona Electric has a distinctive, sporty look, with wrap-around lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and roof rails. It’s enticing you to get in and drive.
Six different colours are available to choose from: Acid Yellow, Ceramic Blue, Chalk White, Galactic Gray, Pulse Red, and Tangerine Comet. If you want metallic or pearl paint it’s £565 extra.
Inside the Kona there is room for 5 people, though the middle rear seat is a little narrow. There’s a feeling of modernity and style.
The seats are black, with either a cloth (SE Connect and Premium) or leather finish (Ultimate).
You get electric adjustable seats with the Ultimate, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, plus heated rear seats (the two outer ones). Privacy glass on the rear sides and tailgate is standard on Premium and Ultimate.
All trim levels have climate control type air-conditioning. There is also an automatic defogging system for the windscreen.
The SE Connect and Premium models have halogen headlights, whereas the upgraded Ultimate provides brighter LED lights.
The Kona comes as standard with a variety of driving aids such as:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Electric and heated door mirrors
- Various drive modes
- Front and rear parking sensors to avoid hitting the garage wall
- Reversing camera
- Paddles to control regenerative breaking levels
The Ulatimate level also offers you a heated steering wheel.
Tech & Safety
Like most electric cars nowadays, you get lots of goodies. The Kona provides:
- Bluetooth connectivity for your devices
- Voice recognition
- 7-inch touchscreen display (SE Connect)
- 10.25-inch touchscreen display (Premium and Ultimate)
- 8-speaker surround sound audio system with sub-woofer made by Krell (Premium and Ultimate)
- Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Wireless phone charging (Premium and Ultimate)
- USB sockets in the front and centre console
If you select Ultimate you also get a Head Up display (HUD).
The Kona Electric is very clever at keeping you and your occupants safe. It will also help avoid accidents with other cars and even pedestrians. Safety features include:
- Front, front side, and curtain airbags
- Automatic emergency breaking with pedestrian recognition
- Blind spot detection
- Stability control
- Forward collision warning
- Hill-start assist
- Lane follow and keep assist
Who is it for?
This Hyundai electric car is a front wheel drive, 5-door, 5-seat, compact SUV.
The Hyundai Kona Electric could be your family car. How often do you need to do more than 270 miles on the road in one day? It doesn’t matter where you’re based. If you have to drive the length of the country, you can charge your battery half way at a rapid charger at a motorway service station.
The 64 kWh Kona EV has rapid DC charging at a maximum rate of 77 kW using a CCS connector. No need to spend hours waiting while it charges. Even the 39 kWh model charges at 50 kW – still very fast.
The sat nav will auto generate a route showing where rapid charging stations are located. It’s smart technology that allows you to enjoy the experience of driving an EV, rather than wondering where to get your next power up from.
What about the rear seats? Space in the middle seat of the Hyundai Kona Electric is a little limited. Fine for a small child; not ideal for an adult or a large teenager on long trips.
The 64 kWh battery EV has a 150 kW motor, equivalent to 204 bhp, and takes 7.9 seconds from 0-62 mph. Top speed is 104 mph. The acceleration from a standing start in the Kona EV – the first time you try it – is amazing.
The 39 kWh Kona does 0-62 mph in 9.9 seconds, powered by a 100 kW (136 bhp) electric motor, with a top speed of 96 mph.
The Kona Electric has a nice, clean, uncluttered decor inside. It’s not as slick and futuristic as a Tesla, but you aren’t paying Tesla prices. Family members get what they want. USB port in the right place for charging? Yes. Practical centre console? Yes.
When EVs first came out, insurance was often more expensive than a petrol or diesel vehicle. Various articles in the media highlighted the problem. But now, if you shop around, you can secure very good deals.
Could this Hyundai Kona EV be your next company car? Absolutely. The Premium SE version looks very polished and corporate, with stylish exterior and wheels, and the car has plenty of modern technology inside. Finance Directors will also like the figures: tax breaks for both the company and individual. Benefit in Kind tax (BiK) at 1% in the 2021/22 tax year – that’s represents a huge income tax saving. BiK only goes up to 2% in 2022/23.
Rapid charging capabilities allow salespeople driving up and down the country to add miles quickly and efficiently. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get back up to an 80% charge and be on the road again.
In summary, the Kona looks great, corners and handles really well on the road with a relatively high driving position, has near best in class range on a single charge, and is not excessively priced. It’s time you took one for a test drive – you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be an EV driver before you know it.
- If you would like more information about EVs in general, please see our Electric Cars page.
- For specific details about the Kona itself, see the main Hyundai UK Kona Electric website.
- Otherwise, please scroll down to the Review section below for independent analyses.
We have searched round the web and brought all the main video and text reviews to you here in one place.
Click on the links below for reviews of the Hyundai Kona Electric from respected car reviewers:
> Fully Charged Live
- Reviewer: Jonny Smith
- Organisation: Fully Charged Live
- Date published: 29 November 2018
- Length: 18 minutes 33 seconds
- Reviewer: Vicky Parrott
- Organisation: DrivingElectric
- Date published: 19 October 2018
- Length: 3 minutes 0 seconds