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Review: Hyundai Kona Electric (2023) makes electric driving less scary -

Electric driving is still a new phenomenon and the new Hyundai Kona Electric (2023) helps to make the switch easier. Moreover, it is more spacious and comfortable than the first Kona.

What is striking about the Hyundai Kona Electric (2023)?

The first electric Hyundai Kona Electric was a hit. Because before the small SUV with a long range came onto the market in 2018, you had to rely on the much more expensive Tesla Model S for an EV with a range of almost 500 kilometers.

Five years later the second generation follows, which has everything it takes to become a success again. The car grew in all directions and is 15 cm longer, 2.5 cm wider and 1.0 cm higher than its predecessor. That makes it almost as big as the Kia Niro EV. You notice the difference: all occupants now have much more legroom.

The basic version gained 20 hp and 9.2 kWh and now has a 48.4 kWh battery. Its range grew from 305 to 377 kilometers. The large battery does not make the same growth spurt: the usable capacity goes from 64.0 to 65.4 kWh and the power increased from 204 to 218 hp. According to Hyundai, the new powertrain is slightly more economical and this means that the Kona Electric can now break the magical limit of 500 kilometers.

What's good about the new Kona Electric?

Apart from the latest safety systems, the modern Kona Electric is nicely analogue. While other car brands find it necessary to reinvent the door handle or move physical buttons to the touchscreen, Hyundai is taking the usual route.

For example, on the dashboard we count 25 square push buttons, three round rotary knobs (volume, transmitter and driving programs) and two switches that you flip up or down to change the temperature. Life is pleasantly simple aboard the Kona Electric.


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At the same time, the Kona keeps up with the times, so there are two large screens on the dashboard. And just like in the Ioniq 5 and 6, they seem to form one whole. You also do not have to pay extra for navigation software. The battery heater looks at the planned route and when a charging stop is planned, it ensures that the battery pack is at the ideal temperature for fast charging. In the menu with all EV functions there is a thermometer that shows whether that temperature has already been reached.

What could be improved about the Hyundai Kona Electric?

It takes 41 minutes to fast charge from 10 to 80 percent, Hyundai said. That's longer than we want to wait. The Kona Electric therefore has an average charging capacity of 100 kW and is lightning fast Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Hyundai Ioniq 6 (both fast charging with over 200 kW) have spoiled us.

But the loading graph we made makes a lot clear. You can put your finger on the sore spot: at 70 percent the momentum is already completely gone. It is the last ten percent of 70 to 80 that make it take so long. The solution for the Kona driver is simple: disconnect earlier and leave.

Hyundai has probably held a high-level meeting about this: do we really need to communicate the charging time of 10 to 80 percent? Can't we do from 10 to 70 percent, because that only takes half an hour...

What do you need to know about the price of electric Kona?

If you want to buy a Kona Electric, you have to be quick. Because Hyundai advertises with two temporary promotional models. The Kona Electric Comfort Smart Limited of 45,195 euros does three things well: it is eligible for EV subsidy and has a heat pump with battery heating as seat heating for the cold winter months.

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Without that promotional model, you have to make a difficult decision if you want to collect those 2950 euros: the subsidy limit normally allows you to take steering wheel and seat heating or a heat pump with battery heating. Not both.

The 17-inch wheels on the promotional model are not as attractive as the tougher 19-inch alloy wheels on our test car, but you want the small wheels because of the lower power consumption. In our range test of the Hyundai Kona Electric you can read how big the difference in driving range is.

What do I think of the new Hyundai Kona Electric?

The Hyundai Kona Electric is spacious and comfortable and helps to make the switch to electric driving a smooth one. Such as its relatively large battery with 400 kilometers of driving range, a clear dashboard with lots of real buttons and a handy EV menu in which you can read what the biggest power guzzlers are. There are also easy ways to store the charging cable and the paddles behind the steering wheel let you play with regeneration, but that is not necessary.

However, I still maintain that fast charging with the Kona takes too long. We now know what the problem is and that you have to disconnect at 70 percent to spend your time usefully, but if you ask me, this would have been a good time to increase the charging capacity to 130 or 150 kW.

This post was last modified on November 21, 2023 3:34 pm


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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