News of Hyundai’s Kona Electric model (which launched in some countries in November 2018, but will mainly launch worldwide in 2019) has been building for the past few months. However the past few days have been exciting, since a range of hands-on reviews have hit the internet. This mega-guide covers all the info about this car, and links to reviews and other interesting articles of the 2019 Kona.
2019 Hyundai Kona: General Facts
For those not familiar with the ‘Kona’, this model was released in 2017 as a fossil-fuel car and it’s a ‘crossover SUV’ car – also called a ‘mini SUV’, the increasingly popular type of car. The Kona range was extended in 2018 with announcements of an upcoming electric model, due for limited release in Q4 2018 (to South Korea and Norway, along with very limited numbers to some other countries) – but primarily for a 2019 release. There’s two main battery options:
- A 39 kWh battery with a 200 mile (321 km) range and 201 horsepower electric motor.
- A long range 64 kWh battery option, with 258 mile (415 km) range.
All versions of the Kona EV come with at least a 7” touchscreen, cruise control, heated front seats, rear view (parking) camera, blind-spot monitors, lane-keeping assistance – and more. It supports fast 7 kWh charging, along with rapid 70 kWh charging with its rapid DC charging. The Kona electric has a kerb weight of 1,723 kg (3,800 lb).
The 64 kWh battery option gives up to 258 mile (415 km) range, which is 7.8% more than the Chevrolet Bolt offers, and it’ll launch at a lower price ($29,995 for the Kona EV, versus $36,495 for the Chevy Bolt). This means that the 2019 Kona EV is well positioned in the current green car market – it’s only marginally more expensive than the smaller Nissan Leaf. Hence if you’re wanting a larger electric vehicle, the Kona will be much cheaper than the Jaguar i-Pace or the Tesla Model X!
YouTube Video Reviews
Here are some great YouTube video reviews we’ve seen (but please check out our 2019 Hyundai Kona EV YouTube playlist for a full list):
Here we recap on various reviews from around the web, nearly all of which were published in the last week or two. The general consensus is that the 2019 Kona Electric looks set to do well in the current EV marketplace, as the summaries below show – but please do click through and read more from any reviews which pique your interest:
“The Kona Electric instantly strikes us as a more “normal” vehicle than its obvious cross-shop rival, the Chevrolet Bolt EV.”
“As we zigzagged on canyon two-laners, the Kona Electric really underscored the car side of the equation. It feels sporty and more balanced”
“Up to this point, EVs have often felt like compromises—cars that you’d only buy if you cared about saving either money or the environment. The Kona Electric makes a strong case that a pure-electric crossover can be had without sacrificing drivability or utility. We’ll have to wait until pricing to cast our final judgement, but our experience with it makes us think it should be on any crossover buyer’s list”
“While all of these [Hyundai-type EVs] are far more than just highly compromised compliance cars that we’ve seen arrive since 2010, Hyundai is taking care to match supply to demand.”
“Another place where the Hyundai has an advantage over the Chevy is in charging.”
“One peculiarity we found was the Kona EV’s low-speed pedestrian warning system – which provides an audible “presence” akin to a conventional internal combustion vehicle – that hummed noticeably louder than the Nexo’s system, and louder than any other EV we’ve tested, sounding more like a train in the distance”
“if you’re interested in getting the most range for the least number of dollars, or cutting your fuel bill roughly 75 percent, or are intrigued by the punchier power, very low maintenance, and quiet drive feel along with those minimal fuelling costs, then this Kona EV will be a clear market leader.”
“Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the handling and performance of the Kona Electric. Another result of the placement of the battery pack under the floor is that the vehicle has a very low centre of gravity.”
“So, you’ll be ready to go while ensconced in some of the latest safety tech the auto industry can provide, you’ll have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto or SirisXM and a built-in nav system to get you where you want to go. But will it be fun?
“Yes. Yes it will.”
“Overall, the Kona Electric is an enjoyable experience as an electric car. The torque is great, and zero emissions is even better.”
“If you were hoping the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric would be available in all 50 states, I have some disappointing news. While GM made the Bolt available nationwide, Hyundai will not be doing the same here.”
“Although the Kona Electric’s 6.2 inches of ground clearance (0.8 inch less than the standard version) won’t make it much of a rock crawler, more of its mass sits lower, making it feel better connected to the road. Hidden beneath the floor, the 64.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack shifts the Kona Electric’s center of gravity 3.6 inches closer to the pavement, to 20.3 inches, according to Hyundai. That’s sports-car territory.”
“The Kona Electric’s fun-to-drive nature starts with punchy acceleration… When it comes to ride and handling, the Kona Electric feels pretty similar to its gas-powered progenitor: good, if not exceptional. The steering and brakes feel pretty decent for an electric car”
“I am rather smitten with the Kona EV. It’s got oodles of head, leg and cargo space, its electric motor and direct-drive transmission provide enough torque to pin you to your seat when flooring the accelerator, the cabin’s infotainment accessories are smarter than your average teenager and with a 258 mile range, it delivers Tesla-level drive longevity at a better price.”
Prices Around the World
The prices per country for the Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 (including Government subsidies) are listed below:
- United States: $29,995 (64 kWh) including the federal tax credit; the base price is $37,495 (64 kWh).
- United Kingdom: £24,995 (39 kWh) and £29,495 (64 kWh) – equivalent to $31,821.11 (39 kWh) and $37,550.06 (64 kWh)
- South Korea: around 20 million won (64 kWH) – equivalent to $17,800 (64 kWH)
- Germany: €34,600 (39 kWh) and €42,500 (64 kWh) – equivalent to $39,383.31 (39 kWh) and $48,375.45 (64 kWh)
- Norway: 325,000 Krone (64 kWh) – equivalent to $38,257.38 (64 kWh)
- India: 3,000,000 Indian Rupee (64 kWh) – equivalent to $42,031.53 (64 kWh)
- Ireland: €38,855 (64 kWh) – equivalent to $44,226.55 (64 kWh)
That just about sums it up! We’ve tried to be balanced and show any criticisms that were highlighted (if relevant/applicable), but to be honest, this car does seem to have excited the auto reviewers.
We’ll see if that translates into actual sales and market-gains in just a few months..!
It’ll also be interesting to see whether the Kona EV can break into the American market, which is mainly Tesla-oriented when it comes to green car buyers.