Hyundai Kona EV test drive

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 As you can see, the electric version of the Hyundai Kona looks pretty much the same as the gas model.
Except of course, for the front end. Which doesn’t have a proper grille.

I actually like the look of the EV much better. Since I am never a fan of big chrome grilles. Especially in small cars.
I think this is much more modern and cleaner design.

 It also mostly uses the same interior. Except for the console and the screen. the console is much more modern.
And similar to the futuristic Hyundai Exo. The larger screen now matches the width of the air vents below it. And the whole thing looks better integrated than the regular version.
the screen also looks much nicer and more upscale. The piano black finish is much better than the dark gray semi/matte plastic of the other versions.

The EV also has cooling seats, which I am not sure the gas one offers.

 The truck is exactly the same size.
Quite an achievement since it has all the batteries underneath.
Just a few years ago, a regular hybrid meant that half of the trunk would be filled with batteries.

 The Kona Electric also drives pretty much the same as the gas version.
It has very nice steering with a good feel to it. The suspension is a bit on the firm side.
but mostly comfortable.
Road noise is OK. It all depends on the road textures. Which means it is not always super quiet.
Something you do notice more since there is no engine noise.

But this is not a luxury car…

 The Kona EV is rated at 258 miles range. My car had been driven about 30 miles when it was delivered to me.
After driving 50 miles, the available range still read about 200 miles.

 I then plugged it in to make sure it was “filled up”.
The next morning, the range indicated the 328 miles you see above.
I never drove 328 miles… But I drove over 200. At the end of the day, I still had about 100 miles available.

I understand that the indicated available range can be optimistic at times.
Still, I really think the 258 number is very conservative. I have read other (mostly European) reviews where the test drivers get a much longer range than advertised in various Hyundai and Kia EVs.

I think you should expect at the very least 270 miles

Since it is electric, the Kona EV is also much faster. the Eco mode can actually be used all day long.
The “normal” mode gets pretty fast. And the “sport” is actually maybe too much for this car.
The torque steer becomes very apparent. And it does get a bit annoying.

This is almost a case of too much power for what it is.
This is not meant to be a sports car.

In general, I think EVs can be too powerful. It is like all of a sudden everyone gets to drive a Corvette.
And not everyone is ready for it…

Like all EVs, the Kona Electric is quite expensive.
Although it starts at $ 37 000, my loaded model costs a bot over $44 000.
Which is pretty much in line with the Chevrolet Bolt.
But is also getting dangerously close to a Tesla Model 3.
Sure, for that price, model 3 has a shorter range. But it is a more upscale car, inside and out.

$44 000 is almost $15 000 more than the loaded Ultimate gas version.
In some states, you can still get almost $10 000 Tax incentive. but not for long.

To me, the best way to get an EV right now (it will change) is to lease it.
You can lease a Kona Electric for $369 a month.
These days, you could easily save at least $200 a month in gas money by driving electric.
Which means the Electric version would end up costing you less than the non-EV.
Which is available now for $229 a month.

For less money, you are getting a super fast, super quiet version of the Kona. And no gas.
If you lease it.

Like most electric cars, the Kona is a pleasure to drive.
And one of the best choices around.

Conversation 9 comments

  1. I think Hyundai HAS learned its lesson with mileage figures…….I don't drive a Kona EV but I do drive an Ioniq Plug in hybrid and although the stated electric only range is 29 miles I routinely get over 40 miles on battery power alone. Overall, very very impressed for a car that after rebate cost me $17.5k.

  2. The leale down payment for the Kona EV is $3899. While it is $2499 for the bas gas model.

    So it's not that bad…

  3. The Partridge Family? I don't know why but I always figured you for an Eagles / Poco sorta guy…

  4. Insurance for EVs are much more since they are extremely costly to fix when they are involve in an accident!

  5. Sleeper sports EV! The only downside to this and the Soul EV is extreme lack of availability! Wake me up when they decide to include Florida! Meanwhile I'm drowning in a world of Teslas available today.

    I know that right now, it's better to lease an EV, but what is that warranty on this? I could see these as long term keepers.

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