One of the fastest-growing segments in the automotive industry is the subcompact SUV. You see these small little sport utilities everywhere you go. Recently Hyundai launched their new Kona and ever since they did that these things are flying off the dealerships parking lots. They’re basically selling every single one they can make. Kona EV comes to complete our electrified entries line up, it comes with a highest range of the segment and is the only sub-compact SUV electrified in the market now.
The overall size and dimensions of the electric are pretty loud the same as the gas Kona. I’m a fan of the Kona style but this electric has a couple of styling cues that I’m not so fond of. First off the grill or lack thereof, I understand there is a need for aerodynamics and I appreciate their effort by adding these dimples which gives the front a little bit of texture, it just doesn’t look as good as the standard Kona in my opinion.
Next are the wheels, aero wheels just don’t do any car justice. Why do car makers always have to make EVs look so different? This may be just a pet peeve of mine, sure it’s for efficiency but I take the regular Kona wheels.
The Kona electric will come in two trims; the preferred and the ultimate. From the outside the only difference will be the ultimate will come with LED headlights, where the preferred will have projector halogens, both will have standard 17-inch wheels plus LED tail lights.
I was a big fan of the Kona’s interior for the gas version and on this EV that’s no different. Everything is well laid out and this one’s very well appointed. In ultimate version you get a sunroof, there’s a head-up display, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, seats are heated and cooled.
Something I really like is the switches, they’re raised up on either side so it’s easy to access them and press them and find them without taking your eyes off the road (ahm! Tesla).
Then you have a center screen, this is equipped with an infinity stereo system, apple carplay, android auto, and are standard as well.
Overall it just has a very simple clean design. Surprisingly there’s pretty decent amount of leg-room at back for a subcompact crossover. The seat is adjusted to where I would be sitting for the front but it’s a little bit short for your feet going under that front seat. Decent Headroom and decent legroom, and the floor is almost flat.
One thing that the engineers did very very well with this car like you don’t lose any cargo capacity.
Probably one of the biggest issues with EVs is range of course. The new Kona solves any type of range anxiety with a 64 kilowatt hour battery, which if you’re wondering is bigger than the Chevy Volt. It is leading the segment with 415 kilometers again in the leadership of the market versus the competition, so it is really standing out, not only in body style, but also on features. With the 415 kilometer range you also get 201 horsepower and 291 pound feet of torque and that’s really really noticeable. It takes the slightest press of the accelerator pedal to get this Kona up to speed at highway speeds, overtaking is seriously effortless for this little utility. One thing that I did notice, most people don’t need a lot of range and I think it’s psychological, they just want more range. There are some people that genuinely need more range not because of a long commute, it’s because they might not have access to charging stations frequently. Maybe they live in a condo, or maybe they live in a detached house, or they have street parking and they can’t drag that power cord across the street or something.
While driving Kona EV, you can really feel the extra weight that this has over the standard gas Kona. Although, it’s heavier, the weight is lower placed, which does make it feel very planted. Kona EV is only available in front-wheel drive, whereas the gas version you can get with all-wheel drive. Now speaking of colder climates or hotter climates, this also has a liquid cooling system for the battery for hotter days, and for wintertime it has a standard heat pump. It has a heating system for the battery for battery maintenance and longevity.
One thing you really notice is how quiet it is and it needs to be because there’s no combustion engine making vibrations and noise. You can hear everything with no background engine noise, so what they’ve done is; they’ve increased insulation, better acoustic glass to give you a really nice solid silent cabin.
This is a good sized vehicles, though I’d like something a little bit bigger. It would be great to see Hyundai come out with a larger electric SUV, something like Hyundai’s latest fuel cell vehicle called the Nexo but in a pure EV form.
The starting price for this fabulous EV is going to be $36,450 as per company announcement last month.