2024 Hyundai Kona Electric review: price, specifications and release date

Hyundai Kona first generation Electricity was a popular thing. It was efficient, looked good, and made electric driving accessible to those who didn’t have Tesla money to play with. Now the new 2023 (2024 for US punters) Kona Electric aims to keep the good times going with a new look, new tech and more luxury than you’d expect from a B-segment crossover.

Since the Kona Electric debuted in 2018 (in Europe, 2019 in the US), Hyundai has been working hard on its EV game. The launch of the Ioniq 5 and 6 has taught the company valuable lessons, it says, which have informed the development of its latest electric baby. As a result, this promises to be a much more complete package than before, and at a hefty price.

The range starts in the UK at £34,995, and just under $35,000 in the US. This will get you a ‘standard’ car that has a 48.4 kWh battery with a range of 234 miles, and a 154 hp motor capable of 0-62 mph in 8.8 seconds, and up to 101 mph. The long-range Kona Electric sits above it in the lineup, featuring a 65.4 kWh battery, a range of up to 319 miles, and a more perky 215 horsepower engine that will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds, then on to 107 mph. Both cars get the same 188 lb-ft of torque.

Hyundai’s 400V architecture is unfortunately not the same 800V you get in the Ioniq 5 or 6, but surprisingly it is the same as the one in the Rolls-Royce Specter EV. It allows the Kona Electric to charge from 10 to 80 percent in just over 40 minutes. No matter what battery you use, you get easy-to-use, car-to-load technology to quickly power anything you can plug into a home wall outlet.

Forward-looking design

Courtesy of Hyundai

Hyundai’s design team has (once again) played a mysterious role in the car’s appearance. It’s a good number and will no doubt be popular in supermarket car parks around the world. The company’s latest design language is delightfully futuristic (if a little First Order Stormtrooper sleek), and comes with the technology to match. The body-width lighting bar at the front elegantly draws the eye, and the car’s various sensors are discreetly hidden in the front bumper.

These sensors host a comprehensive suite of active safety technologies to keep you on the straight and narrow. There’s lane keeping assist, highway driving assist, forward collision avoidance assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic assist, 360-degree parking setup… and much more. The Kona also reads road signs to check the speed limit, monitors you to make sure your eyes are on the road, monitors your driving to see if you’re drowsy, and checks to make sure your hands are on the wheel. You will have to work very hard to break.

Sensory overload

The safety kit on board is extensive, as various regulations must be adhered to, but it is also very inconvenient and in some cases flawed. Stop at an intersection and dare to look away from the dead straight on the road for more than a few seconds—say, to make sure you’re not about to drive into the path of a truck—and you’ll get treated to an angry “bong” with a flashing light telling you you’re not paying enough attention.

Put your hands lightly on the wheel and he’ll think you’re going hands-free, so you get another bong. If he thinks you’re sleepy, he’ll yell at you and tell you to take a break. Indicate a lane change with a nearby car? That’s right, a big game, because it thinks you might bump into something. Every time the speed limit changes, the car will exceed the limit by one mile per hour… Bong.

(tags for translation) Electric vehicles

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