Hyundai Kona Electric A Better Deal Than A Tesla?


There are several areas where the Hyundai Kona excels, even when compared to the almighty Tesla.

Whenever we hear a comparison between “something” and a Tesla being made, there are two things that pop to mind: First, Tesla has become the benchmark and the norm for electric vehicles.  And second, the reviewer is baiting us into the clicking/pressing play on their review. In most cases, both of these items are true. For the most part, even with me risking being called a fan, Tesla has become the best electric vehicle that money can buy these days. However, newcomers on the market – like the Hyundai Kona Electric – are creeping up to it.

This Hyundai Kona review is brought to you by The Straight Pipes, a YouTube channel dedicated to all things cars. These guys are one of the most entertaining YT channels dedicated to cars, and almost every video they make seems fresh and not forced in any way. Unlike some other reviewers, with whom you smell the brand loyalty from the get-go, these guys seemingly always try to make a fair and objective assessment. And that’s one thing that makes their videos so fun to watch.

In this one, the crew has been invited by Hyundai to test drive the Kona Electric on its market launch. However, since they were unable to attend, they’ve talked to the South Korean carmaker and finally got a vehicle for a test drive out of the scope of this event. Taken in sunny SoCal, this review focuses on the vehicle that many have dubbed as one of the best battery-powered electric SUVs (Sport Activity Vehicles). While many of us consider the Kona a crossover, it’s actually dubbed a subcompact SUV by the carmaker.

While the review covers all the important aspects of the vehicle, it also gives us the answer to the ever-looming question: is the Hyundai Kona a better deal than a Tesla? Certainly, price wise and with all items taken into account, it may well be. However, press play on the video above and find out for yourself.

Categories: Hyundai, Tesla, Videos


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65 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric A Better Deal Than A Tesla?"

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I despise dealing with poorly constructed products (no matter how well the customer lounges are appointed or loaner cars provided). This is no-brainer for someone who wants reliable EV with 200+AER.

When Tesla honors the return policy stated by Elon and offers a warranty that matches Hyundai, I will consider another Tesla. Burned once by an unreliable Tesla – standing clear of them until something improves.

Well, a headline like that would attract the trolls.

My apologies that my poor experience with a $85K Tesla upsets you. I think it is more than reasonable to expect Tesla to produce reliable cars.

Consumer Reports agrees with me. Disregarding facts = Trolling

Actually among the people who actually do own Tesla’s consumer satisfaction is the highest in the business.

That high customer satisfaction was based in large part to Tesla’s very generous replacement of failed parts in / out side of the warranty period early on for Model S and Model X owners.

2018 / 2019 – We will see a reset of that policy – reality bites. When you become a volume producer, the cost of replacing / repairing under good-will becomes expensive. The SEC is looking into how those good-will efforts were accounted for on Tesla’s books.

Example: Many people of Tesla forums have commented that ‘clear’ (pun intended) Model 3 paint issues are being deemed ‘ in-spec’ despite customer disagreement.

The Model S being consistently rated #1 in customer satisfaction in Consumer Reports surveys, and the Model X consistently being in the top 10, is because of the overall superior experience of owning and driving a Tesla car.

And not only on the single issue of how many times the car needs to be serviced, which sadly seems to be about the only issue which CR bothers to report on.

CR also doesn’t bother to distinguish between people taking in their gasmobiles for service because they aren’t running right, vs. people taking advantage of Tesla’s superior service experience by getting even the most minor problems serviced; problems which don’t affect the driver’s ability to drive and enjoy the car.

Naturally, anti-Tesla trolls are going to ignore this rather important difference.

I think this Cowboy Has a Thorn In his Saddle…lol

For the sake of fairness: consumer satisfaction is not a linear function of reliability.

There are several serial Tesla bashers who claim to drive a Tesla car only as an excuse to pretend their FÜD is based on personal experience.

We can’t be sure you’re one of them, but that is certainly the most likely motive for all your anti-Tesla pravduh here.

That is not required, just about any headline with Tesla in the title, and some without, will have the trolls come shambling in.

Interesting that Hyundai decided to make it available in other global markets with two battery sizes. It has been well received and there are plenty of reviews from UK and German reviewers.

Same car reviewed in the UK and Germany (English)
Hyundai Kona Electric First Drive – Car Obsession
Hyundai Kona Electric Premium 64KWh – I drove it again (sporty) – Battery Life

German review is funny

Hyundai sent me a reminder that it will be available for me to order in CA in Q1 2019

The question is when can it be delivered..?

I am in Norway, and reserved mine in July 2017, then ordered it online in June and signed the purchase contract in July, with 2019-Q2 as the delivery estimate. The estimate hasn’t changed, but I have serious doubts as to whether they will manage it. My colleague who reserved much earlier than I did got estimated delivery in September, then October “at the latest”, and still has not got another estimate after that. Basically it seems the dealership either doesn’t know when he might get the car, or they know but won’t say (in which case I’m guessing it is a long wait).

I agree Hyundai seems a safer bet than Tesla. But the problem with them is they only want to make about 4,500 EVs per month globally (Ioniq and KONA combined), which is only a fraction of demand.

It’s an interesting conundrum. Hyundai has prescribed an initial production volume and appear to be allocating that volume to European markets 1st while delaying the US ordering process by 1 Qtr (Q1 2019).

I have not studied how Hyundai / Kia are utilizing their production facilities but it appears these are not built on dedicated EV production lines and have to share capacity with their petrol equivalents.

I think the production capacity will increase, but it probably won’t be at a level where a lot of EVs are sitting on dealership forecourts.

More than anything, I want to see an EV manufacturer able to do this and make a reasonable profit to ensure the long-term EV future.

If you have to stop paying suppliers and honoring your tax obligations in a timely fashion to demonstrate profitability, that does not bode well for the future.

It’s hardly a conundrum it just an obvious compliance car, similar to what Chevy did with the Bolt. Make a decent car and then make it in low numbers so it won’t bankrupt the company, as they lose money on each one.

Your last sentence is an obvious FUD dig at Tesla. So cover and just be done with it. No amount of your coming here to spread your FUD will make any difference whatsoever, nor will my constant harping on Tesla’s superiority. People brains become locked into their own views as they constantly repeat the negative FUD to themselves, or positive views. It works both ways, However the views are incompatible and one of them correct, Hint: not yours.

The compliance car system is a US only system.

“as they lose money on each one.”

They do lose money on each one, but this is ONLY with development costs factored in and prorated over units sold (or estimates) over a given period — which is the correct way to calculate per vehicle profit/(loss).

Excluding the up-fron development costs, they make money on the cars, therefore they are incentivized to sell more.

Bolt EVs are sold in all 50 states, South Korea, China and — in limited numbers — re-branded as Opel Ampera-e and sold in Europe.

You obviously don’t know the definition of “compliance cars”. Compliance cars are produced to be sold ONLY where they are needed for compliance.

Not the case for the Bolt EV, or the Kona EV.

Ok, they’re not compliance cars, they are just being made/sold and delivered in compliance numbers.

LMAO at TeslaPissed claiming he owned a Tesla!

Sounds just like the same lies as the thankfully departed 7 Pretend Teslas and the other serial anti-Tesla purveyors of BS.

Meanwhile, like all whining trollers he manages to slip in his real propaganda by making up BS about Tesla’s financials

It must burn you up that you have zero credible response to fact-based comments about Tesla that do not align with your endless screed.

‘Get Fake’ is 100% Faux Tesla. You are the ultimate troller because you can’t/won’t dispute facts that are a matter of public record. You come online simply to troll – how pathetic.

I dare you to refute WITH FACTS anything I have posted today. Gotcha – go for it…..

Do you even know what a fact is?

Oh, there is someone whose posts here have no credibility at all.

And that “someone” ain’t “Get Real”, Mr. Troll.

I wonder if this “TeslaPissed” is another incarnation of the serial anti-Tesla Svengali?

It’s normal. The Zoe is offered with two batteries and people buy the smaller one. The same will be the case for the new Leaf.
Batteries are large enough for people that have experienced an EV before and don’t care for traveling.

True, things do seem to have calmed down a bit on the troll front though since the short community toned down a bit after what’s now called “Tesla’s iPhone moment”.

Interesting article about the trolls and their motivation on Clean Technica titled “How Trolls Dominate The Internet” the other day BTW. You should check it out if you haven’t already.

Yes, I read that, though that has been well know for some time, as I have heard all their arguments repeatedly, and even when they are debunked they continue along the same line, they still don’t get the picture.
Competition will destroy Tesla. No it won’t.
They are going broke. No they aren’t.
They can’t keep it up. Well that is probably true, but see 1 & 2. (They don’t have to.)

Personally I think, they, Tesla Trolls, are just taking a breather after being gut punched with the rise of Tesla stock 45% in just a few weeks. That is going to knock the wind out of anyone.
Aside from that we don’t see all the anti-Tesla stuff that hits the desk of insideevs and never makes it to print.
Always nice to read your thoughtful, measured comments.

Can you provide a sober rationale for why there are numerous liens against Tesla by suppliers? Do you feel this is normal?

Can you provide a sober rationale for why Tesla’s payables have increased quite a bit and payments are not happening according to schedule?

The court records are public in Alameda and San Jose. The payables condition are stated by Tesla. Do you honestly believe these sort of fact-based questions represent trollism?

Well, if you can people to believe all that I’m sure you will have no trouble covering your short position without too much damage. Who knows, maybe pretending to own a Tesla and spreading nonsense about it will help you, I mean who will buy one after a comment like that from some anonymous internet poster right? No small thanks to your continued efforts Tesla will go bankwupt and your short position will be golden.

Does that about sum it up?

I believe him. That he feels wronged by Tesla, and I won’t dispute that, and he well may be right to feel that way, but then he is already predisposed to find fault with them. So not a good source is all.

I don’t believe him. A bad ownership experience in the past might explain why someone would take the trouble to write negative comments about one company’s cars for a certain period of time.

But when it goes on and on for years, when someone continually seeks out, copies, and repeats the most damaging anti-Tesla smear campaigns they can find on the internet, then it’s not motivated by a bad consumer experience. If someone consistently posts anti-Tesla FÜD for years, then either they have an ongoing financial motive for it, or else they are so obsessed that it qualifies as being certifiably insane. In most cases — such as this one — I’m pretty sure it’s the former.

Can you provide a sober rationale for why you keep beating your wife? Do you feel this is normal?

Do you honestly believe this sort of fact-based question represents trollism?

The value of supplier leans against Tesla is trivial. In the last 12 months the on time payments to suppliers have increased from 90% in 2017 to 95% in 2018. If Anything they payment to suppliers are actually getting better.

Secondly Tesla is playing a very expensive game (for them) compared to the rest of Detroit. The standard in the industry is to pay suppliers within 120 days. Tesla however only counts bills paid within 90 days as on time. So they are giving themselves less time to pay than the rest of the industry. Secondly, because Tesla can only book a sale at the time of delivery to the buyer they have to carry the ownership of the car much longer than if they had a dealer network and could book the sale the moment a car rolls off the manufacturing floor, and use the cash from the dealer sale to pay back their suppliers.

Tesla is intentionally making things harder for themselves, because long term it means not having to cut massive deals with a dealer network.

Yeah, there has been a very marked drop in the frequency of posting by the serial Tesla basher crowd.

It’s almost like when Tesla demonstrated that yes, it can show a significant net quarterly profit, most of the former serial Tesla bashers exited their “short” position, so no longer have any motive to post anti-Tesla FÜD here.

We have to wonder just who is paying the remaining few anti-Tesla trolls! Russian troll farms? The hard-right propaganda mills labeled “think tanks”?

He is recommending an EV — a Kona EV — how is he a troll?

He is not really recommending one as much as he is bashing the other. People here have long memories.

This comment may be from a no-brainer.

No, “TeslaPlease” has established himself as a consistent serial Tesla basher, and troll. He has gone to great lengths to establish his reputation for avoiding truth in every possible way. He should be recognized for all his efforts, and should be given the “respect” he has so richly earned. 🙄

We will believe that you are a former Tesla owner when you believe I’m Eleanor Roosevelt.

I’d say trolls should go back to actually finding their next Enron, with REAL Financial Data, instead of trying to LIE and Slander Honest companies.

In terms of practicality, function, and cost, the 3 cars that are close to the “sweet spot” for a small family are the Bolt, the Kona, and the i3. Functional hatch, reasonable cargo room, leg room, and shoulder room for a small car, monthly lease prices in the low 300s. If you need more range, the Bolt and the Kona are better. If you need more flexibility on rural trips, the i3Rex is it. If your kids are tall, the Bolt has better leg room. If your kids have broad shoulders, the Kona is wider in the back. If you want a stylish interior, the i3 is better. Your dog will like all 3. I would like to see Tesla get a reputation for being a more normal car before I consider it – the people I see driving them are tech bros and rich executive types. Even if I have the money to drop on one, I would feel icky about the douche factor that comes with it. At least here in the northeast, the ethos is the opposite of the west coast – nice house, old car. Their prices probably need to drop another $10k from where they… Read more »

I think you can add Kia Niro to that small family wish list!

Yes, of course. I keep thinking of the Kona/Niro as the same car.

Niro is quite a bit longer than Kona (judging by their current hybrid/ICE incarnations), although their EVersions are probably going to have the same powertrain.

And the Soul. Same drive train again.

The i3 doesn’t fit with the rest of the cars on your list in terms of price/performance, as a pure 4-seater with less cargo volume, and far, far higher price; it has better acceleration and from what I understand handling, but those aren’t really relevant for a family car. The REx version will only be available in the US from now on.
Even the planned 2019 i3 upgrade will still only make it a ~150mi AER car, whereas the other cars you mention are ~200+ (even the smaller-battery versions of the Kona/Niro).

The i3’s depreciation is far less than the Bolt and I would imagine the Kona. So, lease prices are dirt cheap. Prices for a 3 year lease are practically the same. Cargo volume is more or less the same. The other two have an extra seat, but it isn’t comfortable packing in 5 in any of these cars. The 150 mile electric plus 2 gallons in the ReC actually gives you more range in most rural areas without charging infrastructure – and still run all electric more than 99% of the time – that IS the point of the ReX. Most people don’t care about AER alone when then they have multiple options available.

The BMW REX solution is genius, because, on the east coast, the charging network is not built out. Sure, we have plenty of 120v chargers available. You read that right. 120 volt.

The REX solution solves: Is the charging station I’m heading to: offline, broken, ICE’d or Full? And the next charging station is 20 miles further down the road. You simply Turn on the REX for those next 20 miles. You’re never stuck. Sure, you use it once a month, like many people do with their scooters.

As for the i3 price: stop looking at list price, and use TrueCar dot com, and see what are the typical dealer discounts. Then, check if BMW still takes the Federal Tax credit off, in full, on a lease. That brings the price down into almost affordable territory. And then stretch a bit, like you would with a Tesla Model 3. The i3 is a great fun commuter car, especially in cities, suburbs and country driving. The size is excellent for city maneuvering and parking. If there’s a parking spot you fit. The interior seating is very comfortable, and interior volume is very high, with excellent visibility, which is nice in city and country drives. And then there’s the ride and excellent interior materials. Even the “base” model has excellent materials for all touch points. And then there’s the BMW suspension. You don’t have a cheap torsion beam rear suspension in this car, it’s a real BMW luxury/handling suspension. The car has a nice power to weight ratio of 18 lbs to 1 HP, and excellent off the line torque that bets 90% of the ICE off the line. Everyone should take a test drive. BMW may have given the… Read more »
There are infact several other things to consider. The AC induction motor used in Kona is very underpowered compared to model 3 basemodel. Model 3 , 0-60 will be 5.6 seconds compared to Konas 7+seconds. Thats massive 1.5 seconds higher. The highest trim Konas(long range 64kwh battery) power is 150 KW and their lower trim is a mere 99KW. The base model 3 power though not announced will be atleast 170 kW. Model 3 current selling RWD has powerful 211kw, while the AWD dual motors have have powerful combined 258kw and 340 Kw motors. The performance trim model 3 is more powerful than jaguar Ipace which lazily put two identical electric 150 kw motores for combined 285 Kw. Tesla have more than half a dozen AC induction motors that they use between various models for optimum output, refined tuning and well balanced power to efficient ratios. Also given the compact form factor of their motors they are well ahead. the most powerful of them is the rear motor of P100D with 400KW+ capability on its own. Besides they are buildng more powerful ones – probably 500KW+ for the next roadster which in combination of three motors will produce 1MegaWatt.… Read more »

Given the torque at lower speeds, a 7 second EV is faster than what most people need either in the city or on the highway. If you’re making purchasing decisions based on 0-60 times, I don’t think you belong in the demographic I’m describing above.

I would buy one (if it were available) and had AWD.

I was disappointed that while the ICE Kona has AWD available, they left it off the EV.

True. That’s about the only demerit I can see with the vehicle. Depending on your driving conditions that may not matter much.

As for the US market this will mostly be sold in sunny CA as a compliance car, probably doesn’t matter much.

It seems like they dropped the ground clearance a lot between the ICE Kona and the EV Kona. Anyone able to confirm?

They’re not actually SUV’s, they have car ground clearance.

But, let’s not ignore these guys brushing off the massive torque steer. Sure, laugh it off, in a car your only test driving, but, it’s a pain in the rear to have to drive torque steer in a car 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 12 years.

On the Plus side, they didn’t give the car a really cheap rear suspension, that’s an independent rear suspension. Not as sophisticated as the BMW i3, but, not as horrible as the Bolt’s.

I’ve driven alot of FWD drive cars with torque steer, and the Spark EV has massive amounts of it. But it is really no problem driving it 7 days a week. I don’t understand all the fuss, most times, you just don’t mash the pedal from a complete stop, and it’s fine. It isn’t a track car, people are driving to wrk, or getting groceries, not trying to get the best 0-60 times.

It’s a good car, but why no mention of Model 3 medium-range and especially the upcoming standard? What about the limited production, as with all other electric cars with some exception for the Leaf? Good journalism has context, and there’s little context in an electric car review without some comparative details on Tesla.

Yeah, it’s a pet peeve of mine that car makers keep labeling their hatchbacks as “CUVs” or even “SUVs”. Well, I guess they sell better that way, so they’re not gonna stop no matter what Grammar Nazis like me say!

It’s also the only EV with a sunroof

Tesla vehicles have all glass roofs, though?

Some do, yes.

A sun roof is available on the Model S, or at least it was until very recently.

Hope they really want to produce more than 30.000 cars a year and the fact that, like other car makers, they seem implying that it is the limited battery suppliers production which is the true reason for the limiting amount of cars they are producing… After all, Kia/Hyundai are not new comers in mass-production cars, so the lack of experience in this area shouldn’t be the limiting factor here.
For the rest, Tesla has conquered a real brand name with the Model S and X which are representative of the first generation of “mass” production” EV for Tesla. As we can see, the second generation, which the Model 3 is the first representative, is far more efficient and built quality had improved.
So maybe, the comparison would be fairer with the same generation of EV. It is my modest opinion.

Better than a Tesla…..not sure about that. When I think about buying an EV, I don’t want an ICE car just missing a tail pipe. I expect my EV to represent the future of transportation, not a retrofit. I expect the exterior to new new and representing the benefits of being an EV. I want my interior to look like the future….not ICE. Tesla does that with it’s model designs. Tesla’s don’t look like anything on the road today, inside or out.

Going electric is a big leap forward, so why put effort into making it look like you stood still. This is why I think the Ioniq has not caught on, since it looks like a much more expensive compact short range hatch back. I think EVs need future/premium styling to match the future/premium drivetrain and higher/premium pricing.

That is just one reason why Tesla is a better deal even at a higher price.

Hyundai Kona 36 450$ / 258 EPA range / 141$ per mile of range
Model 3 mid range 46 000$ / 260 EPA range / 176$ per mile of range

For me Kona is the best there is on the market, Hyundai you did very cool