Hyundai Kona Electric Is Next Best Thing To Expensive Teslas: Video


The small crossover from the South Korean carmaker certainly has a lot going for itself.

Clearly, Tesla is still not ready to give you that $35,000 entry-level electric car. In turn, that means that some of the already available electric cars in that price range, ones that tick all the boxes, might eat away at Tesla’s sales – even if just for a little bit. One of those, the 2019 Hyundai Kona, is considered by many as one of the best “next best things” to the more expensive Tesla models.

The Hyundai Kona makes for a perfect choice for your next electric vehicle. With a starting price of $36,450 – which can, if we subtract the $7,500 federal tax credit could come to a mere $28,950 for a fully battery powered vehicle. Then, there are the various state incentives that can reduce that number even more. If you live in California, for example, you could be looking at an overall starting price of just $26,450. In turn, there’s not a lot of electric cars on the market that can beat its value for money

The Hyundai Kona electric is powered by a single electric motor powering the front wheels, delivering 201 horsepower and 290lb-ft (393Nm) of torque. In turn, the Kona will be able to sprint from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in around 7.5 seconds. However, it’s the range that really makes a difference with the Kona: thanks to its 64 kWh battery, it will come with an EPA estimated range of 258 miles (415 kilometers). In comparison, the entry-level Tesla Model 3 comes with a similar EPA estimated range of 260 miles (418 kilometers). On the other hand, a more comparable (model and size wise) Jaguar I-Pace, comes with an EPA estimated range of 234 miles (376 kilometers) – but with a starting price tag of $69,500 – way more than the Hyundai Kona electric, by all means.

No wonder that many are calling the Hyundai Kona the next best thing to the more expensive Teslas. The video below gives us a detailed look at the entry-level electric crossover from the South Korean carmaker. It dives into the design details, shows us its several performance aspects and gives us an in-depth view of the various features of the Kona in general. In turn, this provides a lot of backing towards labeling Kona as the next best thing since to the Tesla.

Sales start in early 2019, and we have no doubt we’ll be seeing the Kona in large quantities over the next couple of months. Furthermore, Hyundai is not over the tax credit limit, so the limitations that Tesla will face are still yet to be experienced by this carmaker. Overall, all the positive aspects, the tax credit and the rather impressive bang for buck aspect, will probably make the Hyundai Kona electric one of the highest selling EVs in the next year.

Categories: Hyundai, Tesla, Videos


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57 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric Is Next Best Thing To Expensive Teslas: Video"

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Basically you get what you pay for.

Kona EV has excellent range at an affordable price for an EV but compares poorly to its Kona petrol cousin. It is small, plain and has no “EV grin”. Hyundai made this car all about efficiency and that’s it.

If you want a performance vehicle that turns heads and hearts then don’t get the Kona.

It is not exactly a econobox I have been waiting for. It is still too expensive.

This is a good price for the Kona-e as in New Zealand they are charging $73,900 for the low spec and $79.900 for the high spec.
The Kona-e will get hit hard when the Tesla Model 3 arrives as the Mid-Range RWD should be about the same price point of $80,000
Base Model S US$78,000 plus 73% = NZ$135,120
Base Model X US$84,000 plus 70% = NZ$142,520
Mid-Range RWD Model 3 US$46,000 plus 73% = NZ$79,580

Compares poorly to the Kona petrol cousin?

Yeah, that makes no sense to me either. It’s faster, quieter, handles better and has the same bells and whistles. 258 miles of range is performance.

I’m really interested in the eNiro, so looking forward to that announcement. The TM3 is far too plain and bland for me and I’d miss the hatchback function.

It is really plain looking for a $46000-$70000 car

The gas Niro is the pinnacle of blandness and plainness, but yes, it will have the hatch. But so will the TMY, when it shows up, hopefully.

“Sales start in early 2019”
Does early 2019 means December 2019. Hyundai is expert in delaying EVs by even a year.

“Clearly, Tesla is still not ready to give you that $35,000 entry-level electric car.”
Tesla will launch $35,000 car, but 1st they would like to sell expensive trims when $7,500 fed rebate is available.

“we’ll be seeing the Kona in large quantities over the next couple of months. ”
99 will be the largest qty that you are going to see and we have already seen that with Ioniq EV.

Tesla is the only automaker to have sold more than 10,000 units / month; 100,000 units / year and no other automaker has come even close.

I am happy that you did not call Kona EV a Tesla killer. Its just another compliance car.

I don’t know why guys like you continue with the “compliance car” thing. Clearly it’s not. If all Hyundai was interested in was meeting the minimum requirement for compliance they would just stick with the Soul EV forever, or some other conversion of one of their ICE vehicles. Developing a car like the Kona/Niro takes a crap load of money and effort. The same goes for the other car that gets accused of being a “compliance car”- the Bolt. I can see how it might be confusing under the seduction of Elon Musk and Tesla to think that any company anywhere could do what Tesla has done… but they can’t. The amount of money Tesla pissed down a seemingly bottomless pit over ten years would have put any other bankrupt years ago. Elon himself, over and over again says in interviews that he figured they would probably go bankrupt and in fact the infusion of his own money probably saved the company at some point. What other CEO would, or could have done that? Companies other than Tesla must take risks, but in very small amounts. Tolerable amounts that don’t bring fear to the shareholders and investors in the very… Read more »
Maybe we should give another meaning for “compliance” here. Indeed, some incumbents car makers start to built some EV only for complying with some states and countries rules about average emission of their full range of car make. But now, the problem is more about some of these very exciting EV, like the Kona (specially at this range of price) being not produced at the pace they could be. It would be easy to say that this is some sort of conspiracy from some car makers to try to steal the market from Tesla and make it to die. It would be ridiculous. I think that the problem is more about car makers didn’t anticipate the demand for electric cars, then nor the amount batteries needed for them! We can see loads of pre-orders and orders for Kona and even more expansive EV (E-Tron, I-Pace, etc) that will no be fulfilled for at least one year, not because of problem of production like for the Tesla Model 3, but because of the lack of enough batteries for them. It’s now evident that auto makers and their battery suppliers didn’t anticipate the volume of orders. Surely, the Kona, then the Niro,… Read more »

It depends on why you are buying the Tesla. This Kona EV has same range as Model 3 Mid Range, but starts about $10,000 cheaper. If buying Model 3 for range then this competes. EVs have a new spec that didn’t matter for gas vehicles.

I agree, they are generally different class vehicles, but depends on why the person is buying.

No doubt it will sell very well.

Tesla gets mentioned because even Civic owners trade in their car for a Tesla

And virtually every EV lease or sale is a case of someone trading in an ICEV, which proves what, exactly? Spoiler alert: Nothing.

I agree with jopp. The fetishization of Tesla on this site is way out of control. There’s no way in my days as an editor with computer publications I would have allowed this kind of behavior.

Yes, simply based on their sales, Teslas deserve a lot of attention, and the company and Musk deserve a praise for accomplishing something very few thought possible. But only where appropriate. The simple truth is that many people considered and rejected a Tesla. I was one of them. I thought a Model 3 was overpriced, the wrong configuration for what my wife and I needed (i.e. it’s not a hatchback), and it would have taken far too long to show up in my driveway. So I shopped for and bought something that was cheaper, the right shape, and available.

Maybe you missed the prior news. Civic is in the top 5 cars that are traded in for Model 3. Not just some Civic cars but it was listed in the top 5 most cars that are traded in for Tesla Model 3. The other top 4 cars were Leaf, Prius, Accord, and 3er.

The significance of that data is that a large number of people are spending beyond the common sense means to buy a Tesla.
And that’s why Tesla gets mentioned every time a new EV comes out.

Now the Leaf and Prius might kinda be news but not the Civic as it has been the 3rd or 4th best selling car in the US for a very very long time with the only the three full size trucks from Ford Chevy and Dodge/Ram out selling the Camry Accord Civic and Corolla….

Once the tax credit gas and depreciation are factoried in I don’t think Civic owners buying a model three is unreasonable especially when we don’t know the average income for a Civic buyer…
Strange fact years ago was the average income of Prius buyers was over 100k per year…

Lol. So who’s trading in those new civics? Must have a lot of negative equity on the car

At this time, Tesla is the only company that sells EV’s (in the US) in truly commercial numbers. I do not find the amount of information, pertinent to Tesla, to be disproportionate with their sales figures. Consider this: If the Bolt was available in at least 2 different sizes, with 2 different powertrains and 2 different batteries and people were buying 20,000 Bolts a month not a year, EVERYONE would be talking about the Bolt.

“Sales start in early 2019, and we have no doubt we’ll be seeing the Kona in large quantities over the next couple of months.“

Why do you have no doubts? What’s different about the Kona from the Ioniq? By your own data, there have been 750 cumulative Ioniqs sold in the US over the last two years. Is that considered large quantities? Coming from California, I’ve only seen one Ioniq Electric.

I *want* to see the Kona Electric sold in high volumes here. I just have no evidence that’ll happen…

In Korea, over 5000 Kona EV have been sold since its debut in May.

that’s terrible.

The Ioniq has been selling well too… Outside the US. Worldwide last year it sold 18k units and this year it’s sold 17k through October.

Also I just checked and the Kona Electric has sold 12k worldwide so far. They are producing more now but it’s not an order of magnitude of difference either. In October they sold 4617 total units.

And it could have been sold 50.000 worldwide if…they had enough batteries for all of them. I think, this is now the main problem. A big hat to Tesla for having saw this some years ago when they invested big in their Gigafactory in Nevada (some may had named this “burning cash”…)!

Our resident, delusional Bolt fans would disagree with this article. They say, the bolt is right behind Tesla for the number two spot.

We don’t mix luxury brands with value brands with ICE. Just because it has a battery doesn’t mean we can compare the two. We should save that for the Genesis or the Stinger EV. E-Stinger or Genesis G70-E, i can’t wait. I heard , Genesis G80 ev is coming out next year with 500km range and 400kW charging speed.

Yes, Kona EV will be so popular that every single one of them will be sold out in US, none sitting on dealer lots. All 100 units plus few dozen more bones they decide to throw for us dogs in US.

We need to remember, pollution has no border.

If pollution is your concern, you should champion Bolt since it’s lot more available and will be much cheaper (ie, negotiate) than Kona or anything else from Kia. Bolt will continue to be next best thing (seller) outside of Tesla for 2019, probably even longer.

Yeah worse cargo than the leaf. Horrible, useless. Funny how it can be called a “crossover” when it has the cargo capacity of a Geo Metro.

it’s all about the exterior plastic cladding, my friend!

Yep nothing puts the sport in utility vehicles like some black plastic cladding around the wheels…
LOL at SUVs as this and many others are nothing more than jacked up station wagons with large inefficient rims and tires and the black plastic cladding…
And the auto manufactures are LOL even harder after folks pay an extra 7 or 8 grand for the SUV vs the comparable sedan…

Maybe in the CARB states they’ll be available. But unless Hyundai has sourced a lot more batteries, I’ll be surprised if we see any here in Missouri. OTOH I see Model 3s almost every day.

Glad this car exists and hope it helps the EV movement, but the center console on this thing, man — I’d just want to take a sawzall to that.

Think the screens both look chintzy as well.

yeah, the middle screen just sticks out…just like the Model 3.

It’s better then the Kia EVs

The “Next Best Thing” to an expensive Tesla ? Obviously it’s far better than a Tesla if you want a compact SUV that just happens to be electric. Gasoline-only SUVs and crossovers have been selling in record numbers worldwide for at least the past five years – finally the Global Alliance/Cabal of Automakers have permitted one major carmaker to do the obvious and sell an electric SUV at a relatively low price.
Sadly and all-too predictably though Hyundai are ( 100% avoidably ) producing very low volumes and (would-be) customers are being forced to endure 6 month+ plus delivery times. While little old Tesla is now rolling out 5000 Model 3’s a week a giant like Hyundai refuses to ramp up production to meet demand.
Paul G

Isn’t it a stretch to call a car “compact SUV” when it’s smaller than a compact like LEAF?

That availability thing…. Kona numbers are going to be limited even in US emissions compliance states for quite some time. I live in Ohio in the middle US, and it’ll probably be a year or more before Konas show up on dealer lots around here. I’ll cross my fingers that it’ll be sooner. Even GM has low supply numbers, but I was able to drive to a dealer about 20 miles from here in November of 2017 and purchase a Chevy Bolt in my desired configuration off the lot the same day.

I’d like all the manufacturers to be successful rolling out EVs as that will improve consumer awareness and acceptance. That should help bolster the value of my used EV when I want to sell it. For now, used EV buyers are skittish, worried that they’ll get stuck with big bills to replace batteries on used EVs. Blame the 1st generation LEAF with its battery deterioration issues (I owned a LEAF that I bought used, and experienced battery capacity loss first hand – as well as precipitous value decline).

When was the last time anyone bought a new Tesla ‘off the lot’ as a matter of course? (i.e. a normal sale and not of a demo car etc). Buying off the lot is really a practice that should die a death. It will linger on in parts of the US Car system but in the rest of the world, this is really the exception rather than the rule. I’ve never bought a brand new car ‘off the lot’. Dealers here just don’t have the space besides, they can get cars from manufacturers stock in usually less than 72 hours. That way, you get closer to what you really want rather than some bin end of year/built on a friday afternoon before a holiday weekend/car that is so hideous in colour/etc that the salesman wants to get rid of ASAP. As for the original Leaf… Yes battery degradation is an issue. Engine failure was an issue with early ICE cars. Yet I know of one lady who bought a used Leaf with around 30% battery loss for a very low price. It suits her use case entirely. She uses it for very local journeys. She can charge it at home… Read more »

Manufactures stock is just a lot somewhere else. They are just pre-built cars. Even Tesla is doing that with the Model 3. You can’t build 100k’s+ cars via custom ordering. It’s a logistics nightmare and costly.

What part of Ohio you live at Bill

Even Tesla does not offer a lifetime battery warranty like Hyundai: I read somewhere else that if the Kona battery goes below 70% capacity, even after the initial 8 years or 125,000 miles, as long as it is still owned by the original owner, the battery pack will be replaced for free.

I wonder how many Hyundai Kona EV original owners will actually drive close to the 15k miles per year, for the first 8 years (96 months), of the 70% Battery Capacity Warranty. The large capacity battery (64kWh) should easily hold up over its warranty period.

Rubbish. Having driven the Hyundai version and Models S and X, I don’t think for a minute that you can compare those cars. The interior quality is not as nice, the soundproofing is far less efficient (Nissan Leaf probably the leader here), and the interior space – especially the rear seats when an average-height adult male is driving (5’10”) is lacking – I couldn’t get my knees together in the back. The Hyundai (and I expect Kia) lane-keeping is no where near good enough to trust – it ping-pongs back and forth across the lane, disconcertingly; the Teslas and even the Leaf holds the center of the lane far better than the Hyundai. Plus the handling is a bit top-heavy and certainly not accurate – not loose, but not encouraging either; I expect it to be a fairly boring, tedious car for long drives (except for range). And for trunk space, even the Leaf is better. Folding down the seats isn’t an option with a family in tow – you need both people and parcel space. What will be interesting is next-years’ VW I.D. Neo – already the hype machine is starting to kick into gear, and if the range,… Read more »

“the entry-level Tesla Model 3 comes with a similar EPA estimated range of 260 miles (418 kilometers). ” Entry level cost $45K now. No more $35K

Their current entry level. The SR should be available (in the US) sometime in 2019.

Another Euro point of view

It probably is about impossible to be an US based & objective EV site at the same time, now my observations are nothing scientific but the day I read that Elon Musk unfollowed Electreck on Twitter and instead followed Inside EV & referred to Inside EVs Tesla sales figures I noted a gradual but clear change in the way EV news were reported in those two EV sites. One becoming more Tesla “friendly” and the other dissociating itself a bit from Tesla and becoming more critical.

Yeah it’s the editors

Another Euro point of view
Out of curiosity I checked price of petrol and EV Kona where I live (Luxembourg) and found out that cheapest petrol Kona is EUR 17’300 while cheapest Kona EV is EUR 37’200. So a EUR 20k difference (USD 22’5k), now it is likely the EV Kona is better equipped but I doubt equipment price is worth more than EUR 5k. So that would still be a EUR 15k difference. I mean that’s completely crazy. Also out of curiosity I checked the website of the local Tesla dealer to check price of Model 3, I know out of news in Inside EV that it should be around EUR 57k but wanted to check it myself. So I go to that local (Luxembourg) Tesla dealer website and click on “Model 3”. There I find very few information (acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h, WLTP range & fact its dual motor) and a few nice pictures at each stage there is a big “reservation” button but no price indication. Now I would not push on any “reservation” button without knowing the price of what I am supposed to reserve. So I dig further on that Luxembourg Tesla website and get to the… Read more »

I beg to differ. Until the Kona is sold in all of the same states that Tesla’s are, they aren’t even close to being the next best thing to a Tesla.

Considering Kona will not be available on dealer lots like Tesla and no negotiating (MSRP and more is what you’ll pay), I say Kona is pretty much the next “best thing” to a Tesla.

The Kia e-Niro in my books is a better deal. Bit more space and refinements and is an overall winner in Range/Size/Value to me. If Kia can build enough, they will fly off of shelves!

We will see what their lease rates are … I have a feeling that 300C$ biweekly for 3 years and 16000km a year will be a pipe’s dream, especially without any incentives (I am in Ontario, Canada)

Will it sell? Yes, but not in huge numbers.

Another Euro point of view

Yes, one aspect to it is that is an expensive version of a cheap car. That’s hardly a recipe for commercial success as many people do buy an image as much as they buy a transportation mean.

I own an Ioniq and love the Hyundai approach. However, where’s Clark Griswold? I know he had something to do with those taillights in the rear bumper cover! Or, I can just picture the engineer standing there asking: where do these go?
I would really like to buy one of these , but I would neeed a solution to that hideous afterthought