Hyundai Kona Electric Test Drive Notes

MAY 12 2018 BY MARK KANE 37

The Hyundai Kona Electric is going on sale in Europe in mid-2018 and pre-production versions already were tested by some major magazines.

Hyundai Kona Electric

The South Korean crossover, unveiled in Geneva, will be available in two versions (in the U.S., only in Long-range version) with a 39.2 kWh battery and a 64 kWh battery. The test car was fitted with the 64 kWh battery rated for 470 km (292 miles) under WLTP.

Battery capacity, range and electric motor power (150 kW in Long-range version), as well as fast charging capability of up to 100 kW (CCS Combo DC), are the major advantages of Kona Electric.

Read Also – Alex On Autos Checks Out Hyundai Kona Electric

In UK, the base price is expected to be around £30,000 (€34,000 or over $40,000) including incentives. In the case of the long-range version, the price is to be between £35,000-£37,000 (€40,000-€42,000 or $47,000-$50,000) before incentives.

Autocar notes that Hyundai Kona Electric will have high standard equipment spec, and only minimally decreased trunk capacity. Some interior elements like door consoles, in particular, are apparently looking and feeling a bit cheap. The rear seats struggle to handle full-size adults too.

Related – Hyundai Kona Electric – 250 Mile Range, 64-kWh Battery For U.S.

Close Cousin – Kia Niro EV Crossover Makes World Debut – Range Of Up To 236 Miles

The acceleration feels strong – 0-62 mph (100 kmh) in 7.6 seconds, but as is the case with most BEVs, it fades at motorway speeds.

“There is, of course, excellent throttle response and linearity to enjoy about the way the car responds to your right foot, but there’s also a slight sense of fussy oversensitivity to the accelerator feel that can make the pedal tricky to modulate when using Sport driving mode; we much preferred driving the car in Comfort mode.”

In terms of driving experience here is the most important part:

“On the move, our test car rode with decent suppleness at town speeds and with reasonable isolation on the motorway, in spite of its efficiency-boosting tyres. But while the car corners flatly, its grip levels are quite modest — even on bone-dry Tarmac — and are such that, even though its traction and stability control systems make the car easy to keep control of, you couldn’t call it fun to drive. Weighty steering and vertical body control that can run away a little unchecked over bigger lumps and bumps combine to make the Kona Electric feel like a bigger, heavier car than its dimensions might suggest.

You can certainly feel the effects, at times, of that 291lb ft of torque (a figure that’ll be common to both versions of the car) being transmitted to the road exclusively through the front wheels. There’s a pervasive numbness to the car’s steering, but it can’t quite mask the effect of all that tractive force interfering with your chosen steering line when you accelerate hard from lowish speeds. We should add, however, that while our test car wasn’t quite production-spec in terms of interior finish, neither was it quite representative of the finished version in terms of suspension tuning.”

Short-range Battery / Motor spec:

  • 39.2 kWh battery – 300 km (186 miles) range (WLTP)
  • 99 kW, 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)
  • 0-62 mph (100 kmh) in 9.3 seconds
  • 104 mph (167 km/h) top speed
  • 7.2 kW on-board charger and 100 kW CCS Combo DC fast charging capability

Long-range Battery / Motor spec:

  • 64 kWh battery – 470 km (292 miles) range (WLTP)
  • 150 kW, 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)
  • 0-62 mph (100 kmh) in 7.6 seconds
  • 104 mph (167 km/h) top speed
  • 7.2 kW on-board charger and 100 kW CCS Combo DC fast charging capability
Hyundai Kona Electric
21 photos
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Source: Autocar

Categories: Hyundai, Test Drives

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37 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric Test Drive Notes"

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I’m suprised at the price. $47-50k for a 64kWh pack? Real world EPA range will be similar to the Bolt. Even though it has a more conventional exterior look with the long nose compared to the Bolt it doesn’t seem like it has any more interior passenger space. Maybe a hair more cargo capacity? It’s also slower than the Bolt.

So you get a similar but less performing EV compared to the Bolt at a price of a LR Model 3 with Premium package?

The funny thing is I bet it works because it LOOKS like a CUV and they will successfully market it that way even if it’s the same or smaller on the inside compared to the Bolt and Model 3.

Bolt is not available in Europe. Also that price includes taxes and not the US MSRP. I expect it to be closer to the Bolt pricing if/when it comes to the US. But maybe not, as GM is going to start into the phaseout period for the US fed tax rebate later this year. So, the Kona could have a higher MSRP than the Bolt, but be close to the same after incentives. The Kona also appears to be only a compliance car for US ZEV mandate states sadly, and probably hard to get outside California.

Actually neither is Model 3 available in Europe..

Compliance car wont sell out of California due too battery issue

Heck, it won’t even be offered outside of California.

You need to subtract at least 20% for US pricing.

Good to know thanks, eject.

“The funny thing is I bet it works because it LOOKS like a CUV and they will successfully market it that way even if it’s the same or smaller on the inside compared to the Bolt and Model 3”
Agreed.

I agree. Once the Model Y is revealed and reservations are made, sales will tank below the Bolt.

Heck, even the Leaf makes it look like a rip-off.
The Kona is the same height as the Leaf, has less cargo capacity with the seats up, same FWD, same quickness. Battery size/quality/charging are definitely way better, but who will pay a $25k premium for that? And will their autosteer tech become useful?

If the sold the 40kWh version for $35k with a stronger motor, or $40k for the long range, it could be a contender.

But this price screams low volume EV.

‘Once the Model Y is revealed and reservations are made, sales will tank below the Bolt.’

Tesla cannot produce a 200 AER Model 3 for $35K but you expect a Model Y to be revealed

– at a price less than a $57K Model 3
– no federal tax credit (consumed)
– unknown production date
– fluid product specifications (the Tesla way)
– from a financially unstable company (Tesla)

A play on the aphorism… ‘Fool me once, shame on me. Fool you twice, shame on you’

It’s irrelevant that the $35k Model 3 isn’t being produced yet (funny how you don’t notice the Kona EV isn’t available yet either). This is a $20k Hyundai smaller than a Leaf priced over $45k.

That’s within maybe 10% of what a higher spec Model Y will cost (no way will it be $57k). The Kona EV will have a sales window of roughly 1 year, and after that it’ll only be a year more to get a $50k Y, so people will wait. I expect a new tax credit to be there by then, too, without any silly cap.

I’ll admit to one error: Hyundai may officially price it a lot lower than stated in the article, in which case most of what I wrote doesn’t apply.

But it’s definitely not selling much at $45k+ (maybe 30k cumulative in the US before 2020).

Trump is in office. Republicans will flat out say no

It will probably get reinstated later. All this going back and forth and ending up in the same spot is exactly what the big energy corporations paid for through decades of lobbying. Progress is fun!

Only until 2020, and the Democrats are currently projected to have at least 50% chance of controlling congress at the end of the year. Even if they don’t, I doubt Trump will be happy that Tesla and GM (and Nissan USA) lost their credits but foreign automakers still have them.

These are European prices and include VAT. In the U.S. they will be priced competitively with other vehicles sold here. The real question is if and when they will bring more than a token number to the U.S.

I’m a conspiracy theory kind of person. Take that US$7,500 Fed tax credit out, plus any state incentives (figure it will only be available in compliance states anyway), and now you’re getting to a reasonable price. I don’t think these manufacturers are idiots, and I think incentives ultimately just drive up prices as they get absorbed into the normal price. I bet when the incentives disappear you’ll see the prices drop accordingly. I guess we will see.

I bet a set of good tires, such as Michelin Primacy, would really increase its appeal…

Dismal driving review. That’s too bad. Sounds like it handles more like an SUV than a the low slung hatchback it resembles.

“7.2 kW on-board charger and 100 kW CCS Combo DC fast charging capability”
Again that probably wrong piece of information -> https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116041_5-things-about-the-2019-hyundai-kona-electric-we-learned-at-the-ny-auto-show
“That translated to a a rate of 70 kilowatts—for which a 100-kw charging output was required.”

And for readers in Germany: Probably AC charging will be limited to 4.6kW due to technical regulations of the grid like any other EV.

notting

“That translated to a a rate of 70 kilowatts—for which a 100-kw charging output was required.”

The 70 kW max. charge rate was for Ioniq. The Kona will have a 80 kW max. charge rate as stated in the same article you quoted:

“The new Kona Electric can handle a maximum current of 200 amps, meaning it can handle a peak power of 80 kw—still within the capabilities of new 100-kw CCS fast-charging sites found in Europe and South Korea today.”

One phase AC charging will be limited, but there really is no point in one phase charging, when you have three phase anyways.

At $39,000US this would be a very nice vehicle. Not sure what the price will be when it gets to the States but judging from the European numbers, it will be overpriced. Pity. It looks much more appealing than the Bolt but it isn’t worth $10k more.
That faster charge rate is sweet, though. I didn’t see anything about the taper rate and when it kicks in. Did I read past it?

No, it wasn’t listed. But I’d expect it to be similar to the IONIQ Electric, which has an aggressive taper that makes the car extremely useful.

Bolt appears to have more interior room and space, quicker, and a better driving experience.

It is a pity the Bolt is so darned ugly, has such a cheap interior and charges so slowly, because it has a several really good features.

Great specs. If the MSRP is under $40k in the US then this will be very tempting. They have got to price it competitive with the Bolt imo. At least the base model.

When I first saw that large front hood I was interested in what the engine area looked like compared to the Bolt which has a very small hood area for the engine. I figured there must be some dead space or small storage but it looks like all engine. How does the Bolt pull it off without needing a large engine bay? I think a lot of the negative we are seeing in the reviews is a result of a car design based on accommodating a ICE/Hybrid powertrain and then expecting the EV version to automatically be fun to drive like any EV.

No bev has an engine including bolt n Kona bev. Electric motors in bevs are usually smaller than gas or Diesel engines and the battery packs are often placed low on the vehicle away from the motor.

Right! Tesla gets it and has their frunk because why do you need all that stuff in an EV? BMW i3 has a little frunk as well. Nissan and Hyundai are just so fixated on how their ICE works they haven’t been creative in utilising the under bonnet area at all, more the pity.

It’s not an attractive car, IMHO, but I’m not a fan of the fussy design languages used in most Asian cars these days that make every car look as though it might become some sort of alien robot. The new Prius Prime and Mirai are much, much worse looking, though, so at least Hyundai cleared that very low bar. For that price you might as well buy a Model 3 and get a kinda amazing car instead of a boring soccer barge. Even the Bolt offers a more interesting and fun package, but if you must have an SUV and can’t afford an X, I guess your choices are pretty limited.

Problem is it’s not actually an SUV, but just a hatchback. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but an SUV will typically have AWD as an option, have plentifully room, and have decent ground clearance.

It has an AWD version. It’s a 1.6l Turbo.

You have totally missed that the subject here is the electric Kona!

No one cares if it truly is an suv or not. Some drivers do want awd, more room and higher ground clearance for their bev be it an suv or wagon.

I like the design of the car – but the Kona Hyundai has in the shops right now is just cheap SUV material. So not a surprice it is not pleasant to drive, as it is same model they use for EV. But if range is your dream …………

Another compliance car.

Yawn.

I test drove a Bolt and a Volt last week and looked at the ICE version of the Kona today. The Bolt reminds me of the circa 1950’s Fiat clown cars with its cheap interior and poor driver’s seat. The Volt at $37,000 does not even have a garage door opener and the privacy screen for the rear storage area is a piece of cloth that attaches to 4 hooks on the sides of the interior. Seating in the Volt is marginal at best. The Kona feels like a Mini Cooper with its driver’s seat and steering wheel and does include a garage door opener and a solid rear cargo cover. The $23,000 ICE Kona is better equipped than the $37,000 Volt and is truly fun to drive. Waiting for the Kona to arrive in the next few months and returned my $1,000 Tesla deposit and will be passing on the Bolt and the Volt. Any all electric vehicle has shortcomings, in particular with regard to range and recharge times and the paucity of public charging stations. But that is OK as it is silly to think any one vehicle can do it all. That is why I have a… Read more »