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

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.

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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.

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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

Source: Autocar