Top Gear On Hyundai Kona Electric: It’s The UK’s Best Affordable EV

SEP 8 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIC 48

A reviewer from Top Gear believes this could be the first mass-market EV you could use as your only car.

Even though Top Gear is a well-respected publication, often times, it took a backseat to the highly-popular TV show. However, the British car magazine gives its readers a rather compelling view about current, past and future automobiles.

This week, Paul Horrell, a journalist for Top Gear, took the Hyundai Kona Electric for a brief test drive. For Britain, right now, the only vehicle that ticks three distinct boxes: long range, affordability, and fast charging – is the Hyundai Kona.

The vehicle comes with a road-trippable battery. It’s fast chargeable, allowing for greater utility value. And finally, with a leasing option that is at £10k down just £250 a month, the Hyundai Kona makes a compelling argument for a switch to the EV world.

The Kona comes with a near-300-mile WLTP range (the author got 250 driving normally). It comes at the half price that of a Jaguar I-Pace. And since it uses less energy to go the distance than this British luxury SUV (Sports Activity Vehicle), it’ll recharge faster on the 50kW DC outlets that are popping up like mushrooms after the rain at service stations all over the country. However, with all the positive traits, the author discovered some negative aspects of this platform as well.

Hyundai Kona Electric

The vehicle is plagued by some issues that we seldom see in the EV world. After all, most of the EVs coming out lately feature an AWD dual-motor configuration, negating any traction problems. For the Kona, however, thanks to its FWD (Forward Wheel Drive) setup, the driver will experience a lack of traction and overabundance of torque steer. Not that this is a deal breaker.

Crossover it may be, but I’m not daft enough to posit it as a perfect substitute for a Model X or I-Pace. It might accelerate with quite some vim, but that acceleration is made all the more striking by the lack of traction and overabundance of torque steer. It writhes like a 1990s chipped turbo hot-hatch. That’s because it’s only FWD, because it’s cheap. Also it’s only a fraction as roomy as the Tesla and Jaguar. Because it’s small. Because, again, it’s cheap.

In the end, the Hyundai Kona is a compelling argument to switch to a fully electric, battery-powered vehicle. It ticks most of the boxes and it surely signifies the will from legacy carmakers to enter their respective markets with select EV models. The future is clearly electric, and models like this only serve to strengthen that idea. While driving the Kona for longer trips may take some planning, the rave reviews we’ve been reading for the past few weeks make this one of the most exciting EVs on the market today.

In order to find out how the author liked the Kona Electric, please take a look at the short review right here. It’s well worth a read.

HYUNDAI KONA

Hyundai Kona Electric in Norway
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Source: Top Gear

Categories: Hyundai

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48 Comments on "Top Gear On Hyundai Kona Electric: It’s The UK’s Best Affordable EV"

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Seven Electrics

Along with the Bolt, this is promise of the Model 3, fulfilled.

Get Real

Except for the fact that 100 or more Model 3s will be made for every Kona produced.

Magnus H

Doubt it, they sold a couple of thousands julyy 2018 in Korea only. Not one model 3 in this price range has been sold yet.

Prsnep

That’s a huge exaggeration. Telsa might make 5 Model 3s for every Kona at best. Still a huge difference. Just not 100x more.

Alistair

Will be way more than 5 times as many Model 3 produced vs the Kona. The Kona hasn’t even released in the U.S. yet.

Pep

World is not only the U.S. The Model 3 hasn’t even released in Europe yet whereas some europeans are already driving a Kona EV

Mint

At best? Let’s say the Model 3 falls short of its goal and only sells 8k per week. You think Hyundai will produce over 80k Konas per year?

I’d be pleasantly surprised if they produced even half as many. According to IEV, the plan is 50k combined for the Kona, Niro, Ioniq, and Soul:

https://insideevs.com/hyundai-kia-to-double-total-ev-production-following-launch-kona-niro-2018/

Joe

agreed, Tesla might as well never release a cheaper model 3. That hogwash price of 35k USD should never come

Miggy

“It’s The UK’s Best Affordable EV”
So the GM Bolt does not count as it is not made in RHD and not sold in the UK.

menorman

True, GM scored an own goal with that one.

Mikael

The Opel Ampera-E is more expensive and much worse as a car and from a poorer company.

Shaun

The promise of the Model 3 is a car that people will actually buy.

Jason

The promise of the Model 3 is an EV made in significant numbers that anyone who can afford it will be able to buy.
I love all these EV’s, but come on, 20k – 50k annual production runs is just an insult.

Dima

The Nissan Note 2019, will be this era’s defining EV, that will be remembered as the turning point in EV adoption – as it will have over 200 mile range.

Brandon

You mean the 2019 LEAF I presume??

Troy

nevermind

Dima

Lol – yes. I was expecting to get downvoted to hell even without the typo. Yes, the 2019 Leaf. I’m pretty sure this will be the turning point. Not in America, where small cars are not a thing. But in Europe and much of the rest of the world.

Mint

I expect the 64kWh Leaf to sell much less than the 40kWh version.

The current Leaf has its niche as the best value EV, but when you add $5k to the price, other 2019 EVs are more compelling. On top of that, LG batteries are in limited supply.

The Model 3 is very clearly the turning point. If you pay any attention to numbers, then it’s laughable to think otherwise.

Timothy Hughbanks

Apparently, consumers don’t agree. The Bolt is selling, what? 1300/mo this year in the U.S. Not many Konas are being made. That isn’t all that many promises fulfilled. I’ll bet that by the time Hyundai is capable of delivering many Konas in the U.S., Tesla will be making lower-end Model 3’s in higher numbers.

Magnus H

This is not about the US.

Mikael

Strange comment….drop the “US is the center of the world and nothing else counts”-attitude.

Shoot

Blah blah blah Tesla, Blah blah blah Tesla.

yo

Sure it is a great little EV but do they have enough batteries to meet demand??
NO…
Move on to the 2019 Leaf…

John Doe

They can just buy more, if they wanted to.
There must be some profit reasons why they don’t.
Just see how Samsung, LG and more start to build battery factories, as soon as some European car manufacturers says they want to buy batteries for several billions.

Order batteries, and they will be made.

It’s too bad KIA and Hyundai only wants to make a few. They could have sold several hundrede K. They are energy efficient, and at a price people will pay.

yo

Order batteries and then they will make the battery factories and then they will make the batteries…

Troy

The 60kWh Leaf powertrain is sourced from LG, who are, you guessed it, making the powertrain for the Kia/Hyundai BEVS.

Sherpa

I read the Kia Niro Batteries are from SK Innovation

jim stack

£10k down just £250 a month is a pretty big price for a lease that you won’t own in the end.
Also the UK is cooler but here in the Southern USA watch for the HEAT. I had a sister company SOUL EV and all 16 in my area had batteries that died in the HEAT. The Controller also shut down on ours twice in traffic creating a deadly safety hazard. I reported it and opened a traffic hazard case in the USA.

Magnus H

Fear, uncertainty, doubt.

Mark.ca

So you are ok with the price?

eject

Yeah. If you insist on leasing the car. People also seem to forget that those 10000 would be 8000 in the US style pre tax price since it already includes the 20% sales tax.

Mark.ca

You obviously are not familiar with what we get here in CA….that is a bad lease to me and would never take it but i hear UK pricing is sucky so i would not be completely surprised if you find it attractive.

Magnus H

I was referring to how he spreadf fear, unceratinty and doubt about the battery,electronics and remaining value.

Mark.ca

I did not hear anything bad about Ionic since it launched in CA 2 years ago so I’m pretty sure the tech is solid. I’m considering getting one myself.

Dima

It will be the best affordable BEV until the Nissan Note 2019 hits the market, with over 200 mile range.

The Nissan Note 2019, will likely become the era’s defining EV, that changes the market towards popular BEV adoption.

Jason

Pretty sure Tesla Model 3 has already taken that crown. If Tesla do actually release the US$35k version then you will see some serious EV uptake.
Nissan had 8yrs to build their EV range, why would the Note be this all of a sudden change? More likely some cheap Chinese will make a bigger impact.

SJC

Affordable EV
Now there is a concept.

Mark.ca

Is it? This is nothing to me but is it $40k really affordable for everyone? Maybe it doesn’t have to be affordable now, just functional and with a similar TCO as ice.

Brandon

Exactly. I think really affordable would land in the price range of $20 to $30k.

Mikael

A $40k BEV is a $20-30k ICE with the savings and incentives. The question is rather if a $20k ICE is affordable or not?

h3x6g0n

*SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).
**FWD (Front Wheel Drive), RWD (Rear Wheel Drive), AWD (All Wheel Drive).

Jason

Gotta love these commentators making up new acronyms. Where do they learn them from? Might as well say FWD means “formerly rear wheel drive, moved to the front” ha ha

WARREN

RWD definitely offera a much more premium driving experience. That’s why all the elite racing series use RWD cars.

don.storm

The Kona EV beats the Model 3 hands down on price, build quality, efficiency and the ability to have it serviced at a local Hyundai dealership. Also, the car comes with a CCS2 charge port, which is a must have in Europe. If I had any money to burn, I would buy the Kona and most certainly not the overrated Model 3

Mark.ca

More efficient? Get out? Really think that?

Sean

What about the GM Bolt already out for 2 years (Ampera Opel)… Which is the same car. Granted there’s a surcharge.

To not even mention this though, or the leaf, completely negates the credibility of this article to me.

Benedictus

Bolt is not sold in UK in any form. LEAF does not have the range + charging speed of a long range vehicle, sadly.

Gazz

Everyone making comparisons with Tesla have obviously never been to the UK.
The affordable Tesla Model 3 will not be available here for ages as RHD markets come last. Hatchbacks / Liftgates are a requirement for most UK buyers as most cars have to be compact to fit in towns and cities. Also for size and cost reasons most families own one car so it has to do everything.