The Car Connection Hyundai Kona Electric Overview
Hyundai Kona Electric availability is limited to dealer stock in states that follow California's electric-vehicle mandate. But for its combination of long-range, 258-mile practicality, a versatile interior, and an affordable price well under $30,000 when you consider the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, it really should earn a spot in every showroom.
Like the name suggests, the Kona Electric is related to the Kona crossover that is more widely available nationwide. Essentially a tall-riding hatchback, the Kona Electric skips the all-wheel-drive system offered on the Kona in the name of efficiency.
The Kona Electric competes with a small number of affordable electric vehicles including the Ioniq Electric, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, and Chevrolet Bolt EV.
MORE: Read our 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric review
Upon its introduction in 2019, the Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric were named the North American Utility of the Year. For 2022, the Kona Electric gets a redesign at the same time as Hyundai prepares to turn its Ioniq nameplate into an electric-vehicle sub-brand in 2022. Changes include new exterior styling and an updated interior with larger screens and new technology, but the battery and electric motor were untouched.
All Kona Electrics feature 17-inch wheels, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, automatic headlights, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, two USB outlets, and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Stepping up to the Limited trim level adds leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver's seat, LED headlights, premium audio, wireless cellphone charging mat, and a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen display. Though strangely, it loses wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; they'll require a cord once again.
The Kona Electric offers up to 258 miles of range from its 64-kwh lithium-ion battery. A 201-horsepower electric motor drives only the front wheels. The electric drivetrain means there's no conventional transmission and just a single gear. Charging times for the Kona Electric range from less than one hour on a rare Level 3 fast charger up to nearly 10 hours on a conventional Level 2 charger, which many EV owners typically install at home.
The Kona Electric has a similar shape to its gasoline-powered counterpart, but features a unique nose, different wheels, and a reshaped rear end . The Kona Electric sports the same tall ride height as the Kona, giving it more headroom than it would appear. Its 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space is more than a sedan, but also more in line with a hatchback.
Although you might not find the Kona Electric in many dealerships, Hyundai says dealers nationwide may order the vehicle for any customer so even if you don't live on the West Coast or in New England, you may be in luck.