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Hyundai Kona Electric review: A real facelift?

Hyundai Kona Electric featured image
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2024 TechnikNews)

With the Hyundai kona electric Hyundai released its first all-electric compact SUV onto the market in 2018. This was even adopted with relatively good success considering the conditions at the time. With a combination of low consumption and a good starting price of around 36.000 euros, it was probably the most spotted electric vehicle in Germany alongside the first Tesla Model 3 models. 

tl;dr: Solid compact SUV with very good software

The fact that the new Kona Electric unfortunately still does not have an 800V system or a charging capacity of 150kW+ is difficult to understand when you look at the price of a good 55.000 euros for the “Prime” equipment line. To be fair, this is also the “full cabin” of the new Kona, only the glass sliding roof, which can also be opened, was missing from our test car. But let's get to the positive things first, it actually drives quite well. The wind noise is quieter than in the predecessor, but the dimensions outside have also visibly grown. There's recently been a place where you could, for example, store the charging cable and perhaps dirty shoes from hiking. The quality appearance outside and inside is in an upper middle class, many recyclable elements and a larger display adorn the second generation of the Kona.

The display may look familiar to some people, it is the same as the one in the IONIQ 6, which we also recently reviewed Blog and on YouTube have tested. However, the new software that Hyundai is installing in its vehicles starting this year (including faster hardware) is included. This works much more responsively and also faster in general. The biggest innovation is probably that Android Auto & Apple CarPlay can now finally be connected wirelessly to the infotainment.

All in all, the new Kona is a successful facelift with a new look and a few new functions, such as manual preconditioning of the high-voltage battery. Unfortunately, the charging power is quite low in the entry-level model with 80 kW at peak and in the model with the large battery at 100 kW at peak, considering that we are talking about Hyundai, which breaks the limit beyond 5 kW with IONIQ 6 and 240.

Video report:

Hyundai Kona Electric 2024 review: OLD TECHNOLOGY in a new look?

Design: Uniform design language in the future?

You might think, because the new Kona looks like that when viewed from the front Hyundai staria, which we also recently had with us. This isn't the first time we've seen a continuous strip of light at the front and rear. If you look around Asia, you'll notice Hyundai, as they weren't the first to come up with this idea.

Nevertheless, the design looks thoroughly futuristic, with Hyundai's own "pixel" design language. As is well known, this runs through the IONIQ line-up and is now also popular with combustion engines as well as the new Kona.


Infotainment & assistance: New generation with NVIDIA

Some people may be aware that Hyundai has been working with NVIDIA in various areas of the automotive sector for a long time. Now they have shown the new infotainment system in the IONIQ 5 N for the first time. This has already arrived in the Kona with new, faster hardware. Already during setup we noticed that the system could be operated faster and, above all, more smoothly. In contrast to the old system, which in some places took a moment or two to set up a page. But the best thing about the new infotainment generation is probably the long overdue wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Personally, I have never been able to connect to Android Auto in any car so quickly. As soon as you get in, the system is there and you can use Android Auto. Although it took longer than others, the implementation was very successful. Hello Hyundai!

Assistance: Higher level

The assistance systems at Hyundai were also quite good in the IONIQ 6. The steering assistant has now become a step safer and keeps the lane very well in the new Kona Electric. ACC, i.e. the adaptive cruise control, has remained the same and starts from a standstill, for example at traffic lights when someone is in front of the car, at the push of a button. Other vehicles drive away independently for a certain period of time. That would still be desirable here. The head-up display is the same as in the IONIQ 6, so we don't know why a much smaller display is installed in contrast to the IONIQ 5. It probably just has to do with the dashboard size, but it's still more than enough. Although we would like to see AR navigation like the one already available on the IONIQ 5 in the future.

Driving comfort & quality: Great at the front, bad at the back?

In addition to a beautiful selection of materials, the Kona offers plenty of space for the driver and front passenger at the front. Unfortunately, this stops in the rear; there is relatively little space for the size of the vehicle. Of course, you can still travel longer distances without it ProYou can endure problems in the back seat, but of course more space is always better. After all, despite the combination platform, with the Kona combustion engine, you don't have a center tunnel at the back, so you gain a little more space. The new Kona Electric also proves to be solid and good when it comes to workmanship. The trunk with its 466 liters is good for this vehicle class and can be expanded to up to 1300 liters if necessary. Despite the combustion engine mixing platform, under the hood there is a frunk with a generous 27 liters of storage volume, enough for a Type 2 charging cable.

When driving, the chassis appears to be quite soft, at least at first glance. The rear passengers at least describe the feeling while driving as “very hard and jerky” while at the front you don't notice this so much. It has a solid grip on the road and can even take corners without it Proproblems, thanks to its battery in the vehicle floor. It can tow a trailer with a maximum of 750 kg braked, which is relatively little when you consider that the new Volvo EX30 or Smart #1, which are also somewhat more compact, can tow 1,5 tons+ with brakes.

Range & consumption

Hyundai specifies the range with WLTP as up to 512 km. This might also be possible in stop n' go traffic in the big city. Now in reality, in everyday life with a mix of city, country and also some highway, we certify that the new Kona has an average range of 390 km. With an average consumption of 16 to 18 kWh per 100 km, it is also quite efficient. Only the charging curve or charging peak is quite limited at 100 kW and then ensures a charging break of 25 to 30 minutes instead of 10 to 15 minutes in the IONIQ 5 or 6.

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Dominic Lux

Dominik is 21 years old and very interested in new hardware for smartphones, as well as in the VR and AR area. He enjoys writing articles on these subjects. He has a fable for smartphones and gadgets, as well as electromobility. So he is currently busy writing in the new mobility department here TechnikNews.

Dominik has already written 121 articles and left 7 comments.

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