Hyundai Kona Electric : new BEV tested (2018-2019)
We understand, everyone must have an EV in range or the world will explode …
Yeah. Probably not. But it looks a little different and will take some time to explain. I’m not about to start talking about the deprived penguins or the rare, depressed Newton. This is Hyundai’s opinion of a usable and useful BEV (Battery Powered Electric Vehicle) called, not surprisingly, the Kona Electric. It comes in two flavors, both of which are basically the same except for the battery. The first version is a ‘Standard Range’ and comes with a 39.2 kWh cell set, a 186-mile range, 136 hp / 291 lb.ft. and a list price of under £ 25,000 once you receive the UK government’s £ 4,500 grant.
The battery we have here is a “long-range” battery: 64 kWh, over 300 miles, 204 hp, 291 lb-ft of torque, priced under £ 30,000 with support in place. That’s a very decent range for under thirty thousand dollars, mainly because you usually plan to spend over 60 years on a Jag I-Pace or Tesla to be able to go that far in one go on electricity alone. It is a good thing.
But that’s not what he would do in the real world, is it? Is this some kind of “perfect conditions” trick?
not much. First, I drove this car over 200 miles, and he always said 125 miles left. Maybe because we were in the magical conditions of electric cars in Norway, but most likely because this car was tested against a New World Coordinated Light Vehicle (WLTP) test – calculated on data from actual driving – rather than the old “ theoretical driving ” lab test of the cycle New European Driving (NEDC) – which takes into account the efficiency of the alternate transmission. The same type of transmission was less popular than the Dayglo leg warmer when NEDC was first designed in the 1980s.
But you still have to charge it. This is a big problem.
This is? really? How often do you travel more than 300 miles without stopping? Usually it gets home as the Kona EV will charge in about 9.5 hours on a standard home arrangement (i.e. overnight), and if you’re off a decent fast charger you will see. 80% full in under an hour (that’s 240 miles of range in 54 minutes). With the current spread of viral-grade load points across the UK, this is starting to be one of those swing times when BEV rejections become weak on the ground. Yes, there will inevitably be habits to make horror stories about the unavailability of charging stations, but in reality, this is a relatively inexpensive and completely usable electric vehicle. My use model consisted of regular 200-mile round trips to airports (where leaving it at a charging station for a week would be rude), and this vehicle won’t need a hop. ..
Give us something. Acting like a tank, right?
No. It takes a stop at 62 seconds 7.6 seconds, similar to a Toyota GT86 stat fan, and while not jittery, it’s pretty solid. It’ll easily go 70 km / h, although the acceleration slows down a bit and is a bit noisy around the rear wheel arches, but that’s most likely due to a little bit of other noise. Distracted. The top speed of 104 mph is a bit questionable. It has multiple modes, and they all play the way you plug in a car – and you can solve them very quickly. The Eco system shuts off the air conditioning, cuts the throttle response and dramatically increases the range’s potential, and the sport does the opposite. Even if it doesn’t make the air conditioner cooler, that would be weird.
Yes, you can feel the mass of 1.7 tons, but the weight remains low and is well controlled. There is a multi-link suspension that is a bit firm in places, but feels large and fully capable. And while this isn’t exactly the last word about accuracy from a steering point of view, it’s by no means a bad thing, just a nice thing. Remember you don’t buy this like a sports car, so if you just sit back and relax, this really is the thing.
What is the downside?
Difficult looks definitely won’t be suitable for everyone. The back has a lot of corners, the wheels seem to be plastic, and the interior is functional rather than special. It’s not an all-wheel drive system either, although it appears to be. But it takes five (the backrest isn’t the biggest place you have to be, be careful), and there’s a very good box. And no, £ 30,000 for a fun-looking Hyundai is still not quite a grain. But it’s very hard to ignore how usable this is for making money, and you don’t have to feel like you are taking a risk early on. It’s “just a car” – which is a compliment.
Yes, and in abundance. This premium long range features a head-up display, a 7-inch “ Supervision Kit ”, 8-inch LCD navigation and cameras, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a larger Krell audio system, electric / heated / cold leather front seats and a heated steering wheel LED headlights and smart regenerative braking. There’s also a list of safety packages that hurt your mind, including: Airbags Everywhere, Intelligent Navigation and Stop & Go, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Pedestrian Detection, Suspension Lane Assist, Follow-up Assist, Blind Spot Displays, and Traffic Warning Rear Cross Traffic, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, and High Beam Assist. The keep-track assistance is especially good – sitting in the middle of the track rather than ping-pong between the lines, but some of the other caveats are a little annoying. Perhaps enough to prevent you from having an accident.
You are transforming, right? And you sucker for biturbo V8 …
My theory? Get this for boring commuting, save money and stress, and keep a classic or interesting ICE for holidays and vacations. In my opinion, cars like the Kona EV will not kill interesting cars – they will save them.
A true BEV turning point: a true 300-mile range (ish) in a small SUV for under £ 30,000. consider it.