New Hyundai Kona electric: the road test

We got on board the new compact all-electric sport utility from the Korean house: surprising for safety and autonomy

Since launching in 2018, the demand for Hyundai Kona electric has exceeded all expectations in Europe. More than 53,000 units were sold in the old continent out of a total of over 120,000 units delivered worldwide. An important question that prompted Hyundai, last March, to start production at the plant in the Czech Republic.

The design

The new look makes the new Kona electric even more recognizable on the road thanks to the combination of clean and sleek lines, which are combined with a style from sport utility. To attract attention the new front, with the grille closed and with a new design, characterized by the asymmetrical charging flap, and by the new LED daytime running lights.

The headlights become sharp and stretch towards the side. The same behavior for the rear lights. The vertical air intakes placed in front of the wheel arches improve aerodynamics. While the horizontal ones in the lower area of ​​the bumper serve to draw a more slender front line.

The cockpit and digital central display – Ph. M Dall’Ava

Internal hi-tech

For the first time, the new Kona electric is equipped with a cockpit digital 10.25 inch. He is accompanied by a display centrale 10.25 inch with the navigator. The new electric integrates several multimedia and connectivity features, including Bluelink, Hyundai Live Services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even the compact Hyundai abandons the cable and offers all smartphones the wireless connection to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Customers of the new Kona electric, for a more comfortable and enjoyable ride, can also count on the new Bluelink update, which allows control the car through your smartphone or your own voice. The application shows the range and state of charge of the battery, as well as the charging times when the vehicle is connected to public or private columns.

Through to function Remote Charging, customers can start or stop charging via the app by simply pressing a button on their smartphone. Remote Climate Control, on the other hand, allows users to program the time they would like to preheat or cool their car, when it is connected to an external power source.

The new 12.5-inch central display is the heart of infotainment
The new 10.25-inch central display heart of infotainment – Ph. M Dall’Ava

The function Last Mile Navigation allows customers to continue their journey to their final destination even after parking, receiving augmented reality directions on the Bluelink app or via Google Maps. Finally, Live Parking Information provides real-time information on the location and price of nearby parking spaces.

A considerable autonomy

The trial version adopted the battery long-rage from 64 kilowatt hours with 204 horsepower (150 kilowatt) electric motor of maximum power and 395 Newton per meter of torque. Solution that allows our compact to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 7.9 seconds. Finally, thanks to the new tires, the range has risen to 484 kilometers WLTP with a single top-up. On the list, there is also a version with a battery reduced to 39.2 kilowatt hours for a range of 305 kilometers.

One of the special features of the new Kona electric is the system shift-by-wire for the selection of gears and the different driving modes (Drive, Reverse, Park, Neutral, Sport, etc.). These, in fact, are inserted electronically at the touch of simple buttons. Thus, the space usually occupied by the mechanical parts that connect the gearbox with the transmission is used for storing objects.

New Kona Electric storage shelf
New Kona Electric storage shelf – Ph. M Dall’Ava

Being the electric car, the levers on the steering wheel are used to increase or decrease regenerative braking. This new version allows you to stop the car completely by holding down the left puddle. In doing so, there is no need to intervene on the brake pedal. New Kona Electric can be equipped with a 10.5 kilowatt three-phase on-board charger. Highly recommended. This allows you to fully recharge your AC car in just under seven hours. Through the 100 kilowatt HPC columns, Kona recharges up to 80 percent in 47 minutes.

The electric motor of the new Hyundai Kona Electric
The electric motor of the new Hyundai Kona Electric – Ph. M Dall’Ava

How safe is it?

The palmares of the abbreviations that identify the most recent driver assistance systems (ADAS) of the new Kona electric is really rich. RCCA, BCA, LVDA, SEW and more RSA are as obscure as they are useful. RCCA o Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance avoid collisions in reverse and brakes the car when other vehicles approaching from the side are detected. While the BCA or Blind Spot Collision Avoidance apply the brakes to prevent a collision if another vehicle is detected at the blind spot when the driver attempts to change lanes.

There is also the assistant for the drivers who they look at the smartphone while they are stopped in the queue. This warns the driver when the vehicle in front begins to move forward. But also what the passengers warn if theexiting the vehicle is not safe due to oncoming vehicles. Without forgetting the door control function which registers the opening of the rear doors before departure.

When you reach your destination, with the engine off, the system warns the driver of the presence of people and objects on the rear sofa in the event that the respective doors are not opened. The new Kona is also equipped with eCall, function that automatically alerts emergency services in the event of an airbag deployment. Obviously, the cruise control adaptive with Stop & Go, the lane keeping system and the one that recognizes road signs.

The rear of the New Kona Electric
The rear of the new Kona electric – Ph. M Dall’Ava

Starting from…

New Kona electric starts from 35,850 turnkey for the 39 kilowatt hour version and the Xtetch city version. The 64 kilowatt-hour trial in the Xclass set-up touches 49,600 euros to which state contributions for scrapping must be deducted.

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