One of the biggest challenges that electric cars face is matching the distance on a single charge that can be managed on a single full tank of fuel. Until that is achieved, car buyers will always have an excuse to stick to what they know and delay treading into the relatively unknown waters of electric motoring.
Well, here’s the Hyundai KONA Electric. Small-SUV buyers: you’re going to need to start thinking of some better excuses.
The KONA Electric is, as the name suggests, based on the regularly powered KONA SUV only it sacrifices some boot space and replaces it with an electric motor which makes this car a genuinely difficult car to fault. The KONA Electric is a small SUV that can achieve up to 278 miles on a single charge, and tests have shown that the car is actually pretty true to that figure in real-world driving.
It’s quite a good looking thing - isn’t it? The KONA Electric uses the body of the KONA, so two-tone styling and plenty of customisation options are available, and the only giveaway to the untrained eye is the revised and filled-out front grille, which suggest something interesting exists beneath the metal.
Inside, the KONA Electric benefits from a technologically advanced cockpit and infotainment system, as we’ve come to expect from Hyundai and a cabin that is more than spacious enough for this segment. The front seats are big enough for people over 6 foot and the rear row has ample room for three children or two adults. Getting three adults in there is feasible but it would be a bit of a squeeze, which is common for cars of this size.
We mentioned the reduced boot size before. With the regular KONA Electric, you get 360 litres of space which is about average for a car of this size and stature, but the electric powertrain eats into the bottom layer of that boot space, reducing it to 331 litres. That’s still plenty for a weekly shop, but you’ll struggle to get taller items in the boot. If you do find yourself needing room for a larger object in the rear, then the 60:40 split seats fold flat, and this opens the capacity to a modest 1,114 litres.
For charging, the KONA Electric has a maximum charging capacity of 7.2 kilowatts and using a regular wall plug socket will take 32 hours and 45 minutes to get to 100% from 0%. A Type 2 domestic charger will take 10 hours and 30 minutes from empty to fully charged, which is more reasonable.
The KONA Electric is on sale now with prices starting from £29,600 - making it one of the most accessible electric SUVs on the market, as it takes aim at the likes of the KIA Soul EV while hugely undercutting the likes of the Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron which demand a higher price.
Fancy one? Get in touch with us to test drive a KONA Electric and we’re confident you’ll like what you see.