When it comes to electric vehicles, one of the biggest concerns with prospective buyers is the electric range of the vehicle. Thankfully in recent years, electric vehicles have gotten better by offering larger batteries and therefore more range.

I was able to test out the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric which is the company’s first fully-electric vehicle. While it shares similarities to the gas version of the Kona, the electric version adds some styling to set it apart.

Design

Just like the gas version, the Hyundai Kona Electric has a very compact design along with some accents that give a more sporty look. The Kona Electric uses blue and grey colours throughout the interior and exterior of the vehicle to let people know you’re driving an electric vehicle.

The vehicle can fit up to five people but the rear seat is cramped and is really meant for two people.

Inside the Kona Electric, the same hard plastics are used and make it feel cheaper than what the vehicle costs. The Kona Electric has a 150 kW electric motor, producing 201 hp that makes it fun to drive.

The 64 kWh battery should give you up to 450 KM of range, which should put your mind at ease if you have range anxiety. Another thing to note is that the Kona Electric also has regenerative braking that will slow the vehicle down and convert the kinetic energy back into stored energy in the vehicle’s battery.

You can adjust the level of regenerative braking on the Kona Electric using the pedals on either side of the steering wheel. Level 3 of regenerative braking will slow you down quicker than Level 1. The left one will decrease your regen braking level and the right will increase. To turn of regenerative braking completely, just press the left until the driver display shows that it is off.

Depending on which type of charger you have at home, the Kona Electric will take about 9 hours to charge from 0 to 100% using a Level 2 240V outlet (what your clothes dryer uses) but it’ll be double that if you use a 110V outlet and the included charging cable.

At a Level 3 (50 kW) charger, you should get around 80% battery charge in just 75 mins and on a Level 3 (100 kW) charger, you can get 80% in just 54 mins. A Level 3 charger is typically what you would find at a public charging station.

The charging port for the Kona Electric is located at the front of the vehicle and has an indicator light around it to show you that it’s charging. And when you plug in your Kona Electric, the vehicle will lock the charger, so it can’t be taken out while it’s charging.

The included wall charger also has a display on it that indicates the charge on your Kona Electric.

The version of the Kona Electric that I tested was the Ultimate trim that included a number of safety features including:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Proximity Key
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop-and-Go Capability
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)

The Heads-Up Display will show you things like you’re speed and navigation prompts. The vehicle also came with a power sunroof, a backup camera and a wireless charging pad.

The Hyundai Kona Electric starts at $44,999 CAD but the model I tested goes for $53,804 CAD.

Software & Connectivity

If you’ve used Hyundai’s BlueLink infotainment system then you’ll be familiar with the one found in the Kona Electric’s navigation system. The 8-inch touch display that’s in the Kona Electric is crisp and easy to read.

BlueLink has support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which basically mirrors your smartphone’s display. To start using it, all you need to do is plug your compatible smartphone into the USB port.

Android Auto gives you access to Google Maps, make phone calls, a whole host of media apps like Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music and more. You can also talk to the Google Assistant to send and read out messages or ask what the weather is.

Hyundai’s BlueLink system also allows you to remotely control certain functions of the vehicle using the BlueLink app. I wasn’t able to test the BlueLink app with the Kona Electric but all you need to do is create a BlueLink account and then link your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a great electric vehicle for those in the market, it has the latest technology and safety features (including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), fun to drive and gets long range (up to 450 KM).

Pros

  • Long range (up to 450 KM)
  • BlueLink is easy to use
  • Has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Regenerative braking has multiple levels
  • Fun to drive
  • Good amount of cargo space

Cons

  • Cramped rear seat

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