The smartest Electric Vehicle available in Australia – Hyundai Kona Electric loses its strange face
I recently drove the Hyundai Kona Electric Vehicle and 2 of the three Hyundai Ioniq hatches. Very impressive. And now Hyundai has removed the painted chequer plate nose on the Hyundai Kona Electric and replaced it with something I could live with.
- The new Hyundai Kona Electric has undergone bold exterior design enhancements, making it even more recognisable
- Additional safety, connectivity and convenience features ensure an even better driving experience
- Kona Electric continues to deliver one of the best all-electric driving ranges of any electric car, with up to 484km (WLTP)
- Arriving locally in the first half of 2021
11 November, 2020 – Hyundai Motor has made a series of updates to its successful all-electric small SUV, the Kona Electric. In order to make the new Kona Electric an even better product for its customers, the upgrades revolve around design, technology, and practicality.
Since launching in 2018, demand for the Hyundai Kona Electric has exceeded all expectations globally, thanks to its powerful electric drivetrain, long driving range and stylish SUV looks. In just two years, over 120,000 units have been sold globally.
In August, three production models set a new range record of 1,026km on a single battery charge at the Lausitzring in Germany. Meanwhile, in January, the Kona Electric made it into the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ under the category “Highest Altitude Achieved in an Electric Car”, after being driven to an altitude of 5,731m to Sawula Pass in Tibet.
The new Kona Electric has undergone bold design upgrades for a dynamic new look, as well as featuring safety enhancements and an advanced technology package.
“When we launched the Kona Electric in 2018 as the world’s first fully-electric small SUV, it represented a major step forward for affordable e-mobility,” says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe. “With the new Kona Electric, we’re showing that Hyundai is fully committed to zero-emissions driving, by providing our customers with enhanced driving assistance and safety features, making it an even more desirable package.”
Bold exterior design upgrades for a clean and stylish appearance
The new Kona Electric has undergone a series of bold exterior design updates. By combining a clean and sleek appearance with the protective and bold small SUV body type of the Kona, it expresses its exceptional electric technology while being even more recognisable on the road.
The front with the new-look closed grille features a pure and clean design. This modern look is further enhanced by the new LED Daytime Running Lights, which emphasise the car’s wide stance. The front is complemented by an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric which makes a strong statement about driving electric.
New, sharper headlamps stretch around the side of the car. The high-tech headlamp inner bezel now incorporates multifaceted reflector (MFR) technology. The headlamps are connected to the painted wheel arch claddings, giving the new Kona Electric a distinctive and sophisticated look. Vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch claddings enhance its aerodynamics, substantially reducing turbulence in the front wheelhouse area. Meanwhile, a functional air intake in the lower bumper is visually enhanced by horizontal satin accent bars, which give it a pronounced stance.
The rear bumper retains the accent bars to add value to the overall look of the car, while new horizontally-stretched rear lamps complement the pure appearance of the front.
Like the new Kona with internal-combustion powertrains, the new Kona Electric is 40mm longer than the previous version. This ensures it has a dynamic appearance combined with a strong visual stance.
Segment-leading driving range
Like its predecessor, the new Kona Electric offers zero-emissions battery electric powertrains, with no compromises on performance.
The new Kona Electric retains its 64kWh battery and electric motor, which delivers maximum power of 150kW and a maximum speed of 167km/h.
Delivering 395Nm of immediate torque, ensures the new Kona Electric is fun-to-drive with full power available from the first second.
Since its launch in 2018, the Kona Electric has been equipped with one of the best all-electric driving ranges in its segment. With tyre improvements, Kona Electric offers a class-leading range of 484km (WLTP) on a single charge.
The shift-by-wire system enables operation of the car simply by pressing buttons to switch driving modes. It also eliminates the routing space required for housing the mechanical linkages between a normal shifter and the transmission, providing additional storage space in the front of the car.
The Smart Adjustable Regenerative Braking system allows the new Kona Electric to automatically set the regenerative braking level, while paddle shifts behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking. The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Regenerative braking is maximised when keeping the left pedal held, allowing the driver to even bring the vehicle to a full stop – without use of the brakes.
Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery from 10 to 80 per cent only takes about 47 minutes using a 100kW direct current (DC) fast charger. The Kona Electric features an optional 10.5-kW three-phase on-board charger, allowing for significantly shorter charging times using public three-phase AC charging stations or with a private compatible wall box at home. Drivers also have the option of charging their car at a compatible regular household power socket using the ICCB-cable (in-cable control box).
|Type of charger||Time|
|DC Fast Charging (10-80%)||50kW Charger||64min|
|AC Normal Charging (10-100%)||7.2kW on-board charger||9h 15min|
|10.5kW on-board charger||6h 50min|
|ICCB Charging (10-100%)||(220V/12A)||28h|
An updated interior with progressive technology
For the first time, the new Kona Electric is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital cluster, while the 10.25-inch multimedia screen is carried over from the last update.
Meanwhile, new ambient light technology illuminates the passenger and driver side footwell, emphasising the lifestyle character of the vehicle.
Even more best-in-class safety features
The new Kona Electric features a state-of-the-art Hyundai safety package for peace of mind. Hyundai SmartSense provides comprehensive, best-in-class active safety and driving assistance systems, and the new Kona Electric is now equipped with even more functions than its predecessor.
Upgraded Hyundai SmartSense features that feature on the new Kona Electric include Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), which offer not just warnings to drivers, but also implement the brakes where necessary. RCCA works to avoid a collision when reversing, as the car’s sensors detect approaching vehicles from both sides, with the brakes applied if necessary. Meanwhile, BCA engages the car’s differential brakes to prevent an accident if another vehicle is detected near the rear corner and the driver attempts to change lanes.
Another feature new to this model is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), which alerts the driver if they do not react fast enough when the vehicle ahead of them starts moving.
Further new safety features include Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA). SEW warns passengers intending to exit the vehicle if it is not yet safe to do so. RSA is a door-checker feature that recognises if the rear doors have been opened prior to departing. When the drive is completed, the car alerts the driver if someone or something is in the back seat when they open the doors.
Hyundai SmartSense safety features:
- [NEW] Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- [NEW] Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- [NEW] Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA)
- [NEW] Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
- [NEW] Rear Seat Alert (RSA)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA-Ped)
- Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
Increased comfort and convenience
A number of convenience features allow for a more comfortable ride, in particular for back seat passengers. As with its predecessor, the new Kona Electric’s second row heated seats allow rear passengers to relax when travelling on longer journeys. The new second row USB port delivers additional power to recharge devices on-board if needed.
Meanwhile, an electric parking brake offers even more reassurance for drivers, and can be activated by the simple push of a button.
- Arriving locally in the first half of 2021
- Long-range 64kWh version only for our market (a smaller capacity 39.2kWh model is also offered overseas)
Hello. I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and editor of The Car Guy.
The Car Guy is an independently owned car review website. I’m currently testing cars for Mazda, Nissan, Kia, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Renault, Subaru, and Hyundai. Through Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport I’m also writing about the 2020 Formula 1 season
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