The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t Hyundai’s first production EV, but it’s the first with truly usable range at 258 miles. It even beats the benchmark Chevy Bolt EV in that regard. Add to that 201 horsepower, 290 pound-feet of torque, a popular crossover wrapper and seating position, and the little EV is seemingly poised for success.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Hyundai Kona is cute, efficient and a smart play for Hyundai, which is increasingly offering a wide range of electric choices for consumers. The plug-in has a better range than the Chevy Bolt, and the price is reasonable. The Kona is a little small for family use, but it’s excellent as the second car or commuter. EVs are fun to drive, and this one served up a torquey yet still smooth experience.
Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I love this car. The gas-powered Kona didn’t strike me as anything special: It looked cool, was easy to drive, and I recalled the back seat being a little small. The EV, though, is a car I won’t soon forget.
The throttle response is excellent, and with full regen, it’s really easy to balance the car through corners, getting the tail a little farther out off-throttle, and straightening it back out on-throttle. Oh, and it corners quite flatly.
I also spent time with the Kona Electric during the polar-vortex driven cold snap, so discovered some interesting things about winter EV life. Cold definitely effects range. Without running any sort of climate control, and having the car in normal mode, it showed about a 211-mile range on what appeared to be a full charge.