New KONA Electric Moves Upmarket.


By Breda Corrigan


The original Hyundai KONA Electric was a tremendous success for the Korean brand in Ireland, and the all-new model is set to build on this success. For the second-generation of the KONA, Hyundai developed the electric version first and the petrol and hybrid versions afterwards. The outgoing KONA Electric accounted for 40% of European KONA sales, and that is expected to rise to around 60% for the new model, thereby making it an incredibly-important car for Hyundai. Having already been hugely impressed by the new KONA Hybrid a few months ago, I had great expectations for the pure-electric version, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.


Bigger & More Dynamic.

The new KONA is bigger in every area than its predecessor, so it now fits comfortably into the Medium SUV market segment, and is pitched against talented EV rivals such as the Kia Niro, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Mazda MX-30 and new Honda e:Ny1. The new KONA is 145mm longer than its predecessor, and this results in greater legroom for all occupants. In fact, it is so spacious in the back now that knee and headroom dimensions are almost at the same level as in Hyundai’s larger Tucson family SUV. The Tucson was also the inspiration for the new KONA in terms of styling, with parametric pixel lights at the front and a slim, full-width light bar. A full-width light bar also features at the rear and it provides the car with a distinctive and ultra-modern look. In a similar fashion to the Tucson, the new KONA features the same kind of sharp lines and solid surfaces in its side profile, and the overall design is truly impressive from every view-point. Boot space in the new KONA is equally impressive, with 466-litres on offer behind the rear seats, and up to 1,300-litres available when the seats are folded flat.

Trim & Battery Options.

Trim levels in the new KONA Electric consist of Elegance and Platinum variants, both of which are extremely well-equipped in terms of standard comfort, convenience, safety and infotainment systems. The KONA Elegance is available with the option of a 48.4kWh battery with a front-mounted 154bhp motor and a range of up to 377kms or a 65.4kWh battery with a 215bhp motor on the front axle that can provide up to 514kms of range from a fully-charged battery, while the range-topping Platinum version is only available with the larger battery. Both versions of the KONA Electric can charge at rates of up to 120kW, which enables a 10-80% charge to be completed in as little as 41 minutes. Alternatively, a 11kW domestic wallbox charger can complete a 0-100% charge in around 6.5 hours.


Road Test Report.

My test car was a new KONA Electric Platinum 65kWh which was finished in stylish Ecotronic Grey metallic paintwork. As with the petrol and hybrid versions of the new KONA, the spacious cabin in the Electric version is very well constructed and cleverly laid-out. The essential controls are conveniently grouped together for ease of use and the paddles behind the steering wheel adjust the level of brake regeneration on offer – leading to one-pedal drivability (i-Pedal) at the driver’s discretion. The cabin takes inspiration from its IONIQ 5 sibling, and it looks all the better for it. A 12.3” digital driver’s display sits beside a 12.3” touchscreen infotainment system, both of which look great and are user-friendly too. Many drivers will be happy to hear that Hyundai engineers have retained physical buttons beneath the touchscreen for infotainment shortcuts along with a separate climate control system.   Hyundai has made the most of the extra room by moving the drive selector from the centre console to a stalk behind the steering wheel, thereby freeing up more storage space in the centre console. A simple twist of the gear selector to the ‘D’ position is all that is needed to set off in total silence, and a choice of 4 driving modes allows you to choose between Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow settings. The KONA Electric is very easy to drive and there is very little body lean when cornering. The handling is reassuringly safe and the steering provides good levels of feedback to the driver, while overall ride comfort is impressive – even when driving over speed humps and pitted road surfaces. Thanks to 255Nm of instant torque, the KONA Electric is thrillingly quick off the line and it can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 7.8-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 172km/h (where permitted). Engineering-wise, the new KONA Electric is stronger, lighter and bigger than ever before, and it now comes with a comprehensive suite of driver assist and crash protection safety equipment for total peace-of-mind motoring.

Verdict, Price & Warranty.

The all-new KONA Electric has grown in length, width and wheelbase, resulting in more space, room for a larger battery, and a smoother ride quality. It provides owners with a significantly better driving experience than its predecessor, and it is a highly commendable pure-electric medium SUV in every respect. With its fast and flexible charging options, spacious cabin and boot, and its best-in-class range, along with its impressive list of standard equipment, the KONA Electric will be hard for EV buyers to overlook. Pricing starts at €36,995 for the Elegance 48kWh model, with my test car specification priced at €43,995 (ex-delivery, but inclusive of current Government EV incentives, where appropriate). Annual road tax is just €120. A five-year, unlimited mileage warranty comes as standard, along with the benefit of Roadside Assistance for five years, and a free vehicle health check for five years too.

Picture of Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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