The name pretty much tells you everything you need to know. The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric is simply an electric version of Hyundai’s Kona extra-small crossover SUV. The 201-horsepower electric motor provides a punchy performance, and it can travel more than 250 miles without needing to recharge. It’s very similar to the regular gasoline-powered Kona. You can even store your cargo in the same space. This is a fun car to drive, and it’s electric.
How does the Hyundai Kona drive?
The Kona Electric feels more like an electric performance hatchback than the crossover SUV it’s marketed as. It accelerates quickly, merges on freeways effortlessly, and can handle steep grades without difficulty. We measured a speedy 0-60 mph at our track in 6.6 seconds. The Kona Electric changes direction quickly and is composed and steady around turns. Even though the tires aren’t very grippy, it’s still fun to drive. The Kona Electric is a great choice for casual driving. The three levels of regenerative brake are a nice feature. The steering wheel-mounted paddles allow you to choose the one that suits your driving style and personal preferences.
How comfortable is the Kona?
The Kona Electric rides with a poise not usually found in this class of the car. The car’s suspension design and the low-slung battery help settle it when driving over bumps. The Kona’s supportive and comfortable front seats are a big plus. The back seat is slightly flattened, but it is still comfortable. The electric motor is quiet at all speeds, and there are no wind noises or road noises. All-electric vehicles must emit an alert sound for pedestrians, which you can hear inside the vehicle until it fades to 18 mph. Some editors loved the sound’s spacey quality.
The infotainment system’s graphics look dated and boring but don’t let that fool you. It is a well-designed and easy-to-use system thanks to the prominent volume and tuning knobs, shortcut buttons around the screen’s perimeter, and logical virtual buttons on the responsive touchscreen. The available Infinity audio system produces impressive sound quality. Kona Electric’s driving aids are standard on the base SEL. The Ultimate trim offers a more advanced adaptive cruise system, which works in stop-and-go traffic. These systems are effective and don’t seem intrusive.
How’s the interior?
Most of the Kona Electric’s interior is like the regular Kona’s. The Electric’s center console is more prominent, and the controls are laid out a little differently. They are easy to use and attractive. It is easy to learn how to use the infotainment interface because similar functions are placed together. The cabin is spacious and has plenty of head-and-legroom. The rear seat is not as accommodating. Although the seating area is large, there is good headroom. The legroom can be tightened if the driver’s chair is set back beyond its sliding range.