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2019 Hyundai Kona Electric First Drive Review

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2019 Hyundai Kona Electric First Drive Review

The results of final week’s United Nations local weather research reveal that Earth’s local weather state of affairs is rather more dire than beforehand thought. Until we do one thing drastic to cease pumping carbon emissions into our environment, we’ll do irreversible injury by 2030. It appears virtually prophetic, then, that Hyundai is launching two automobiles — the hydrogen-powered Nexo FCV and an all-electric variant of the lately launched Kona crossover.

The extra compelling of the 2 is the Hyundai Kona Electric. It joins different purely battery-powered machines such because the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Mannequin three, however the Korean automaker one-ups the competitors by arriving within the type of a crossover. People cannot get sufficient of them, and no different pure electric available on the market provides it until you are speaking concerning the $eighty three,000 Tesla Mannequin X. The Kona EV’s subsequent closest competitor is the boxy electric Soul, and in case you did not know, Kia’s affiliate firm is none aside from Hyundai.

In fact, the crossover moniker is not totally correct. Like its inner-combustion-engined counterpart, the Kona EV does not actually sit above regular car peak. Quite than name it a compact crossover, it would be extra applicable to label it a hatchback with some rugged-wanting physique cladding. The Kona Electric does, nevertheless, prime almost all of its EV rivals for cargo area, with 19.2 cubic ft. Solely the Leaf tops it at 23.6 cubic ft, however the Kona’s footprint is nearly a foot shorter than the Nissan’s.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric2019 Hyundai Kona Electric2019 Hyundai Kona Electric2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Visually, the Kona Electric is distinguished from its petrol-powered sibling by a grille-much less face, changed by an LCD readout grid sample with the charging port neatly hidden beneath a panel on the left aspect. A brand new mild bar spans the prow, connecting the higher driving lights in a digital wave sample repeated within the decrease entrance, aspect and rear skirts. It is meant to evoke the pathways in a circuit board, in line with senior chief designer Chris Chapman.

Inside, extra variations serve to remind you that you simply’re sitting not simply on the helm of a crossover, however a shuttle to the longer term. An array of PRND buttons and an digital parking brake await your directions. Neither appeared crucial nor an enchancment over the Kona basic’s tried-and-true gear selector and handbrake, however there they have been. The e-e-brake maybe does allow the double-decker middle console, although, the decrease degree meant for gadget recharging, whether or not by way of USB or Qi wi-fi.

In our Kona Electric Restricted tester, the cabin proved usually a pleasing place to be. Our 7-inch contact display was intuitive and consumer-pleasant for auxiliary features reminiscent of radio and nav. Unique to the Kona Electric is an LCD display that replaces the normal instrument gauges, however we want lag-free sweep of the analog needles. On the Limitless trim degree, an eight-inch show, ventilated entrance seats and a heated steering wheel supply further posh choices not obtainable on the lifeless-dinosaur-pushed Kona.

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Additionally distinctive to the Kona Electric is a properly designed three-tone mild grey interior with silver trim. The supplies aren’t probably the most sturdy; the pores and skin of the steering wheel in our tester, for instance, was visibly lumpy, however the lightness swathes the cabin in a newfound serenity befitting of its Hawaiian island namesake.

With the conversion from gasoline to electric energy, the Kona will get even tighter inside, with some room misplaced to the battery pack spanning the ground pan and its related safety bracing. Entrance legroom stays the identical at forty one.5 inches, however the rear is trimmed right down to 33.four inches from 34.6 inches. The cells add mass, too. Official numbers have not come out but, however engineers estimate a portly three,850 kilos. That is about 600 kilos heavier than a standard Kona Final and almost four hundred kilos heavier than a Leaf.

To wean drivers off of fossil fuels, although, an EV cannot compromise an excessive amount of compared with comparable gasoline-imbibing automobiles. Right here, the Kona Electric shines. Click on the D button, and the car will get shifting with a pleasing, excessive-tech hum. It exists at low velocity primarily to warn pedestrians that a silent machine is on the prowl, but in addition occurs to be precisely the kind of thrum you’d anticipate a Lucasfilm sound engineer to conjure for some sort of futuristic hovercraft.

Mash the go pedal in Sport mode, one in every of three drive settings, and you may truly do some critical passing. It isn’t simply from takeoff, both, the place the 201-horsepower, 290-pound-foot motor permits you to do some injury. Sport mode kicks up the sensitivity of the throttle response to on the spot, so when that you must overtake, merge or make evasive maneuvers, motive forces are immediately summoned.

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The opposite two settings aren’t fairly as thrilling. The time between pedal push and ahead movement lags noticeably, nevertheless it helps eke out a 258-mile range, which simply places the Kona on the entrance of its class. It gives a further Eco+ mode, too, which cuts features similar to A/C to assist preserve that final little bit of juice. Every mode comes with a special degree of regenerative braking as properly, however drivers can even choose considered one of three ranges of regen with paddle shifters to go well with their coasting deceleration preferences or — for the supremely lazy — drop it into a further setting of 1-pedal driving.

Regardless of its weight, the Kona reveals surprisingly composed dealing with, even within the winding Santa Monica Mountain roads that comprised a part of our drive route. Positive, the battery pack retains the middle of gravity low, however Hyundai additionally did not skimp on slender tires to inflate its mpgs. The Kona’s 215/fifty five R17 tires assist maintain its mass planted when slung. Its seats are forcefully bolstered, to an virtually intrusive diploma, contributing to the sports activities car-like sensation in your torso, however their grip might get tiring after lengthy journeys. Most significantly, nevertheless, it reacts naturally to steering inputs and communicates street surfaces logically to the driving force. It isn’t fairly a sportster just like the Mazda CX-three, however the Kona’s suspension geometry is mild-years forward of its Soul EV cousin’s.

When it isn’t in movement, the Kona Electric’s sixty four kWh battery may be rejuvenated by way of DC fast cost, taking about fifty four minutes on a 100kW Degree III system, or seventy five minutes on a 50kW trickle. Quick charging comes standard on the Kona, whereas on automobiles such because the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, it is an additional-value choice. Residence AC charging requires 9 hours and 35 minutes for a full prime-off. Charging standing might be monitored on Hyundai’s Blue Hyperlink app, which additionally lets house owners set charging occasions to benefit from off-peak hours.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

From Hyundai’s personal evaluation, the Kona’s battery performs higher than the Bolt’s in excessive climates. For instance, the fifty four-minute DC cost time drops to sixty four minutes when the ambient temperature climbs to 104 levels Fahrenheit, and it sinks to one hundred twenty minutes at -four levels. The Bolt’s standard seventy nine-minute cost takes ninety two minutes at 104 levels and a whopping 292 minutes at -four levels.

Moreover, the Kona comes with a lot of the safety tech one has come to anticipate on trendy equipment. Adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring and ahead collision, lane preserving, and rear cross-visitors help all come standard. Hyundai has not but stated something about pricing however anticipate an announcement nearer to launch.

Up so far, EVs have typically felt like compromises—automobiles that you simply’d solely purchase for those who cared about saving both cash or the setting. The Kona Electric makes a robust case that a pure-electric crossover might be had with out sacrificing drivability or utility. We’ll have to attend till pricing to forged our ultimate judgement, however our expertise with it makes us think it must be on any crossover purchaser’s listing, particularly if automobiles such because the Ford EcoSport or Toyota CH-R are already there. Our critiques have not been lobbed on the know-how itself, however at specific decisions Hyundai might have made on any car. The truth that the Kona could be cross-shopped as a succesful entry-degree crossover, electric or not, is an enormous step towards the mainstreaming of EVs.

Hyundai Kona Info

Hyundai Kona

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