HERE'S WHAT MAKES THE NEW HYUNDAI KONA EV A SPECIAL ELECTRIC CAR
Recently launched in Indonesia, Hyundai's aim to provide an affordable zero-emission car does come with it's own surprises.
Now, despite being a full-on petrolhead, I have developed a little bit of a soft spot for electric cars recently. Hence, I was so excited when there's a new affordable electric car from Hyundai, because even though it has been launched and on sale pretty much in most countries since 2019, us Indonesians only get this electric model recently, with a Virtual Launch from Hyundai Indonesia alongside Hyundai Ioniq. So in today's review, let's take a look back at what makes this Nissan Leaf's main competitor a good electric car, and what features it brings to the market.
The Kona Electric is powered by a 150-kW electric motor, with an output of 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. With that much torque in a small SUV, the Kona feels swift and peppy, accelerating rapidly on stop-and-go traffic as well as overtaking on the highway thanks to the instant torque generated by the electric motor.
With driving range being a main concern in electric cars, the Hyundai Kona also trumps the game in its class with 258 miles (415 km) of range, compared to its rival Nissan Leaf's 226 miles (364 km). After those energy-munching drive, the Kona can be charged using the standard charger and a 240-volt outlet, fo about 9.5 hours. However, if you opted to use the 50-kW DC Fast Charging, you can recharge up to 80% of the battery in about 75 minutes, which all things considered is pretty rad for such an affordable electric crossover.
Blue stripe on the license plate indicates that it's an electric car.
When it comes to the looks, the Kona EV differs itself from its petrol-powered siblings with a no-large-grille design, replaced by a kind of raindrop sculpted pattern. Like most electric cars, the Kona doesn't need a front grille, however this pattern is a bit of a love-hate design, and I personally love it. Similar design can also be found on the Ioniq.
From the side and the back, there's not many major differences with the normal Kona, apart from the "electric" badge and new fan-shaped wheels, which are quite popular among electric cars' spec. Not the biggest fan of it, but there are people who likes this "new age" of wheel style. Some say it's for aerodynamic reasons, but I don't think it's significant enough though.
One thing I always adored in a modern Hyundai and Kia car is the infotainment system. Currently it's the best of it's class, with a 7-inch display size filled with plenty of features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, Bluetooth Audio and SiriusXM satellite radio. On this electric version though, you have an extra menu for monitoring your electric activities that include charge level, eco-tips, as well as a charge manager, which lets you set a time in a day when you want to charge your Kona. The screen is super responsive and almost no lag, making it really delightful to use. The only problem is that there's no physical home button, and a dedicated CarPlay/Auto button.
Elsewhere inside, it looks comfortable, with enough leather padding for places that you usually touch, with a mix of hard plastic on places you usually don't touch.
With prices in Indonesia starting from Rp 624 million ($44,500 USD), the Kona isn't what you called "cheap", but considering that the quality that the Kona brings to the market, as well as the fact that Indonesia still considers electric car as a luxury, it's reasonably priced here. I do hope that in the future, electric cars can be more affordable.