2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate Electric
For this week’s review we’ve gotten our hands on the 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate Electric which has a monsterous amount of range. Will it dethrone the Leaf, or slow down the Tesla Model 3 sales?
Disclosure:Hyundai Canada provided me with the 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate Electric for a week to test drive, and photograph. All photos in this blog post was taken by me. #HyundaiKonaElectric
Interior permanent magnet synchronous electric motor
201 hp / 290 lb-ft (64 kWh Battery Capacity)
Single Speed Reduction
6.4 second 0-100 km/hr
Average stopping score due to the thin eco-friendly tires. Those tires also hold back the 0-100 km time. If you swap it out for wider tires you should see better acceleration and braking but a lost of range.
Efficiency focus tires also hurt it’s handling score too
Obvious bobble head feeling on uneven road
Every passenger complained how uncomfortable it was
415 km Range
Very efficient which helps it’s range. I suspect it being a less wide of a vehicle helps its aerodynamics and range.
CABIN NOISE: 6/10
Louder in the cabin than the Leaf. More road noise and and annoying humming sound.
Looks great and unique. Will have some people looking wondering what vehicle it is.
I liked they followed Nissan’s lead and put the charging port at the front.
INTERIOR FOR DRIVER: 5.5/10
Getting into the vehicle, I immediately noticed how much hard plastics there is everywhere. Overall feels really cheap considering it’s price tag for being an EV. I didn’t have any complaints about the gasoline version because the price starts at $21,199 CAD but with the EV starting at $44,999 is the same starting price as the Tesla Model 3 Standard. I would have been happy to have a smaller battery, and less range if it meant having a nicer interior
The button shifters in the center console is an interesting take. It reminds me of the up, down, left right buttons on a keyboard. I think it works and you’ll get use to it after time with it.
The sound of the vehicle at low speeds is horrible for everyone inside the car, and outside. When driving at low speeds it makes this humming or whirling sound like from a horror movie even when my foot isn’t on the accelerator. I noticed many times people walking on the sidewalk just staring wondering what the noise is.
It was pretty fun to drive though, I enjoyed driving on smooth roads, and the torque steering when you push the car is cool
The massive amount of range eliminates range anxiety
The one pedal driving is a poor implementation to me because to actually come to a complete stop it requires the driver to pull the paddle at every stop which just re-introduces a step back in and does not really simplify the driving process.
INTERIOR FOR PASSENGERS: 6/10
For something that is seen as a crossover, it is really really small. I would expect it to be more family friendly than the Leaf but it was rather disappointing. It does however get a center arm rest unlike the Leaf.
Lots of hard plastics everywhere in the rear
My friends who I drove around that week complained how uncomfortable it was in the back. Everyone experienced a bobble head feel over uneven roads.
77.7 - Niro EV
77.1 - Soul EV
76.6 - Prius Prime
75.6 - Leaf
74.9 - Kona EV
39.5 - Soul EV
37.7 - Niro EV
37.7 - Kona EV
37.3 - Leaf
37.2 - Prius Prime
INTERIOR STORAGE: 6.5/10
19 Cu Ft of storage which is also smaller than the Leaf.
Storage divider under the loading floor
INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM: 9/10
Solid infotainment system that Hyundai is known for. Love the buttons and knobs
Supports Android auto & Apple Carplay and comes standard on all trims
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE 2019 Hyundai kona ultimate electric:
Hyundai’s Kona Electric is efficient, and has a ton of range. It is fun to drive and looks unique in a good way. Normally this would be enough to sell me on a vehcile but… I would not buy it unlesss the goal was to get as much range as possible. As a practical family vehicle, the ride comfort, and storage is better in just about every other rival. Personally I lose too much in exchange for having a huge range that I won’t need.
The Kona Ultimate is $52,000 (415 km), and the Model 3 Standard Plus is $53,700 (385km). Both vehicles will qualify for the same amount of tax credits in British Columbia. If my money was on the line, I would pick the Model 3 Standard Plus over the Kona because of it’s interior, Tesla charging network and auto pilot technology. For me, sacrificing a little range is worth it having a better all-around vehicle.