June 13, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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Hyundai's facelifted Kona EV offers more space and a longer range

Hyundai’s facelifted Kona EV offers more space and a longer range

The original Kona EV was attractive if you wanted a compact electric crossover, but it lost some of its oomph when the longer-range (and frankly more stylish) Ioniq 5 arrived on the scene. However, Hyundai has given you a reason to look at the “entry” model again. After months of early sneak peeks, the automaker has it a statement The sleeker second-generation Kona was built with electric power in mind. This, in turn, promises some meaningful improvements to performance and interior design.

The higher capacity 65.4 kWh battery option now provides an estimated 304 miles of range using the WLTP test cycle. We wouldn’t be surprised if the EPA’s estimated number is more conservative, but that still indicates a longer range than the current model’s 258 miles. You now get battery pre-conditioning to improve charge times and cold-weather range, and Vehicle Load Support lets you power devices in and out of the vehicle. There is also new support for i-Pedal driving. Just don’t expect the fastest shipping. Kona doesn’t have the 800V architecture of the Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6, so charging from 10 percent to 80 percent will take 41 minutes.

No matter what engine system you have inside your car, you can expect more “living space” with more cargo space (17 cubic feet in the trunk), front trunk and plenty of in-cabin tech. The optional display isn’t unfortunately available in North America, but you’ll find dual 12.3-inch screens, over-the-air software updates, and NFC-based digital car key support. Driver aids are also supposed to be more robust than those of other small SUVs in this class, such as an Attention Monitor (to make sure you don’t fall asleep), a blind spot monitor and assistants for forward collision avoidance and safe highway driving.

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Hyundai hasn’t detailed US pricing, though it says the Kona will still be available in combustion-only and hybrid versions as well as an EV. It should reach US customers in the third quarter of the year. If history is any indication, the Kona should cost less than the Ioniq 5. That might make it attractive if you want to go electric but can’t justify the premium of the brand’s more advanced offerings.