Hyundai Kona is the first electric car in Hyundai's India-bound line-up. It is also the first electric SUV in India. With a high range and great quality, is this car the best EV in India at the moment?
1. Hyundai Kona EV Overview
The EV segment in India was not receiving great attention from the customers due to the lack of options. In addition to that, the shortage of charging infrastructure in India is also a major drawback that holds the car buyers from purchasing electric vehicles. However, the situation is changing. The government is putting more effort into promoting EV segment. On the other hand, leading car brands like Hyundai are taking steps toward developing EV models on their car range.
Hyundai Kona EV | First Drive Review | India's First-Ever Electric SUV Tested On A Race Track
The launch of the Hyundai Kona is an important milestone for the EV segment in India. Hyundai is the first major car brand in India to launch a full-electric vehicle with a high range. Before the entrance of the Hyundai Kona, the Indian buyers are offered with limited EV options, most of which are inadequate for regular use due to the low range and limp power output.
Hyundai Kona was first introduced at 2018 Auto Expo 2020 Expo and launched one year later in July 2019. Hyundai’s India-spec electric SUV is the first mainstream all-electric car to come with a high range in our market. Additionally, the car comes at full force in terms of features and packages, which is on par with other cars on Hyundai’s line-up. It is clearly the best EV option available in India right now.
2. Hyundai Kona EV Dimensions
The mid-size electric SUV measures 4,180 mm in length. The height and width of the Kona are rated at 1,800 mm and 1,564 mm respectively. The wheelbase of the Hyundai Kona is 2,600 mm long while the ground clearance stands at 172 mm. At the rear, Hyundai Kona EV gets a 332-litre boot space. Compared to the best-selling Hyundai Creta, the Kona is smaller in length and height but it comes with better width and wheelbase. These dimensional differences suggest that the Kona will not possess the similar imposing stance and road presence as the Creta.
Hyundai Kona EV
3. Hyundai Kona EV: Exterior Review
When designing the Hyundai Kona EV, it is clear that the designers were not aiming to create a traditional-looking SUV with rugged and butch appearance. Instead, the Hyundai Kona looks more like a crossover with a curvy design and moderate proportions. The Hyundai Kona SUV clearly successes in creating a futuristic style that is in line with the latest trend in the electric vehicle space.
It is worth-noticing that Hyundai Kona EV has dropped the signature cascading grille which is an unnecessary part for an electric SUV. The new sealed grille is more of a decorative part rather than being a functional component. The fascia also features a split-up headlight set-up with slim LED DRLs along with bi-functional LED projector headlights. The charging port is strategically located on the front grille, allowing easy charging.
On the side profile, Hyundai Kona EV flaunts an extensive use of black plastic cladding on the wheel arches and across the window, enhancing the sporty appeal of the EV. In addition, the Kona EV features some SUV elements like roof rail and distinguished ground clearance. It comes with a set of 17-inch EV-specific aerodynamic alloy wheels that gets a unique futuristic styling.
Coming to the side profile, Hyundai Kona gets a slim LED tail-light that is similar to the front headlight. Moreover, the black cladding on the rear wheel is also expanded toward the rear taillight housing. The use of the simple skid plate and roof spoiler completes the rear look.
4. Hyundai Kona EV Design: Interior Review
The high-quality, feature-rich and well-thought interior design has always been an attractive attribute of Hyundai’s cars. This quality of the Hyundai family is passed to the first electric member of the car range. The Kona EV’s interior carries Hyundai’s distinctive quality. In terms of the design, Hyundai Kona is simple and straight forward. There is a lack of exciting bit to its. Regardless of the plain design, the cabin of this EV score high in terms of practicality and quality.
In terms of the seating, the front row of the car would provide a pretty pleasant experience for the occupants with a decent under-thigh or side support. Notably, the driver seat of the Hyundai Kona is equipped with a 10-way electrical adjustment function along with lumbar support, offering good seating position the driver. From the driver seat, the driver can also get good road visibility, but it is not too impressive due to the small glass area. Both of the front seats come with ventilation feature. Taller occupant might feel a bit cramped while sitting on the front due to the intruding sunroof.
On the rear row, space comes as the main weakness. The rear end of the car accommodates the battery pack so the floor sits higher than normal, which leads to a low sitting position. The rear passengers would have to sit with their knees pointing up. There isn’t much room for the knees and legs. To the rear, the 332-litre boot space provides a pretty decent room for carrying luggage.
In terms of safety, the Hyundai Kona comes with a standard kit including six airbags, ABS with EBD, electric stability control, and hill start assist, full disc brakes, ISOFIX child seat mounts, reverse camera. Since the electric vehicle runs without emitting engine sound, it would be hard for the pedestrians to notice when an EV is approaching. In that case, the Hyundai Kona is equipped with the virtual engine sound system that releases the fake engine sound for the sake of other’s safety.
About the comfort feature package, the electric SUV is fully-loaded with premium features like ventilated front seats, 10-way power-adjustable function for driver seat, sunroof, wireless phone charging, rear AC vent, cruise control. Additionally, Hyundai Kona also gets a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support along with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster. Other highlight features offered on the Hyundai Kona EV includes tyre pressure monitor and auto-dimming mirror, rear headrest, leather upholstery and front central armrest.
5. Hyundai Kona EV Performance
On the international market, Hyundai Kona EV comes available with two choices of battery packages, a 64kWh battery and a 39.2 kWh battery. Only the 39.2 kWh made its way to the Indian market. This power pack is claimed to reach a range of 452 km per charge according to the ARAI test result. In the real world, the estimated range of the Hyundai Kona is around 300 km. Even though this option features a smaller range compared to the 64 kWh option, a range of 300 km is still impressive for an electric SUV.
Hyundai Kona EV
Automatic single-speed reduction gear
452 km per charge
0-100 kmph Acceleration
AC and DC charging
The electric motor of the Hyundai Kona is capable of making a top power of 136 Bhp and a maximum torque of 395 Nm. Right from the start, the car feels nippy and powerful from the go. The power delivery is good, the speed builds up in an instant manner. In general, the driving experience on the Hyundai Kona feels smooth and refined. On paper, the Hyundai Kona has a remarkable 0-100 kmph acceleration record of 9.7 seconds.
Hyundai Kona is available with multiple driving modes including Eco Plus, Eco, Comfort and Sport. With each mode, the engine, as well as the regenerative braking system, will behave differently. For example, in Eco Plus mode which focuses on optimizing the range, the speed would not pass 90 kmph mark and the regenerative braking will be fully employed. In addition, air condition will also be turned off. On the other hand, the Sport mode will deliver a more impressive performance with the engine running in full mode and the use of regenerative braking will be limited.
Hyundai Kona comes with two chargers, a 7.2 kW wall-box and a 2.8 portable charger. Hyundai offers assistance to install the wall-box charger at buyer’s designated place. Using the wall box charger, it would take 6 hours for the Kona be fully charged from 0 per cent. The price for an additional wall box is Rs 80,000.
Charging with the portable charger would take up to 19 hours. The peak of this charger is that it can fit into a regular 3- pin 15 Amp socket. There is also a DC fast charging option that allows the car to be 80 per cent charged in 57 minutes. However, there are only a limited number of charging stations that can provide fast charging. Hyundai will provide the DC charging facility at 15 dealers across 11 cities where Hyundai Kona is available for sale.
6. Hyundai Kona EV Price
Hyundai Kona EV is currently on offer at the price of Rs 23.71 lakh (ex-showroom). It is available in one single variant. However, with the addition of a dual-tone exterior painting scheme, the price could go up to Rs 23.9 lakh. Compared to its ICE counterparts, the electric SUV is much more expensive. It is also priced at a more premium price range than other electric offerings in India market at the moment. However, given the range and the comfort that this car can offer, its premium pricing is justifiable.
Hyundai Kona Premium
Rs 23.71 Lakh
Rs 27.15 Lakh
Hyundai Kona Premium Dual Tone
Rs 23.9 Lakh
Rs 27.36 Lakh
Hyundai is offering a package of three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and three-year roadside assistance. For the battery alone, the car buyers will be offered with an eight-year/1,60,000 km warranty.
7. Hyundai Kona Colours
Hyundai Kona is available in five colours, namely Typhoon Silver, Phantom Black, Marine Blue, Polar White, Polar White with black roof.
8. Hyundai Kona EV Verdict
Hyundai Kona is clearly the finest EV option available in India at the moment. The closest rival of the Kona EV is the MG eZS. Compared to the previous EV offers in India, the Hyundai Kona is advanced in many ways. It has a better range, more powerful performance and better-equipped cabin.
Admittedly, at the same price range, you can get better car options with internal combustion engines. For that reason, this car will only receive attention from a few who takes interest in future technology or cherish the environment-friendly products.