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In review: Hyundai Kona Electric (2019)

Range anxiety is a thing of the past.

The all-new Hyundai Kona electric

The all-new Hyundai Kona electric

According to Hyundai's website, its range is 279 miles. This could possibly be achieved with extremely cautious driving with full regeneration braking at the highest Level 3 settings and on eco or eco + modes – however, a more achievable real-world figure looked like 250 miles; although while we had the car I never gave it the chance to drop below 80 miles of range to test these figures out fully.

But the cost of driving the car seems amazing. Stay with me for the boring stats, but it really is impressive!

On a 110-mile journey that involved two stops with the car still running, mobile phones plugged in, radio and air conditioning on, three child seats, three children of ages 4-6 years of age, two adults (one of which – er, me – is over 16 stone in weight, sadly) and a fully loaded boot space, the Kona averaged 4.3 miles per kWh.

What does that mean? OK, here comes the maths. Going on the basis of a kWh unit costing approximately 16p per unit, that means a mile is approximately 3.72p. Multiply this together with the mileage and we have a journey cost of just a shade under £4.10.

Compare this to our petrol family car that averages 32mpg on a good run and with a local fuel cost at around 116.9p, it would have cost you a whopping £18.28 for the same journey. So we saved just over £14 on one journey! Told you it was impressive.

Well it starts to make sense when you experience it first-hand. This high-powered option has 395 Nm of torque which basically means it pulls like a train – and as this is an electric engine, it is all available straight away. There’s no lag from a turbo and no waiting until you've reached a certain rpm before hitting your peak power.

0-62 mph time is quoted as 7.6 seconds and overtaking is swift to say the least – you can easily embarrass unsuspecting drivers of bigger cars. It's quite eerie but satisfying, too – it’s a bit like what's referred to as a sleeper car, in that it's much faster than you think it will be. The Kona seems to perform extremely well in all modes; however, the sports mode tightens things up and provides a nudge when engaged. This mode also turns the dash red and changes the middle gauge from eco driving info and speed to a display of what percentage of power you’re using – very satisfying!

So my overall thoughts on the Hyundai Kona – in simple terms it's surprisingly fun and amazingly economical to run. It’s also exciting to drive when you push it. If you can get over the initial cost and stretch to the higher power model to get extra range, then it could easily be used for longer journeys.

I've no doubt this is the future of driving. The world just needs to adapt to the process of charging cars in the same way as we do right now with mobile phones and other technology. With the Kona, you can do this in the comfort of your own home, ready for the morning. And your daily commute will never be dull or expensive again.

About the Author

Phillip White