Hyundai Motor has made a series of updates to its successful all-electric subcompact SUV, the Hyundai Kona Electric. In order to make the new Kona Electric an even better product, the carmaker has added a host of upgrades, that revolve around design, technology, and practicality. After making its debut in 2018, the demand for the Hyundai Kona Electric has exceeded all expectations. In just two years, over 120,000 units have been sold globally, including more than 53,000 units in Europe. The new Kona Electric has undergone bold design upgrades for a pure new look, as well as featuring safety enhancements and an advanced technology package.

How does it look?

The Kona EV’s front comes with a new-look, thanks to the closed grille that features a pure and clean design. This modern look is further enhanced by the new LED Daytime Running Lights, which emphasize the car’s wide stance. The front is complemented by an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric which makes a strong statement about driving electricity. Apart from this, new, sharper headlamps stretch around the side of the car.

It’s not all about the looks. Hyundai has focused on practicality as well, with the vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch claddings, that enhance its aerodynamics, substantially reducing turbulence in the front wheelhouse area. Meanwhile, a functional air intake in the lower bumper is visually enhanced by horizontal satin accent bars, which give it a pronounced stance.

Hyundai Kona EV - Car Blogs Online
Pure and stylish design signifying clean electric mobility

I like that color:

The new Kona Electric is available with a range of new exterior colors, including two-tone roof options:

  • Dive in Jeju [New]
  • Silky Bronze [New]
  • Shimmering Silver [New]
  • Ignite Flame [New]
  • Misty Jungle [New]
  • Surfy Blue [New]
  • Teal [New]
  • Cyber Grey [New]
  • Atlas White [New]
  • Galactic Grey
  • Dark Knight
  • Sunset Red
  • Engine Red
  • Pulse Red
  • Phantom Black
  • Chalk White
  • Optional two-tone roof: Phantom Black
  • Optional two-tone roof: Chalk White

What about features?

For the first time, the new Kona Electric is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital cluster, while an optional 10.25-inch AVN screen is carried over from the last update. The AVN unit incorporates multimedia and convenience features including Bluelink connectivity, Hyundai LIVE Services, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. New Hyundai Kona EV customers will also enjoy the new Bluelink upgrade, which allows them to control their car with their smartphone or voice to make their drive more convenient and enjoyable. The app displays the vehicle’s range and battery state, as well as charging times when plugged into different public or private charging points. The users can access an advanced battery management system in order to select charging times that best fit their schedule or their budget by making the most of off-peak electricity rates.

Hyundai Kona EV Interior - Topgear Magazine
The Bluelink technology allows customers to control their car with their smartphone or voice.

Thanks to Remote Charging, new Kona Electric drivers can start and stop charging at the push of a button on their smartphone via the Bluelink app. During colder months, Remote Climate Control allows users to schedule a time that they would like to pre-heat their car electrically when connected to an external power source. As well as providing additional comfort to occupants, this also saves battery power that would otherwise be needed to heat the vehicle on the road. Additionally, the Hyundai Kona EV also comes with new ambient lights and two interior color packages for further customization of the cabin.

What are the performance upgrades?

Like its predecessor, the new Kona Electric offers two different zero-emissions battery-electric powertrains. The long-range version with a 64 kWh battery features an electric motor that delivers maximum power of 204bhp (150 kW), accelerating the Kona Electric from 0 to 100 kmph in 7.9 seconds. The basic version has a battery capacity of 39.2 kWh, with the motor delivering 136bhp (100 kW), accelerating to 100 kmph in 9.9 seconds. The long-range battery version provides a maximum speed of 167 km/h, with the standard-range battery version offering 155 km/h.

Both powertrain versions deliver 395Nm of immediate torque, ensuring the new Kona Electric is fun-to-drive with full power available from the first second. Speaking about the range, the 64 kWh battery version offers a class-leading range of 484 kilometers (WLTP) on a single charge. Meanwhile, the 39.2 kWh model offers a range of up to 305 kilometers (WLTP).

Hyundai Kona EV Exterior - Car Update Online

The Smart Adjustable Regenerative Braking system allows the new Kona Electric to automatically set the regenerative braking level, while paddle shifts behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking. The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Regenerative braking is maximized when keeping the left pedal held, allowing the driver to even bring the vehicle to a full stop – without the use of brakes.

How long does it take to charge the big battery?

Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery from 10 to 80 percent only takes about 47 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger. The Kona Electric features an optional 10.5-kW three-phase on-board charger, allowing for significantly shorter charging times using public three-phase AC charging stations or with a private compatible wall box at home. Drivers also have the option of charging their car at a compatible regular household power socket using the ICCB-cable (in-cable control box).


What about safety?

The New Hyundai Kona EV gets the upgraded Hyundai SmartSense, which features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), which offer not just warnings to drivers, but also implement the brakes where necessary. RCCA works to avoid a collision when reversing, as the car’s sensors detect approaching vehicles from both sides, with the brakes applied if necessary. Meanwhile, BCA engages the car’s differential brakes to prevent an accident if another vehicle is detected near the rear corner and the driver attempts to change lanes.

Hyundai Kona EV Speedometer - Topgear Magazine

Another feature new to this model is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), which alerts the driver if they do not react fast enough when the vehicle ahead of them starts moving. Further new safety features include Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA). SEW warns passengers intending to exit the vehicle if it is not yet safe to do so. RSA is a door-checker feature that recognizes if the rear doors have been opened prior to departing. When the drive is completed, the car alerts the driver if someone or something is in the back seat when they open the doors. In addition, the new Kona Electric is also available with eCall, a feature which automatically alerts emergency services if the airbags are deployed or the eCall button is pushed.

Hyundai SmartSense safety features:

  • [NEW] Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • [NEW] Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • [NEW] Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA)
  • [NEW] Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
  • [NEW] Rear Seat Alert (RSA)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA-Ped)
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW)
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)

Exciting? But wait:

The new does sound like an exciting package, but all these safety features will be available in the European-spec model. The carmaker has not revealed any information about the India-spec model. While we do expect the new Hyundai Kona EV to make its entry, in India, we also expect the carmaker to remove some features and add some India specific features to the EV.