Expert Reviews

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric Review and Video

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
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If you’re considering switching to an electric vehicle (EV) but are worried about being overwhelmed by a steep learning curve or baffling user interface, the overhauled 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric makes EV ownership approachable.

Whether you’re new to EVs or are a seasoned pro, this subcompact crossover is well-rounded and checks many boxes.

Styling: 9/10

The second-generation Kona Electric builds on the successful design of its predecessor and brings it firmly into the future. With new LED light bars that span the front and rear ends, the Kona looks like an adorable robot sidekick. It stands apart from cheaper trims of the gas version of the Kona thanks to its colour-matched fender cladding and pixel elements throughout the design. While it looks futuristic, the design is still quite approachable and blends into traffic well, not getting too much attention from passersby.

The interior also looks clean and uncluttered, with ambient lighting and different textures breathing some life into the cabin. A lot of hard plastic is used inside, which brings down the vibe slightly, but they’re not in high-touch areas, so it’s easily forgivable.

Power: 9/10

The Kona Electric has a 68.4-kWh battery that powers an electric motor on the front axle. Output is rated at 210 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. The Kona Electric is only available with front-wheel drive, perhaps taking it out of consideration for some Canadian drivers, but with proper winter tires, you’ll be just fine. All-wheel drive is certainly appreciated, however, in an EV, the extra weight of an additional motor typically decreases range, and the extra range is much more important to me than traction at all four wheels.

Fuel Economy: 9/10

With 420 km of estimated range, the Kona Electric offers more than enough range to meet most Canadian’s needs. According to an AutoTrader survey of Canadian car shoppers who would consider an EV, 84 per cent said the ideal range is over 400 km, and on a full charge on a mild winter day, the Kona Electric showed 528 km of range, which is impressively higher than its official rating. Over 403 km of mixed driving, the Kona EV’s consumption was a very efficient 17.5 kWh/100 km.

The Kona EV can accept charging speeds of up to 100 kW, which can get it from 10 to 80 per cent in about 45 minutes. The charge port located in the front bumper is heated so it won’t ice over in the winter, and the navigation system makes finding chargers easy, allowing drivers to filter by speed, provider, and availability. If you’re using the native navigation system and input a fast charger as your destination, it will pre-condition the battery automatically for more efficient charging, but there is also an option to activate pre-conditioning manually.

User-Friendliness: 9/10

My first long-term experience with an EV was with the previous-generation Hyundai Kona Electric, and I was impressed by how easy it made the transition to the electric lifestyle, even for someone like me who doesn’t have access to home charging. The new-generation model improves on an already user-friendly interface.

The Kona Electric is excellent at curbing range anxiety, which is especially important if you’re new to EVs, going the extra mile (get it?) to eliminate ambiguity and ensure drivers feel confident living with an EV. The range estimates in the information cluster are typically on the conservative side, so I always have more range than I thought I did. It also shows the range as a best and worst-case scenario and shows clearly where and how the battery power is being used, which is helpful so drivers can learn easily how to maximize range and efficiency.

As an EV, the Kona Electric is as user-friendly as it gets, with a familiar and approachable layout that is immediately intuitive. Instead of going the route of many other EVs that abandon physical buttons to centralize everything in a touchscreen, the Kona Electric’s interior layout feels familiar, which means there’s no learning curve to using it. A row of shortcuts on the dashboard makes navigating the system easy even when on the move, physical climate control buttons and toggles are present, and every function is located exactly where you expect it to be.

A customizable shortcut button can be programmed to bring up a variety of functions, but I use it to call up Android Auto quickly. Smartphone mirroring is also well integrated, so if you’re using Google Maps, navigation directions can be shown in the head-up display and the information cluster, meaning less flipping between screens and fewer distractions when on the move.

Driving Feel: 9/10

The Kona Electric feels planted on the road with a low centre of gravity. It has a good turn of speed if you’re not in eco mode, and its small size makes it easy to manouvre and park. It’s quiet inside and very smooth, with a comfortable suspension setup.

One-pedal driving is available and drivers can adjust the braking force using paddles on the steering wheel. The braking feels consistent and flips between regenerative braking and mechanical braking smoothly.

My only minor complaint is that the on-centre steering feel should be tighter. There’s a big dead zone in the middle, so the steering needs a lot of corrections to stay centred in your lane on the highway. Lane-keep assist is also a bit too aggressive, so it doesn’t really help matters.

Practicality: 9/10

Cargo capacity has increased by a third over the previous-generation model, so now the Kona Electric offers 723 L of space in the trunk, which expands to 1,803 L with the rear seats folded flat. There is also a small front trunk (a frunk) and underfloor storage in the rear trunk, perfect for stashing the charging cables.

The Kona Electric also has lots of room inside for small item storage: a shelf in the dashboard, door pockets big enough for water bottles, and retractable cupholders.

Comfort: 9/10

Yet another excellent feature for Canadian drivers is a standard heat pump, which enables more efficient cabin heating without eating through too much range. The Ultimate trim tested also comes with a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats.

The interior is also much roomier than it used to be, addressing one of my only issues with the previous-generation model. The dashboard elements have been moved forward and the centre console has been moved lower to create a more airy feel for people in the front, and the rear passengers also get more legroom and headroom than the previous-generation model, thanks to a longer wheelbase, bigger dimensions all around, and clever packaging.

Features: 9/10

The Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate is packed with useful features expected at this price point like wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, a heat pump, a head-up display, digital key, sunroof, ambient lighting, app-based telematics capability, and more.

Safety: 9/10

Hyundai must be on a mission to reduce blind spot collisions to zero. Blind spot information is displayed via indicators in the side mirrors, head-up display, and information cluster, and a live video feed when the turn signals are activated.

Other notable safety features in the Ultimate trim include safe exit assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, junction turn assist, surround-view monitor, parking sensors, remote parking assistant, high beam assist, and more.

Value: 9/10

The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate is $51,199 plus the $1,925 destination fee and is one of the most affordable EVs in Canada with more than 400 km of range. The EV is also eligible for all government incentives, which helps make the cost even more manageable.

The Verdict

The previous Hyundai Kona EV was already pretty good, but the latest update for the 2024 model gave it exactly what it needed to be excellent. With more room, a great style, lots of tech, and decent range, there are minimal downsides to this approachable EV crossover, which makes it easy and compelling for many drivers, especially those new to EVs, to make the switch.

Engine Displacement 150 kW
Engine Cylinders Single electric motor, 64.8 kWh battery
Peak Horsepower 210 hp
Peak Torque 188 lb-ft
Fuel Economy 1.8 / 2.3 / 2.0 L/100 km, 16.3 / 20.3 / 18.1 kWh/100 km cty/hwy/cmb; 420 km est. range
Cargo Space 723 / 1,803 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate
Base Price $51,199
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,925
Price as Tested $53,224
Optional Equipment