- 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric ($34,000 – $42,500)
- 2021 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award – Electric vehicles
- Pro: The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is a comfortable EV that touts excellent driving range and a long list of standard features.
- Con: The Kona Electric is only available in certain states.
There is no denying that hybrid and electric cars are the way of the future and after spending a week with the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, I’m convinced that the electric future is secure. There is a lot to love about the Kona Electric; its range is on par with other rivals in the segment, it has plenty of power, and it’s comfortable to boot.
While many prospective electric car buyers will easily gravitate towards a Tesla or perhaps a Chevy Bolt, the Kona Electric serves as a nice middle ground. On top of that, it comes with an unbeatable warranty and a complimentary maintenance package. However, just note that this all-electric model is only available in select states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Which 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric trim level is right for you?
Shopping for the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is easy as there are only two trim levels to choose from:
- Kona Electric SEL: $34,000
- Kona Electric Limited: $42,500
My test car for the week was a Kona Limited model with no additional features except for the $400 upcharge for the Lunar White paint job. The price as tested was $44,420 (including the $1,185 destination charge), but that also doesn’t factor in the $7,500 federal rebate.
The Kona Electric looks awkwardly sharp
Take a look at the sides and rear end of the Kona Electric and you’ll notice that it looks exactly like its gas-powered counterpart. That’s a good thing because it looks like a normal hiked-up hatchback that’s perfectly practical and astute-looking. However, move over to the front and stare at it head-on and you’ll notice that, unlike the gas Kona, it doesn’t have a front grille.
It looks rather sharp as the slight bulges in the hood and the narrow headlights give it a menacing feel, but what’s a little awkward is the placement of the charge port. Of course, the design is functional because it makes it easier to charge the car, but Hyundai could have come up with a sleeker design for it so that it doesn’t look like the Kona EV has a mole that’s been removed.
How comfortable is the Hyundai Kona EV?
The Kona EV is very comfortable given its hatchback shape. There’s plenty of room up front and the leather seats in my tester proved to be supportive and plush, thanks to the powered adjustability. There’s a good amount of soft-touch materials and the dashboard has a very simple and easy-to-use design. Even the gear shift buttons are in a cluster that’s easy to read and memorize, although they do take a little getting used to at first.
Otherwise, the 10.25-inch touchscreen display is easy-to-navigate and reach from the driver’s seat and there’s plenty of room in the second row. Three adults can fit in the rear seat just fine, although, occupants over six feet may feel cramped.
The Kona EV has plenty of standard features
The Hyundai Kona EV comes with a long list of standard and available features. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Kona Electric SEL’s most notable features include keyless entry, a push-button start, heated front seats, roof rails, rear privacy glass, 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Blue Link Connected car system.
The base trim also gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in addition to satellite and HD radio. A $3,500 Convenience package is available for this trim. It includes a sunroof, LED interior lights, an 8-way powered driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a battery-warmer system.
Although, you could just spring for the Limited trim level and get all of the same equipment. In addition to that list, the Limited trim also comes with leather seats, a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18-inch wheels, and LED headlights.
The infotainment system also gains a 10.25-inch screen, navigation, a rear USB port, and a Harmon Kardon 8-speaker audio system.
The Hyundai Kona EV handles well
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While the Kona Electric isn’t a luxury car by any means, it’s perfectly comfortable on the road. Hyundai calls the Kona an SUV and you’ll be able to see why when sitting in the driver’s seat. The driving positioning feels slightly elevated, but it doesn’t give you a commanding view of the road like a true SUV does. Otherwise, the Kona EV soaks up bumps and imperfections in the road with ease and it doesn’t feel unsettled in tight turning situations.
Performance isn’t a strong point, but it’s good
If you have never felt the instantaneous response and torque output from an electric vehicle, then you’re in for a treat when driving the Kona Electric. No, it’s not a Tesla, but the 201-hp electric motor has enough gusto to pin you back in the seat when you stab the throttle. The power also makes it easier to pass other cars on the freeway easily. Quick accelerating aside, the Kona Electric is easy to drive around town and even has three different driving modes to adjust the driving experience.
- ECO mode: Dampens the throttle so that the power output is more linear, which in turn saves battery life.
- Normal mode: The default driving mode that feels normal.
- Sport mode: This mode makes the throttle feel more responsive like a sports car, however, it’s almost a little too touchy for tooling around town.
As for charging times, a full recharge using a 240-volt charger takes around 9.5 hours while a fast-charging DC station can charge the car up to 80 percent in around 54 minutes. You can use a household 110-volt outlet for topping off, but it would take days for it to fully charge the car.
I lived with the car for a week and was never in fear of being stranded. The Kona’s 258-mile range is more than enough for the daily drive. However, if you’re looking to take a longer road trip, then you should plan the charging points accordingly or take a different car.
Here are the specs for the electric motor:
Permanent-magnet synchronous motor
64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
291 lb-ft of torque
EPA estimated fuel economy: 132/108 MPGe
EPA range: 258 miles
How safe is the Kona Electric?
The Hyundai Kona Electric is very safe as it comes with a lot of standard safety features. The most notable features include forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, driver attention warning, and a rear cross-traffic alert. This list of features is so comprehensive that opting for the Limited trim only equips the car with rear parking sensors.
In addition to those safety features, drivers can rest assured that the Kona Electric is safe as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Kona a five-star overall safety rating. Additionally, the IIHS awarded the Hyundai Kona a “Top Safety Pick” award in 2021.
Hyundai Kona Electric maintenance costs
The cost to maintain a Hyundai Kona Electric is relatively low. According to Edmunds’ True Cost to Own breakdown, it can cost an average of $4,360 to maintain a Kona for the first five years of ownership. As far as repairs, it can cost around $646 for the first five years. That’s relatively cheap for a brand-new car.
But what’s even better is that the Kona Electric is covered by Hyundai’s comprehensive 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty in addition to its renowned 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Since this car is a hybrid, there’s an additional 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for the hybrid system and battery. To top things off, Kona Electric buyers will receive a complimentary maintenance package for the first three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is an unassuming key player in the segment
While it may be easy for prospective electric car buyers to overlook the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, they would be remiss to do so. Although it doesn’t garner the same attention that Teslas or even the Chevy Bolt does, the Kona EV is definitely worth a look. Its comfortable, filled with tech-savvy features and is able to achieve over 250 miles of range on a single charge. All things considered, the Kona Electric fits the bill for being a key player in its segment, so much so that it makes the automotive world’s electric future look a lot brighter.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric an expert rating of 8.4 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit gave the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric an overall rating of 8.4 out of 10. The Kona EV’s low price point makes it a great entryway for anyone looking to get into the world of electric car ownership. Additionally, the Kona’s comfortable ride quality and exceptional range make it a competitive rival in its segment.