When it comes to electric vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is arguably the gold standard that prospective EV buyers compare other automakers to. And while it’s tough to compete with a Model 3’s performance, elegant design, and superior range, there are a few other EVs in the market that can hold a candle to it in different ways.
One such electric vehicle is the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. Sure, it may not look as sleek as the Model 3, but during my time with it, I found that it has other attributes that could make it a better buy for anyone in the market for a new electric car.
1. The Hyundai Kona Electric’s range is on par with the Model 3
According to Hyundai, the Kona Electric is able to get up to 258 miles of range on a single charge. This turned out to be fairly accurate during the week that I spent with the car and I didn’t have any range anxiety the whole time. The base Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, can squeeze out 267 miles on a single charge, which is definitely more. But you may not see all of that range if you end up flooring it everywhere to feel the car’s stellar performance (which seems to be common).
Additionally, the Kona Electric’s charge port is situated in the front bumper, which makes it easy to charge at any charging station. The Model 3’s charge port is located on the side of the car, so it’s not as easy to access, even if you park it in your garage.
2. The Kona Electric has a user-friendly and tech-savvy interior
One thing that I especially appreciated about the 2022 Kona Electric was its user-friendly interior. Simply put, it feels like a normal car, complete with physical buttons that are easy to read and are within reach. It also has a few features that the Model 3 doesn’t have like Homelink buttons for your garage, Apple Carplay/Android Auto connectivity, and a moonroof that actually opens.
3. The Kona Electric is backed by an amazing warranty and dealership network
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Yes, I’m fully aware that the Tesla Model 3 has over-the-air software updates and mobile repairs. However, the Kona Electric could appeal to old-school buyers that would rather bring their cars into an actual dealership. Sure, it’s kind of a drag to do it, but the good thing is that there are plenty of Hyundai dealerships nationwide and the car even comes with free maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
On top of that, the Kona Electric is backed by Hyundai’s legendary 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty in addition to the 5-year/60,000 new vehicle warranty.
4. The Hyundai Kona Electric is cheaper than the Tesla Model 3
Lastly, the Hyundai Kona Electric is cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 when comparing the base trim levels. The Kona Electric SEL has a starting price of $37,390 (before the destination charge and any incentives) while the Model 3 Standard starts at $46,490 (before any incentives and destination charge).
That’s almost a $10,000 difference and if you want more range out of a Model 3, then you’ll have to spend over $50,000 to get it. Meanwhile, the top-trim Kona Electric Ultimate is priced at $45,600 before any rebates and the destination charge. It’s clear to see that the Kona provides a better value for the money.
The Hyundai Kona Electric is not a Tesla, but it’s a great electric starter car
While it’s easy to say that the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is not a Tesla Model 3 when it comes to performance, interior quality, and range, it does have its perks. The Kona Electric is great for anyone that’s looking to get into an electric car without having the learning curve of a massive touchscreen or any service woes. Case in point, if you’re looking for an electric car that’s a lot like every gas-powered car that you have driven, the Kona Electric is definitely worth a look.
After doing so, you may not even think about the Model 3, even if it is the gold standard.