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Hyundai Kona 2024 review: Electric Premium Extended Range

With its EV-led design, the updated flagship Hyundai Kona Electric model, the Premium Extended Range, is a small SUV that's big on space and luxury features.

Which feels increasingly necessary for EVs to compete in an ever-expanding market where change is celebrated and expectations remain high.

Competition includes the newcomer Renault Megane E-Tech, the Kia Niro EV and even the Volvo C40. I've been driving the top model for a week to see how Hyundai's cutest EV fared with my little family of three.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

There are a whopping eight variants for the Kona range and you have a choice of four powertrains – petrol, turbo-petrol, hybrid or fully electric like our flagship Premium Extended Range model.

The model on test is priced from $68,000, before on-road costs, and that positions it in the middle of its rivals.

Based on a NSW, 2000 postcode you can pick up the Kia Niro EV GT-Line for $66,590 MSRP and the Volvo C40 Plus variant for $78,990 MSRP.

The Kona EV starts from $68,000 (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Kona EV starts from $68,000 (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The most affordable rival is the newcomer, Renault Megane E-Tech for $64,990 but it's important to note the E-Tech is only offered in a mid-spec variant for the Australian market at the moment.

Compared to it's rivals, the flagship electric Kona is well-priced but it’s a hefty $20K jump up from the equally equipped top petrol version.

Being top dog, you should expect a host of premium features like a sunroof, heated, ventilated and power-adjustable front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel and eight-speaker premium Bose audio.

The front seats also feature a 'relaxation mode' where they act as a recliner, providing a comfortable option for charging sessions.

Dual 12.3-inch screens pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Dual 12.3-inch screens pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Practical features include a handsfree powered tailgate, 27L frunk storage, remote parking assist (from the key fob), over-the-air updates for the built-in satellite navigation and Hyundai connected services app.

Unusually for an EV, you also get a temporary spare wheel in this model instead of a repair kit.

Other features include some A-grade tech like dual 12.3-inch technology screens, fast USB-C ports, a wireless charging pad, and vehicle-to-load function in the form of a three-pin standard house socket so you charge larger appliances.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

The design for the Kona has always been a win in my books because it’s cute and functional.

Hyundai also designed the EV Kona first then based the fuel-powered versions on it. So, you get a flat floor in the back row, a cool-looking front with extended body panelling and some futuristic pleating across the panels.

The exterior LED lights are pretty cool as a lot of them resemble pixels and can be found in multiple spots at the front and rear. The long LED strip light across the front also sets it apart from it's fuel-based siblings.

  • The Kona is cute and functional (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Kona is cute and functional (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • The LED lights resemble pixels (Image: Glen Sullivan) The LED lights resemble pixels (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The interior exudes a good sense of luxury with its light-coloured leather upholstery and trims. Coupled with the sunroof the cabin space is bright and cheery.

The 64-colour ambient lighting adds a touch of fun and the update sees some minor tweaks to accent panels where black plastic has been dropped in favour of a brushed metal look.

The dashboard has been redesigned with dual 12.3-inch technology screens (one for media, one for instruments), now standard across all variants instead of just the top model, which is great to see.

Dual screens are now standard (Image: Glen Sullivan) Dual screens are now standard (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The Kona's size has increased for its second generation, which means more occupant space and storage capacity. The front offers more space than you’d expect for a small SUV and I’d describe it as roomy, even for someone taller than my 168cm height.

The rear row also has fantastic head- and legroom for the class but it's the storage options which clinch the practicality for me.

Up front the centre console is still the hero for storage with multiple nooks and spaces for items like keys, phones and wallets. You get two retractable cupholders, a 1.5L drink bottle holder in each door and a good-sized middle console and glove box.

Kona EV front row pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Kona EV front row pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)

In the rear, you get map pockets, 0.7L drink bottle holders in each door and two cupholders in a fold-down centre armrest.

The boot sees an additional 33L, expanding the overall capacity to 407L with all seats in use. That jumps up to 1241L when the rear row is folded. Underneath the adjustable floor, you get a temporary spare wheel.

The electric front seats aren’t as comfortable as the previous generation. They’re narrower, firmer and sit a bit higher than I remember. Though I still love the added comfort functions they have, including a reclining relaxation mode. 

Kona EV rear row pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Kona EV rear row pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The rear seats are better cushioned and offer longer under-thigh supports and middle seaters should be comfortable thanks to the flat floor. 

The technology looks good and the 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia system is easy to use once you spend some time with it. You get built-in satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.  

The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel isn't customisable but all information is easily seen as is the colour head-up display.

  • The boot has a capacity of 407L (Image: Glen Sullivan) The boot has a capacity of 407L (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • 27L frunk storage pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) 27L frunk storage pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • Temporary spare wheel pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Temporary spare wheel pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Charging options are great throughout the car with each row getting two USB-C ports, the front also featuring a wireless charging pad and 12-volt outlet. The next-gen model sees the Kona get V2L (Vehicle To Load) capability, too, which is great.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor?

The Premium Extended Range model is front-wheel drive and has an electric motor with outputs of 150kW and 255Nm.

It’s not as spritely as some of its rivals but it’s able to hold its own on the open road. Just don't expect it to blow your hair back.

Under the bonnet (Image: Glen Sullivan) Under the bonnet (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is its charging time?

The official energy consumption figure for the Premium Extended Range model is 16.7kWh/100km and a week of mostly urban road driving resulted in an average of 16.6kWh/100km.

That's very good consumption and the official driving range from the 64.8kWh lithium-ion battery is up to 444km but I’d have my eye on the range on a longer journey.

The top electric Kona has a Type 2 CCS charging port which means you can benefit from faster DC charging speeds.

The Extended Range uses 16.7kWh/100km (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Extended Range uses 16.7kWh/100km (Image: Glen Sullivan)

But it can also accept a top speed of 10.4kW on AC power. On an 11kW AC charger, you can go from 0-100 per cent in a little over 6.5-hours.

The Premium Extended Range model can only accept up to 100kW on DC charging, which is lower than its rivals, and you can go from 10-80 per cent in just over an hour on a 50kW system and in as little as 45 minutes on an 100kW system.

Again, it's figures are a tad slower and lower than rivals but not inconvenient for everyday use.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

The top model's single motor delivers smooth power in most instances but you can lose traction if your accelerate too quickly from a standstill.

Mostly urban kilometres covered during this test and despite the Kona not having the punchiest motor, I’ve still had moments of it feeling zippy.

The steering feels like it’s in the middle of firm and makes for responsive manoeuvring. You get some roll when cornering and the car can feel a bit light-footed when you’re shooting across traffic but otherwise it's well-balanced.

The ride comfort is very good in terms of suspension, where it feels well-cushioned but not too floaty.

The steering is slightly firm (Image: Glen Sullivan) The steering is slightly firm (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Road noise isn’t intrusive, either, but there's some wind noise, even at lower speeds.

It’s an old gripe but the speed-sign recognition tech in a lot of Hyundai and Kia models is intrusive and annoying with how often it chimes at you.

It's worth the effort to turn off the warning sounds every time you drive, particularly if you're in the city. Usually, this would be in the safety section but it affects the driving enjoyment.

When it comes to parking, the Kona's compact dimensions make it your best friend in a car park. A fabulously clear 360-degree camera system also helps.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

The 2024 electric Kona has a long list of safety systems but surprisingly its previous-generation model’s five-star ANCAP safety score hasn’t been matched, with the new version getting four stars from testing in 2023.

Penalty points have been applied across a few items and its individual protection scores for vulnerable road users and safety assist systems are at 64 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively. 

The Kona has seven airbags, including a front centre airbag and a highlight feature is the blind-spot view monitor which shows you a camera feed of your blind spot on the dashboard.

  • Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)
  • Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan) Safety features pictured (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Other standard features include blind-spot monitoring, driver attention warning, safe exit warning, rear occupant alert, full LED lights, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure alert, lane keeping aid, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree view camera system, as well as front, rear and side parking sensors.

The Kona has AEB with forward collision warning which is operational from 5.0-85km/h for pedestrian and vulnerable road user detection and 10-180km/h for car detection.

For any families out there, the Kona has ISOFIX child seat mounts on the rear outboard seats and three top-tether anchor points but two seats will fit best.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

Servicing costs for the Hyundai Kona are quite expensive for the class and you can pre-purchase one, two or three services. Services cost $520 (one service), $1040 (two services), or $1560 (three services). It's typical to see EV servicing sit closer to the $250 mark.

Warranty terms are pretty typical, though, the Kona coming with a five-year/unlimited km warranty and the battery covered by an eight-year, or up to 160,000km warranty term.

Servicing intervals are every two years or 30,000km, whichever occurs first.

The Hyundai Kona Premium Extended Range offers a great amount of passenger comfort and space but its ongoing costs are a bit more expensive for the class and its low safety rating is surprising given its strength in that category in the past.

However, it drives well, looks good, and has great storage space so it's still in the race!


Based on new car retail price



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