New Hyundai Kona Electric first look

Max McDee, 28 February 2023

Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the three new Konas that Hyundai is bringing to the market. Alongside its ICE and Hybrid siblings, the new electric version stands out thanks to its different styling and can be easily identified even from afar. Until now though, Hyundai kept the details to itself apart from sharing a couple of measly photos with the world. Today it all changed.

First of all - this isn’t just a refresh exercise with new bumpers and new lights. The new Kona Electric is a larger car altogether, the new model is 15 cm longer than the outgoing Kona Electric. There is a slight resemblance to the outgoing model but that’s all there is - a resemblance. The electric version brings the Light Pixels we know so well from the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 and puts them on display. There are decorative pixels in the lower part of the front bumper and there are pixels in the LED bar wrapping the font and the rear of the car.

Front and back of the new Kona use the same design - headlights and taillights have the same shape and the LED bar that runs above them is identical as well, if not for its color. It’s an interesting approach and one that makes sure Kona cannot be mistaken for any other car on the road.

New Hyundai Kona Electric first look

Unlike its gasoline-powered siblings, electric Kona gets color-coded wheel arches, the bumpers are less aggressive and focus more on aerodynamic efficiency. The five-spoke alloy wheels are exclusive to the electric version as well.

One thing that Kona keeps from its predecessor is the front charging port, which as any EV owner will tell you, is a simple yet life changing solution. This is something many owners complain about and it is surprisingly important. In the worst case scenario, having a charging port at the wrong side of the car, can mean not being able to charge it at some public chargers - Internet is full of photographic evidence.

New Hyundai Kona Electric first look

Back to Kona Electric - just as the exterior, the interior is a step away from the old model. This is a serious upgrade, dual 12.3-inch screens similar to those from Ioniq 5, plenty of buttons under the center screen for climate control and other functions. Interior is quite a bit bigger, and the trunk follows with its ability to swallow 3 large suitcases.

Prospective buyers will be happy to know that there are plenty of USB-C sockets in the front as well as in the back. There is a wireless charging pad in the center console, the seats are heated in the front and dual-zone climate control is standard. On top of that we have a plethora of ADAS functions with satnav-assisted cruise control and assisted driving on highways.

New Hyundai Kona Electric first look

Hyundai will release more details about the electric Kona in March but we already know that the new EV will share a lot of components with Kia Niro EV. We can expect to see the same 204 hp electric motor powering front wheels and we’ll see the same 64.8 kWh battery pack. Kia Niro gets 463 km of WLTP range thanks to that battery, and there is no reason why the new Kona wouldn’t end up with a similar number.



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