Vehicle Spotlight: 2019 Hyundai Kona is Unconventionally Sexy… to EV Lovers

The 2019 Hyundai Kona knows exactly what it wants to be, and that is its ultimate charm. The Kona has a huge battery and maximizes that attribute with a sleek, yet unassuming look; one that draws no distractions when going from Point A to Point B. Powering the machine is a 64.0-kWh battery pack bigger than that of any other non-Tesla EV currently on the market. And this setup, giving the Kona a 250-mile range, puts it right in the same tier as the Chevy Bolt (238 miles) and well beyond the Nissan Leaf in terms of mileage (151). Keep in mind that Tesla’s Model 3’s standard charge expects to achieve approximately 220 miles. So, let it be known that a new contender has emerged. And that the competitive atmosphere the 2019 Hyundai Kona fosters can only benefit the quality of the EV movement going forward.

What might be more astounding than the volume of the battery is the speed with which it can charge. The Kona EV has the 100-kW Combined Charging System (CCS) DC hardware. According to Hyundai, this model juices a depleted battery pack to an 80 percent state of charge in about 54 minutes. However, that option comes with a higher trim; it’s 75 minutes for the more common 50-kW setup. With the Level 2 (240-volt AC) charging, which is common in the everyday home installation and the 7.2-kW onboard charger, the Kona Electric requires nearly 10 hours to top off the pack. This isn’t so bad when considering the aforementioned colossal range. The charge port is located on the front of the vehicle, which can be kind of awkward but affects nothing.

Packing a Punch (Well, Kind of)… Safely

The Kona generates 201 horsepower and is capable of 290 lb-ft of torque. Reasonable… for an EV. Though it’s ultimately governed at 104 mph (waa-waa), the Kona can climb to over 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. Likely contributing to this EV quickness is its size, as it is only 164.6 inches long and 70.9 inches wide. Despite these dimensions, the 2019 Hyundai Kona, like its predecessor, has ample storage space thanks to folding back row seats. Foot room stacks a little shorter compared to some other crossovers, but that is to ensure enough space for the battery.

But it’s not all about distance and battery stats. Everyday amenities for the everyday driver make the electric vehicle less of a novelty and more of a lifer. The Kona is an efficient and worthy machine that will push other EV companies in what comes standard, particularly in safety. Optional technology includes lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and cross-traffic warning systems, and a driver-attention warning system. Automated emergency braking and forward collision monitoring are standard fare.

Knick Knacks & Green Facts

The interior and accompanying trinkets aren’t anything to scoff at either. The Kona has a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is compatible with both Apple and Android. Again confirming that this is not some trial run at relevance, but the genuine throwing of a hat in the everyday driver ring. It also has a flip-up, header display and wireless inductive charging for personal electronic devices. As for the seats, the front units have three-step heating. There’s a heated steering wheel option and potential buyers can choose between cloth or full leather upholstery in multiple colors. So, whether it’s pragmatism or luxury that you seek, Hyundai is a viable choice in EV discussions.

US sales expect to begin in late 2018, and will likely start in California exclusively, as the state’s zero-emission vehicle mandate is more conducive to electric sales. And though there is no official word on this yet, Hyundai offers a subscription package with their other all-electric car, the Ioniq, which includes all maintenance, registration, and charging fees. It’s likely the Kona could get similar treatment. Hopefully this pushes other states toward something resembling Cali’s ZEV mandate and upping the value of electric stock.

Dating the 2019 Hyundai Kona…

The Kona is like your friend who does surprisingly well, even exceeding expectations, in the dating department. He’s not necessarily the most attractive one of the bunch, but he’s got his s**t together. Starting at approximately $21,000 and packed to the gills with safety features, the 2019 Kona is the electric future you never thought you’d have so soon.

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