What's the used Hyundai Kona Electric hatchback like?
It used to be accepted wisdom that in order to get an electric car with a petrol-equivalent driving range, you'd need to buy an expensive new Tesla or Jaguar I-Pace. Then along came the Hyundai Kona Electric to blitz the Real-Range record, and thanks the passage of time, you can buy a used example for less than a new Nissan Leaf, yet the Kona will go twice as far.
There are two different power outputs and battery pack sizes with the Kona Electric: a 134bhp, 39kWh version or a more potent 201bhp, 64kWh model.
Search for the entry-level SE Kona and get the smaller battery pack along with 17in alloys, rear parking sensors and reversing camera, a 7in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keep assistance. Premium cars go one stage further with blindspot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, along with a premium Krell audio system, sat-nav, an 8in touchscreen (enlarged to 10.3in from 2020 onwards), and front parking sensors.
Premium SE ups the ante with LED headlights, a head-up display, plus there are leather seats that are heated, cooled, and electrically adjustable in the front, and also warmed in the back.
No Kona Electric feels particularly slow, but it's the 64kWh version that's a real tyre-shredder. No really, you do have to be quite careful with the accelerator because the performance on offer is available in an instant and can easily overwhelm the low rolling-resistance rubber, leading to some unruly tyre squeal unless you restrain yourself.
Body lean is kept in check better than an MG ZS EV, for example, but the Kona Electric doesn't drive as well as a Kia e-Niro because the steering isn't as accurate, nor does the Kona grip as well in the corners. The Hyundai will also jostle you over smaller bumps more, plus it suffers from greater levels of road and wind noise once up to speed.
Visually, the interior is appealing to look at and is well-screwed together, but there aren't the plush soft touch plastics you'll find in an e-Niro. The driving position is pretty good, mind, and the steering wheel has a full range of adjustments, unlike the Nissan Leaf. Rear seat accommodation is on the small side in the Kona, as is the boot, which also has a bit of a lip to lug items over.
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