The interior layout, fit and finish
The Hyundai Kona Electric's interior is quite plainly styled and, more objectively, the quality of materials is acceptable rather than outstanding.
The Peugeot e-208 and Kia e-Niro both look and feel more expensive inside, as does the Kia Soul EV. The Kona does have the edge on fit and finish over the Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Mokka-e, though, and it would make a world of difference if Hyundai could improve the areas you touch most often. For example, the leather on the steering wheel feels cheap and the metal-effect centre console is very obviously plastic sprayed with silver paint.
All trims come with a 10.3in touchscreen infotainment system, which is responsive, easy to use and comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring and sat-nav as standard. Our only complaint is that some of the icons are a little small, but it’s still far better than the Leaf’s rather antiquated system and the overly complicated effort in the ID.3.
Indeed, only the iDrive system in the BMW i3 tops it in the small electric class, thanks to its easy-to-use rotary controller that's less distracting to operate on the move. A wireless smartphone-charging pad is included with the Kona’s Premium and Ultimate trims, while all trims benefit from an eight-speaker Krell sound system with a subwoofer that sounds pretty punchy.
The Kona’s upright driving position and large windscreen help make it easier to see out of than the Leaf, which has chunkier windscreen pillars that can block your view at junctions and roundabouts. Over-the-shoulder visibility isn't great (blame the Kona's chunky rear pillars), but all versions come with a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors to help mitigate that. Premium trim adds front parking sensors and upgrades the dim halogen headlights to brighter LED units.