Hyundai Kona: foot off the gas and charge forward

Hyundai Kona

Electric cars are addictively good fun to drive. The Hyundai Kona is also cheap and practical. 

The electric car is coming, says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times. “Be in no doubt about that.” But “let’s get to the problem straight away. There simply aren’t enough charging points.” As it stands, “you’d be mad” to take the plunge and buy one. “And that’s a shame, because the Hyundai Kona is an extremely likeable little car.”
It is also “bloody fast”. It’s not so much the rest to 62 mph sprint time that impresses, or the top speed; it’s the immediacy with which it takes off. “One minute you’re doing 40mph and then you’re doing 400mph. And the steering wheel has been wrenched from your grip and you’re in hysterics. And a ditch.”

Hyundai KonaAs with all electric cars, the immediacy of the acceleration from a flex of your right foot is “addictive”, agrees Nat Barnes in the Daily Express. The Kona is also “very comfortable to drive”. But it is heavy. Having “the equivalent of three rugby players on the back seat makes itself felt over the more conventionally powered Kona”. But what’s probably more important to potential buyers is that “we actually bettered Hundai’s official consumption figure, with 13.7kWh/62 miles, despite some fairly spirited driving, and also having the air conditioning on the whole time”.

In fact, if you’re on the lookout for an electric car, only one sits in the Venn intersection of long-range, affordable and fast-chargeable, says Paul Horrell in Top Gear. “Road-trippable, tick. Chargeable, tick. Affordable, tick. And because it’s a crossover, you could even call it fashionable.” Its near-300-mile WLTP (a measure of fuel consumption) range – 250 when driving normally – is a “rule-breaker” for affordable electric vehicles. It’s also half the price of Jaguar’s electric offering, yet goes as far on a single charge. “And because it uses less energy to do the distance than the Jag, it’ll charge faster on the 50kWh DC outlets cropping up at service stations all over the country.”

If the installation of charging points continues, perhaps the Kona will win over Clarkson after all.

Price: £33,940 (less £3,500 with UK government grant). Engine: Electric. Power/torque: 201bhp/395Nm. Top speed: 104mph. 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds. Range (WLTP test): 300 miles