Value-packed electric vehicle. It takes federal and state tax breaks to lower the price, but when the government incentives are in place, the 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric costs about $30,000. That’s a much more affordable price point than most any electric vehicle we've seen to date.
The Kona Electric makes a strong case for electrification, as its EPA-estimated 258-mile range eliminates range anxiety for many consumers. That it does so at a competitive price makes it a compelling offer, and this from a manufacturer whose footprint is larger than Tesla.
The downside is its availability. You’ll find it in California as well as in other states with a robust EV infrastructure in place. For everyone else, you’ll have to work with your Hyundai dealer to special order one.
You should also know that state incentives vary if they’re available at all. You should also become familiar with the public charging network in your area.
Lots of standard features. The Kona Electric costs thousands of dollars more than its gasoline-equivalent. That’s not unexpected with the steep cost of electrification. We give Hyundai credit, however, for furnishing well-equipped models that close the gap somewhat in price.
The standard SEL model comes with attractive 17-inch wheels, keyless entry with push-button start, cloth upholstery with heated front seats, two USB ports, and a 7-inch touchscreen display. Hyundai also includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility.
Choosing the Limited brings a sunroof, leather seating, power front seats, wireless charging, and other creature comforts for a $4,610 premium over the base model. The range-topping Ultimate brings a 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and more for another $3,600 extra.
Hyundai's unbeatable warranty. Like other Hyundai models, the Kona Electric comes with a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. This particular warranty is exceptional, as it's two years longer than what most competitors offer. Further, it's a year longer than what most luxury brands have in place.
But that’s not all: Hyundai warranties the hybrid battery for the life of the vehicle – or at least the vehicle’s life with the original owner. No other manufacturer backs their battery system like Hyundai, including category-leader Tesla.
Brisk driving, bland handling. The Kona Electric has a strong powertrain going for it. Its big battery pack and electric motor produce 201 hp, resulting in brisk acceleration and passing power. These attributes are common to electric vehicles and make them formidable competitors to traditional internal combustion engines.
Strong power notwithstanding, it doesn’t translate into robust handling. Indeed, the added weight of the battery pack takes its toll, resulting in handling that's far from nimble.
Further, the suspension system and steering are engineered for comfort, not sportiness. We don’t think these factors are show stoppers for serious EV shoppers, but they’re worth noting nevertheless.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric is a strong entry in the burgeoning EV market. Its range is twice that of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, the brand's first all-electric model. That alone is quite an accomplishment for the automaker.
Choosing a standard model is a great place for new EV shoppers to start, as it keeps the Kona Electric at an attractive price point. With Hyundai backing the original battery pack for the life of the vehicle, consumers have yet one more reason to make the switch.
Check prices for the 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric »