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MSRP: $36,950 - 44,900

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 5.8
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
TBD
Reliability:
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.
TBD

2019 Hyundai Kona EV Review

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric ranks in the top half of the hybrid and electric SUV class. It’s a good EV with a strong powertrain, smooth ride, and plenty of tech features, although it still trails some rivals in terms of interior quality and space.

Pros & Cons

  • Brisk acceleration
  • Gentle ride
  • Long list of features
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Rivals have more upscale cabins

Is the Hyundai Kona Electric a Good SUV?

Despite its ranking, the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is a good SUV. It has a lengthier EV range than its non-Tesla EV competitors, and its long list of standard features and quick acceleration boost its appeal as a commuter car. However, some rivals have roomier cabins with nicer materials.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Kona Electric?

The Hyundai Kona EV’s lengthy range, energetic acceleration, smooth ride, and impressive list of standard features all boost its appeal as a daily driver. However, there are other EVs worth considering too. The Tesla Model 3 has an even longer range (310 miles to 258), but it retails for around $2,000 more. The Chevrolet Bolt is another great EV with agile handling and peppy performance. You could also consider the Kia Niro EV, an electric SUV with a larger cargo hold and a range that's almost as long as the Kona's (239 to 258 miles).

You might also consider the gas-powered Hyundai Kona, which we review separately.

Compare the Kona Electric, Model 3, and Bolt »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Kona Electric?

Hyundai launched the Kona Electric as an all-new electric vehicle for the 2019 model year. Because of that, your odds of finding a used model on the market are low.  

We Did the Research for You: 10 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Hyundai Kona Electric in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 10 automotive sources.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Hyundai Kona Electric Cost?

The 2019 Kona EV has a base MSRP of $36,950. Compared to the prices of other subcompact SUVs, that stands out as one of the highest. It's fairly typical for an entry-level electric vehicle, however.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Kona Electric Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Kona Electric or Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 is a great luxury electric car. With its long-range battery, it’s one of the few models with a longer all-electric range than the Kona EV’s – up to 310 miles with the Tesla versus 258 with the Kona. The Model 3 also boasts sporty handling, and its regenerative brakes are smoother than those in many other EVs. On the other hand, the Kona has more cargo room and standard tech features. It’s a bit more affordable too, as the base Model 3 retails for around $2,000 more than the Hyundai Kona EV. You can’t go wrong choosing between these two.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Kona Electric or Chevrolet Bolt?

The Chevrolet Bolt is fairly similar to the Hyundai. Both vehicles have lively acceleration, quiet cabins, and a gentle ride. Both also have more than 200 miles of electric range, though the Kona's range surpasses the Bolt’s by about 20 miles. On top of that, both have nearly identical retail prices (before factoring in any available state or federal tax incentives). The Chevrolet Bolt EV is more agile and has a slightly higher maximum cargo capacity, but the Hyundai Kona EV has nicer cabin materials and more space behind the rear seats. Choosing between these two is a matter of preference.

Compare the Kona Electric, Civic, and Bolt »

Kona Electric Interior

How Many People Does the Kona Electric Seat?

This EV seats five people in two rows. Cloth upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and ventilated front seats are available. Like with many small crossovers, the Kona's back seats feel tight for taller people. That concern aside, the seats are comfortable.

Kona Electric and Child Car Seats

For securing child safety seats, this vehicle has two complete sets of LATCH connectors on the rear outboard seats.

Kona Electric Interior Quality

The interior styling is handsome, but the materials look and feel less upscale than what you’ll find in some rivals.

Kona Electric Cargo Space

The electric Kona has 19.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. That’s impressive for a small SUV, and it eclipses what other crossovers, such as the Mazda CX-3, offer. The total figure of 45.8 cubic feet is less impressive, and many rivals have higher cargo capacities.

Kona Electric Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The entry-level Kona EV comes with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system. A larger 8-inch touch screen is available, as are a navigation system, wireless device charging, and a premium eight-speaker sound system.

The infotainment system is easy to use, with straightforward, logically arranged physical controls. The touch screen looks a little dated, but everything works as it should.

Read more about interior »

Kona Electric Performance

Kona Electric Engine: Strong

This EV uses a 150-kW electric motor to produce 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a single speed transmission.

The electric motor provides ample power for most driving scenarios. Acceleration comes instantly too, helping this Hyundai feel energetic.

Kona Electric Gas Mileage: Emission-Free

This SUV gets an EPA-estimated 132 MPG equivalent in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway. For more information, read What is MPGe? Its EPA-rated electric range is 258 miles, surpassing Hyundai’s own Ioniq Plug-In and Ioniq Electric.

Kona Electric Charging

Using a 220-volt outlet, it takes around 9.5 hours to recharge the Kona’s 64-kWh battery pack. DC Fast Charging is available and can recharge 80% of the battery in 54 minutes.

Kona Electric Ride and Handling: Smooth and Playful

The Kona Electric rides gently over most roads, and its responsive steering and low center of gravity help give it a mild sportiness, though it lacks the agility of some rivals. Front-wheel drive comes standard. Unlike in the gas-powered Kona, all-wheel drive is not available.

Read more about performance »

Kona Electric Reliability

Is the Hyundai Kona Electric Reliable?

As of this writing, J.D. Power has not evaluated the predicted reliability of this SUV.

Hyundai Kona Electric Warranty

The electric Hyundai Kona is covered by a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Kona Electric Safety

Kona Electric Crash Test Results

As of this writing, neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested this SUV.

Kona Electric Safety Features

Standard safety features in this EV include a pre-collision warning and braking system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, a rearview camera, and a driver condition monitor. A few more driver aids are available, such as pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Hyundai Kona Electric Dimensions and Weight

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric measures about 13.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,715 to 3,836 pounds.

Where Is the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Built?

Hyundai builds the Kona Electric in South Korea.

Which Hyundai Kona Electric Model Is Right for Me?

Hyundai offers the Kona EV in three trim levels: SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. Each one has the same powertrain, so the features are what differentiates the three trims. The base SEL has a decent helping of tech and safety features, making it a good bet for many shoppers. However, no major options or packages are available throughout the lineup, so shoppers looking for more comfort, tech, or safety features will need to move to higher trims.

We review the gas-powered Hyundai Kona separately.

Hyundai Kona Electric SEL

The base Kona Electric SEL has an MSRP of $36,950. It comes with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD Radio, a six-speaker stereo, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, cloth seats, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and proximity keyless entry. Standard safety tech includes a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, and a driver attention monitor.

Hyundai Kona Electric Limited

With an MSRP of $41,400, the Limited trim adds leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, wireless device charging, automatic high beams, and a sunroof.  

Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate

The Ultimate trim (MSRP: $44,900) gains an 8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, a premium eight-speaker Infinity stereo, ventilated front seats, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and pedestrian detection.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is a good electric vehicle with a peppy motor, a gentle and composed ride, and an intuitive infotainment system. Its lengthy range also helps this subcompact crossover serve as a great commuting partner. However, plenty of hybrids in the class have nicer, roomier cabins and livelier driving dynamics.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "As you can tell, we’re greatly impressed by the Kona Electric—and not because it’s extraordinary, but rather because it isn’t extraordinary at all. Plenty of people buy electric cars to make some sort of a statement. If you want an electric car simply because you want an electric car, the Hyundai Kona Electric is a great way to fade into the background." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "It's fair to say that affordable electric vehicle segment has been evolving rapidly. Each successive car seems to have better performance, more practical packaging and, most critically, increased driving range. The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is the latest to join the fray, and it raises the bar on just about all of these qualities." -- Edmunds
  • "A sure thing, however, is that the GT and rival hatchbacks offer value against comparably equipped small SUVs that cost more to buy and drive. They can satisfy a lot of buyers' actual needs, while adding a healthy dollop of extra driving fun." -- Cars.com (2018)
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Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 2019 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

#6 in Hybrid and Electric SUVs

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