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$37,190 - 45,400 MSRP

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2020 Hyundai Kona EV Review

The 2020 Hyundai Kona EV has near-instantaneous acceleration, lots of standard features, and composed handling. However, its cramped cabin sinks it to the middle of our hybrid and electric SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard features
  • Composed ride
  • Quick acceleration
  • Extensive warranty
  • Cabin is less refined than rivals
  • Rear seats are not adult-friendly
  • Below-average cargo space for the class

New for 2020

  • Battery warmer in Limited and Ultimate trims
  • Larger navigation display

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 6.0
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.9 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 3.5 for reliability is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD

Is the Hyundai Kona EV a Good SUV?

The Kona Electric is a good vehicle in the hybrid and electric SUV class. It has an impressive 258-mile range and maintains a comfortable ride over most road surfaces. It also comes standard with a generous helping of safety technology, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a driver attention monitor. Some class rivals require you to opt for a package or higher trim levels to get these features. With its solid combination of quality and value, the Kona EV was a finalist for our 2020 Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money award.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Kona EV?

With a long range, lots of standard features, and ample power, the Kona EV is worth your consideration. However, there are several other options to consider, including the Kia Niro EV, Chevrolet Bolt, and Tesla Model 3. The Niro EV has a bit more passenger and cargo space, while the Bolt has livelier road manners than the Kona EV. The Model 3 has nicer cabin materials and up to 310 miles of electric range in its higher trim levels.

Compare the Kona EV, Niro EV, and Bolt »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Kona EV?

Hyundai launched the Kona EV for the 2019 model year. There are a few notable changes for 2020, including a battery warmer in Limited and Ultimate trims and a larger display for the available navigation system.

If you are willing to spend more for these enhancements, consider the 2020 Kona EV. If not, stick with the very similar 2019 Kona EV, which could potentially save you some money.

Be sure to read our 2019 Kona EV review to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2019 and 2020 Kona EV »

We Did the Research for You: 11 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 11 Hyundai Kona Electric reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This review uses applicable research and data from all Kona Electric models in the current generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Hyundai Kona EV Cost?

The 2020 Hyundai Kona EV has a base price of $37,190, making it one of the more expensive members of the hybrid and electric SUV class. Two higher trim levels retail for $41,800 and $45,400.

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 EV Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Kona EV or Kia Niro EV?

Both the Kia Niro EV and Kona EV remain composed around turns and deliver smooth rides. They also have similar driving ranges, but the Niro EV has a bit more space for passengers and cargo. Still, the Hyundai edges out the Kia. It has additional standard active safety features – like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert – and more-responsive steering. Both of these SUVs were finalists for our 2020 Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money award. 

Which Is Better: Hyundai Kona EV or Chevrolet Bolt?

Like the Kona EV, the Chevrolet Bolt boasts quick acceleration and great efficiency (118 MPG equivalent combined in the Bolt versus 120 MPGe in the Kona EV). However, there are a few differences worth noting. The Kona EV has an additional 20 miles of all-electric range and a roomier, more comfortable cabin. On the other hand, the Bolt delivers nimbler handling. The Kona Electric is ideal for shoppers who prioritize range and space over anything else. Those looking for a sportier EV will likely prefer the Bolt.

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

The Tesla Model 3 is a luxury electric car with up to 310 miles of driving range, which is 52 miles higher than the Kona EV's range. Tesla drivers can also take advantage of the brand's network of Supercharging stations. The Model 3's nimble handling makes it more enjoyable to drive than the Kona EV. An available Enhanced Autopilot system can control the car's brakes, throttle, and steering. There's even an available Full Self-Driving Capability package to get even more semiautonomous functionality.

Although the Tesla's minimalistic cabin is more upscale, the Kona EV's standard touch screen is much more user-friendly and comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration technology (unavailable in the Model 3). The Kona EV also features additional cargo room. Personal preference should guide your decision in this comparison.

Compare the Kona EV, Niro, and Bolt »

Kona EV Interior

How Many People Does the Kona EV Seat?

There's seating for up to five people in the Kona EV. The front seats are comfortable and fairly spacious, but the back row is cramped. Cloth upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat are available.

Kona EV and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the middle seat. The upper tethers are easy to find, but the lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats, and they difficult to maneuver around.

Kona EV Interior Quality

The Kona Electric features a well-constructed interior with attractive styling, but some class rivals have more upscale cabin materials.

Kona EV Cargo Space

The Kona EV has 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, and its maximum cargo capacity is 45.8 cubic feet with both rear seats folded down. The Kia Niro EV and Chevrolet Bolt offer more room for cargo.

Kona EV Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Hyundai's infotainment system features user-friendly touch-screen and physical controls. However, some reviewers think the graphics look dated. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and HD Radio. Navigation, a 10.25-inch touch screen, and an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system are optional.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Kona EV Performance

Kona EV Powertrain: Peppy

A 201-horsepower electric motor mated to a single-speed automatic transmission come standard in the Kona EV. This powertrain delivers quick acceleration from a standstill, belying this Hyundai's horsepower rating.

Kona EV Mileage: Nearly the Best

The Kona EV touts better mileage and a longer all-electric range than all of its non-Tesla EV competitors. It delivers 132 MPG equivalent in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway. In addition, it has an EPA-estimated range of 258 miles. For more information, read What Is MPGe? 

Kona EV Alternative Fuels and Charging: On Par With the Rest

It takes roughly 9.5 hours to charge the Kona's 64-kWh battery pack using a 240-volt outlet. With DC Fast Charging, you can recharge 80% of the battery pack in a little over 50 minutes. That's about how long it takes to charge the battery packs in the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

Kona EV Ride and Handling: Smooth and Stable

The Kona Electric delivers a compliant ride, and its poised handling makes it easy to maneuver, even on winding roads. It also comes with a smooth regenerative braking system that's operated using steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Front-wheel drive is standard.

Read more about performance »

Kona EV Reliability

Is the Hyundai Kona EV Reliable?

At the time of writing, J.D. Power has not issued a predicted reliability rating for the 2020 Kona EV.

Hyundai Kona EV Warranty

Hyundai covers the Kona Electric with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That's a long warranty compared to what you get with the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Hyundai Kona EV?

The cost of insuring a Hyundai Kona EV will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Kona EV Safety

Kona EV Crash Test Results

At the time of writing, neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the 2020 Kona EV.

Kona EV Safety Features

The Kona EV provides lots of standard safety technology, including a rearview camera, a driver attention monitor, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. Pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display are available.

Read more about safety »

Hyundai Kona EV Dimensions and Weight

The Kona EV is roughly 13.7 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,715 to 3,836 pounds.

Where Is the Hyundai Kona EV Built?

Hyundai builds the 2020 Kona EV in South Korea.

Which Hyundai Kona EV Model Is Right for Me?

The Kona EV comes in three trim levels: SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. All trims come with the same 201-horsepower electric motor and single-speed transmission. The base SEL has plenty of safety, comfort, and technology features that should satisfy most shoppers. If you’re looking for even more features, consider one of the higher trims.

We review the gas-only Hyundai Kona separately.

Hyundai Kona EV SEL

The base Kona Electric SEL retails for $37,190. It features cloth upholstery, heated front seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, a six-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also comes with a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a driver condition monitor, lane keep assist, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system.

Hyundai Kona EV Limited

The Limited trim starts at $41,800 and adds a sunroof, automatic high-beam headlights, wireless device charging, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Hyundai Kona EV Ultimate

The Ultimate trim (MSRP $45,400) is outfitted with ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, navigation, an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system, and a 10.25-inch touch screen.

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 2020 Hyundai Kona specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Hyundai Kona EV is a good hybrid and electric SUV with a smooth ride, loads of standard features, and a long driving range. However, some competitors have richer interiors with more room for passengers and cargo.

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

  • "If you are considering an electric vehicle, you might want to draw up a new shopping list. And you should probably pencil in the Hyundai Kona Electric on the first line." -- Car and Driver (2019)
  • "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 (2019)
  • "Up to this point, EVs have often felt like compromises—cars that you'd only buy if you cared about saving either money or the environment. The Kona Electric makes a strong case that a pure-electric crossover can be had without sacrificing drivability or utility." -- Autoblog (2019)
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