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2021 Hyundai Kona EV Performance


MSRP
$37,190
U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Hyundai Kona EV Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.5

The 2021 Hyundai Kona EV has a longer driving range than most of its non-Tesla rivals. In addition, it has a powerful electric motor, composed handling, and a smooth ride.

  • "The 2021 Kona Electric delivers wonderful acceleration, while its battery pack lowers the center of gravity compared with the regular model. This makes the vehicle feel even more stable. The regenerative braking system can be adjusted and, at its most aggressive, it can get close to one-pedal driving." -- Autotrader
  • "As for stopping, the driver-adjustable regen-braking system can be set to different levels. At its max, it can nearly enable one-pedal driving. Compared to the standard model, the electric Kona can feel a bit choppier due to its large battery. Conversely, it feels more planted and is near silent in operation." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)
  • "Of course, solid figures on paper are nothing to get excited about if driving the Kona Electric is a bore. Fortunately, that's not the case." -- CNET (2019)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Powertrain: 150-kW electric motor with 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: single-speed

The electric motor supplies instant torque, which in turn helps the Kona EV accelerate swiftly from a stop. You’ll have plenty of power, whether cruising around town or zipping down the freeway. The whole setup is quiet too.

  • "Like other electric vehicles (EVs), acceleration comes on like flipping a light switch, accompanied by an eerie almost-silence (no engine or exhaust noise)." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Above all, the car is calm and quiet thanks to the lack of any internal-combustion noises." -- CNET (2019)
  • "Power is plentiful, and the 201-hp, 291-lb-ft Kona Electric feels sprightlier than its gasoline sibling, with a healthy supply of low-end urge that makes the gasser’s minor case of turbo lag look like an epidemic." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)

MPGe Estimates

The Hyundai Kona EV has 258 miles of range. Although the EPA hasn’t evaluated the 2021 model as of this writing, it gave the similar 2020 model ratings of 132 MPG-equivalent in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway. That’s excellent among hybrid and electric SUVs.

Alternative Fuels and Charging

You can recharge this Hyundai’s battery pack in around 9.5 hours using a 240-volt charger. With DC Fast Charging, you can shorten that time to as little as 54 minutes for an 80% charge.

Handling and Braking

The Kona Electric has a gentle ride and composed handling. Its small stature also helps make it easy to maneuver. It has a smooth regenerative braking system with three levels. In the lowest setting, the brakes feel like they would in any other vehicle, and the highest setting nearly enables one-pedal driving by slowing the SUV when you lift off the accelerator. You’ll still need to step on the brake to bring the Kona to a complete stop, though.

  • "The 2021 Kona Electric SUV can feel a bit choppier than its regular counterpart, due to the weight of its battery pack. Yet it feels more planted, because of the lower center of gravity." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "And while driving excitement is not exactly a cornerstone of the Kona, the electric version’s lower center of gravity keeps it nicely balanced and stable in corners, at least until the low-rolling-resistance tires begin to give up their grip. The ride is comfortable, steady, and relatively quiet, and the overall driving experience [is] pleasant." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
  • "I left the brakes alone as much as I could, using the third level of regen to slow me down, but when I did press them it had none of the springy feeling that some systems do." -- Autoweek (2019)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Hyundai Kona EV

MSRP: $37,190 - $45,400

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