By Veeno Dewan
The Hyundai Kona has been Canada’s strongest-selling compact crossover since its introduction in 2018. A five-door, fuel-efficient, and tremendous value-for-money family transport for 2024, it arrives with a full redesign inside and out with advanced technology. The Kona arrives in a 4-cylinder gasoline model and the All-Electric version, the subject of this review.
The Kona Electric’s platform is new, but the electric motor carries over from the last-generation model. It still makes 201 hp, but torque is now 188 lb-ft – down from 290 lb-ft. The reason? Hyundai says there is a resulting smoother acceleration with better grip and handling. Front-wheel drive (FWD) only, as it is a single electric motor equipped. Also new is a larger battery size -increased from 64.0 kWh to 64.8 kWh, and an EV range increases from 415 km to 420.
Further good news is that on a Level 2 charger, the charging time to a topped-up battery drops to only three hours, down from six hours. There is now a heated front-mounted charging door for those freezing Canadian winters. To cope with sub-zero conditions, the battery also gets an improved pre-charging optimization for pre-conditioning heating and cooling systems. The 2024 Hyundai Kona has an NRCan efficiency rating of 16.3 kWh/100 km city, 20.3 kWh/100 km highway, and 18.1 kWh/100 km combined.
There are two models for sale in Canada. The entry 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric ‘Preferred’ at $46,399, plus $1,925 freight and PDI. This trim comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated steering wheel and front seating, and dual-zone automatic climate control. There is also a heat pump, navigation system, and adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function. Safety includes emergency front braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam control, and highway driving assist that provides steering assist around bends.
The top tier fully-load 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric ‘Ultimate’ starts from $51,199 plus $1,925 freight and PDI. This trim adds premium upholstery, wireless device charging, ventilated front seats, 360-degree camera views, power-adjustable driver’s seat, upgraded stereo, wireless smartphone charger, and head-up display. There is also a sunroof and digital key access via a paired smartphone or watch. Safety upgrades include surround-view cameras, camera-based blind-spot monitoring, and remote parking assist, which is also standard. This system enables owners to move the vehicle into or out of a parking space with the key fob while outside the vehicle.
Also added is an advanced update to the Hyundai Highway Driving Assist 2 system, which enhances the steady, hands-on, eyes-up ADAS to turn in and leave extra space if a vehicle is detected off to one side when driving.
The redesigned interior is discerning and functional and includes a multifunction display that incorporates two 12.3-inch screens, one for infotainment and the other for instrumentation. One good feature is that there are still tactile hard buttons or dials for much-used features such as climate control, heated and ventilated seats, and drive modes. The gear selector is now relocated to the steering column, leaving more storage space on the center console with swing-out cupholders and a removable storage divider. The front seats are comfortable, and rear-seat legroom is on par for the segment.
Interior storage is excellent, with plenty of cubbyholes and compartments. The rear cargo volume increases to 723 L with the rear seats in place and 1,803 L when they are folded; there’s a dual-height cargo floor and a detachable load cover with onboard storage—a small “frunk” storage compartment under the hood.
Kona Electric has fantastic highway manners in city traffic and urban areas. There is smooth acceleration, and despite a torque reduction, the Kona is powerful enough. Drivability and economy have been sacrificed for power, but it’s no slouch. The steering is responsive, corners well, and the ride is smooth and well-composed. There is no dual-motor rapid sport CUV, although this may change in the future. The key attributes are the comfortable, interior, and smooth-driving everyday livability. The 2024 Hyundai Kona remains an exquisite electric vehicle for family life and has boundless versatility. Highly recommended.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric is priced from $46,399 to $51,199.
More info at www.hyundai.ca