Hyundai Kona Elektro (39.2 kWh) in the test: is less more?

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This electric SUV is a positive surprise … and sometimes extremely cheap to lease

Hyundai Kona Elektro (39.2 kWh) in the test: is less more?-less

We editors are only human. And so I occasionally catch myself rummaging through various leasing portals for the next company car. In commercial leasing in particular, the state premium for electric cars ensures almost ridiculous rates: the new Dacia Spring for 20 euros a month?

No problem? The Hyundai Kona Electric with a small battery for around 50 euros? You dear Lieschen.

At this point, at the latest, my interest was aroused. Because while the Dacia is badly lean, also in terms of driving and charging power, the electric Hyundai Kona scores even with a small 39.2 kWh battery (which is not that small) with a range of over 300 kilometers on paper. So send a message to the press department as to whether this variant is in the test vehicle fleet.

It was a surprise, because otherwise the Mercedes is usually the case-Slogan "The best or nothing". And so recently the "little" Kona stood in front of the door in the pretty free color "Dive in Jeju" (a kind of strong baby blue).

What is that?

Let us first turn to the theory: The Hyundai Kona has also been available with an electric drive since 2018. A facelift followed in September 2020, which made the Strom Kona a little smoother. Since then there have been digital instruments inside.

The hallmark of the facelift is the redesigned front section with a closed radiator grille and the integrated charging device. New LED daytime running lights and also new LED headlights with MFR technology (Multifaceted Reflector) are added. Vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch linings improve aerodynamics and reduce turbulence in the front wheel arch area.

Horizontal, satined accent strips visually enhance another functional air inlet in the lower bumper. Hyundai is offering 16 exterior colors for the revised Kona Elektro, including eight new ones. Depending on the equipment line and exterior color, you can also order a black or white roof.

The most important point: The Kona Elektro is available with two battery sizes: 39.2 kWh net like our candidate, plus 100 kW (136 hp) output or 64 kWh net and 150 kW (204 hp). The maximum torque of 395 Nm is the same for both models.

There are differences in performance, of course the large version is faster, but the 155 km / h top speed and 9.9 seconds to 100 km / h of the small version are absolutely fine. And finally the ranges: 305 kilometers versus 484 kilometers, both determined according to the WLTP.

Undoubtedly a big difference, but on the 64 Kona you also carry 150 kilograms more weight with you. And let's be honest: How far do you drive every day? Mostly it's not more than 50 kilometers, often even less. The small battery is enough, right??

What can he do?

First of all, I take a look at and inside the Kona: Well, you have to like its design. It's not as balanced as the new Hyundai Ioniq 5. But a good 16 centimeters of ground clearance is nice, the battery peeps out a bit when you look closely. You can tell that the Kona is also available as a combustion engine and that it is not on a specific e-platform. Incidentally, the Strom-Kona is being built in the Czech Republic.

I really like the charging port on the front ("nose loader"). In my opinion, this makes it easier to access charging stations, but sometimes the plug has to be held a little longer before the Kona connects.

4.20 meters in length are a practical format in everyday life, although the amount of space, especially in the rear, is not gigantic, as is the 332 to 1,114 liter trunk. No question about it: there are better electric cars for families, but the space is absolutely fine for one or two people.

Hyundai Kona Elektro (39.2 kWh) in the test: is less more?-hyundai

The inside is pleasantly functional. No minimalist control desert like with the ID. Models from VW, all functions can be seen quickly and are usually located behind a real button. Speaking of buttons: As with the Nexo the silver-colored buttons for selecting the speed level can be confused with one another. But otherwise, the Kona Elektro: sit down, feel good, drive off.

How does he drive?

Even the little Strom-Kona gets down to business quickly, especially in the city. I really like the recuperation that can be set using the paddle behind the steering wheel. The spectrum ranges from "not at all" to one-pedal driving. Not everyone likes such a significant slowdown, the better the options. Depending on the selected driving mode (Eco, Normal, Sport) you can set your desired degree of recuperation there.

So far so good. What about the consumption? We mostly moved in normal mode, with the automatic climate control switched on (the "Driver Only" function is very good here) plus the radio. So everyday.

Hyundai states 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, we came to 14.4. Precision landing! And the range? Fully charged, it was 273 kilometers in eco mode, 267 normal and 263 in sport. The whole thing at 24 degrees outside temperature. A heat pump costs a whopping 3,300 euros for the small Hyundai Kona Elektro as part of the trend package. But this also includes LED lights, front seat heating and various assistance systems.

It can be charged with up to 50 kilowatts, sometimes the CCS plug has to be briefly held before the Kona connects, locks the plug and starts. Other Kona users and testers have also observed this phenomenon.

According to the technical data, charging with up to 100 kW is also possible, but in our case the Kona would not accept the HPC connector. Not so wild, because it doesn't help either: 48 minutes from 10 to 80 percent with 50 kW, says Hyundai. It would be 47 minutes with at least 100 kW. One can only speak of "fast charging" with the large Kona Elektro, which saves a good 20 minutes. In any case, the new Fiat 500 Elektro charges much faster despite only 42 kWh gross.

The rivals of the Hyundai Kona Electric: Hyundai Kona Elektro (39.2 kWh) in the test: is less more?-hyundai VW ID.3 (2021) now also as "Pure" with a small battery

Hyundai Kona Elektro (39.2 kWh) in the test: is less more?-hyundai Nissan Leaf: Analysis of the charging curve during fast charging

Three-phase charging with 11 kW costs 500 euros extra for the small Kona battery. With 7.2 kW OBC, it takes five hours from 10 to 100 percent. The very brave can charge for 13.4 hours from the 230 volt socket.

What does it cost?

Let's get to the price. Respectively the cash price before all premiums and leasing bargains, which serves more to classify in the competitive environment. The basic price with already very good standard equipment is 35,650 euros. The Select package with (among other things) parking aid at the rear and seat heating at the front for 600 euros is recommended, for another 2,700 euros there is the already mentioned trend package. Navigation: plus 1,400 euros, the assistance package a further 800 euros.

Fully equipped, the Hyundai Kona Elektro costs just over 41,000 euros. With this, he is advancing into the region of the completely new Ioniq 5. Its basic model offers a 58 kWh battery, a range of 400 kilometers and charges with up to 180 kW! Price: from 41,900 euros.

Conclusion:

Not the best electric car of all, but the smartest: The "small" Hyundai Kona Elektro with 39.2 kWh battery is a pleasantly normal electric car. Nice to use, loading flap in the front and plenty of room for four. In addition, it is of higher quality inside than a VW ID.3, but with a 5 year guarantee. If you only cover moderate distances, you should take a closer look at this Kona, especially since the consumption is low.

Certainly the Kona Elektro already feels the hot breath of the new (and larger) Ioniq 5. But as long as the leasing rates for the small power Kona are so low, you won't get a full-fledged electric car for less money anywhere else. And even the large version with a range of up to 484 kilometers does not cost huge amounts of money when leasing.

Hyundai Kona Electric (39.2 kWh)

power 100 kW (136 hp)

Max. Torque 395 Nm

drive Front wheel drive

battery 39.2 kWh (net)

Acceleration 0-100 km / h 9.9 sec.

Top speed 155 km / h

length 4,205 mm

broad 1,800 mm

height 1,570 mm

Ground clearance 158 mm

Trunk volume 332 – 1,114 liters

Empty weight 1,610 – 1,688 kg

Payload 352 – 410 kg

Electric range 305 km (WLTP)

consumption 14.3 kWh / 100 km (WLTP)

Charging time 13.4 h (230 V) / 5 h (7.2 kW OBC) / 3.5 h (11 kW OBC; all 10 to 100 percent each), 48 min. (50 kW CCS)

Base price 35,650 euros (before premiums)

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