Hyundai Kona Electric - The best EV you can buy?

Hyundai Kona Electric - The best EV you can buy?

When you think of SUVs, the term 'tree-hugger' doesn't come to mind. These machines are usually associated with big, rugged, fuel-sipping cars that tend to be bothersome in cities. But the one we're about to highlight is quite different. It is compact, comes with an electric powertrain beneath the bonnet. And if you have access to electricity from a green source, Hyundai's Kona makes a lot of sense. Priced upwards of 30 lakh rupees, it is not cheap, but thank fully, Hyundai is assembling the battery pack of the car in India. The Kona comes with an electric motor producing 134bhp along with a 39.2 kWh battery.

EV power

We've got our hands on the Hyundai Kona Electric which comes with a bigger 64kWh battery and a more powerful 201bhp motor, producing 395Nm of torque. Range anxiety is usually common on an EV, but the moment we came to know the 490km range of the Hyundai Kona Electric, we were surprised. As we drive into the traffic, we find that the Hyundai Kona Electric ambles along nicely. In Eco mode, throttle responses are dull and driving it makes it an unpleasant experience. In Comfort mode, it's another story; it feels that bit better, but it is in Sport mode that you feel the urgency of the motor the moment you floor the throttle. There's even some wheelspin initially, and this happens at any given speed, even at around 120kph. It really does leave you wondering how prompt acceleration is; it simply darts ahead so quickly. It takes off from a standstill in no time; in fact, it's quicker than a lot of IC-engined cars. Power is delivered in a strong manner, but becomes a bit tedious to modulate seamlessly in Sport mode – and this mostly becomes apparent when you're given a set of corners to tackle. We didn't like the feel from the brakes and the steering felt too light. With the help of the paddle-shifters, you can adjust regen depending on your driving style. The ride isn't great because of its portly battery and stiff suspension. Every time we find a bad patch, the thuds filter through. The passengers tend to get a little unsettled in the cabin too.

It's an EV alright

Coming to the looks, we think Hyundai Cars have got it right with the design and the overall profile of the car. Alongside, it gets huge wheel arches, a nicely structured roof and a solid-looking bonnet up-front. The first thing about the Kona being an EV is its enclosed grille, and Hyundai Cars seem to have done a pretty good job on this front. The wheels too are a clear hint that this is an EV. Inside the Kona EV, everything feels premium and well built. The quality levels are very typically Hyundai and the seats are nice and comfortable. Space at the rear isn't impressive though.

The verdict

If you don't mind the compromise of a petrol engine's free-revving nature, its fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs, then an EV shouldn't be a bother to you, especially when you have something like the Kona to consider. There is the range that has to be thought about, but if you're driving around in the city, this shouldn't be an issue either. All we need are some proper fast-charging stations, and Kona buyers will be sorted. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.

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