Kona EV is a relatively unsung mass-market electric SUV compared to the Tesla Model Y and Mustang Mach-E, but now it’s been redesigned from the ground up as primarily an EV. It carries a 65.4 kWh battery that enables about 304 miles (490 km) of range on a full charge based on European WLTP estimates.
The previous 2023 model Kona had a similarly sized 64 kWh battery (long range) with a European WLTP range of 301 miles (484 km). The US Environmental Protection Agency’s range estimates are generally more conservative than the WLTP; the agency rated the 2023 Kona EV’s range at 258 miles on a single charge, for example. In an email to The Verge, Hyundai’s senior manager for product and advanced powertrain PR, Derek Joyce, wrote that the US range has not yet been finalized but will be revealed at this year’s New York auto show, which is in April.
Hyundai announced the new second-generation Kona model during its digital world premiere event yesterday and oddly referred to the compact SUV as a “multiplayer” vehicle. When asked, Joyce told The Verge the company is using the term to describe “exceptional versatility,” which “helps a wide variety of people to live out their lifestyle needs with freedom, versatility and capability.” Why not.
The versatility, of course, points to its various powertrain options that include plug-in hybrid and gas models, plus sporty N-line versions of each. Hyundai Motor Company president and CEO Jaehoon Chang said in a press release that the Kona EV will “play a major role” alongside the automaker’s dedicated Ioniq EV models. The all-electric Kona runs on a 400V platform that doesn’t match the company’s 800V E-GMP platform on the Ioniq 5 and 6, as well as Kia’s EV6 and upcoming EV9 vehicles.
Hyundai says it’s increased the overall size of the 2024 Kona compared to, specifically, the 2017 version. The overall length of the new EV is now 175mm longer at 4,355mm, while the wheelbase is now 60mm longer at 2,660mm. It’s also 25mm wider at 1,825mm and 20mm taller at 1,575mm. In addition, the vehicle has a drag coefficient of 0.27. The front trunk, however, is abysmally small at 0.95 cu-ft compared to the Model Y’s 4.1 cu-ft frunk.
The 2024 Kona EV comes with more tech-oriented features, like the one-pedal “I-Pedal” driving mode, and both exterior and interior Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) outlets that let you use AC-powered household appliances using the car as a battery bank. The new Kona vehicles also have two 12.3-inch panoramic instrument and infotainment screens, digital keys, and support over-the-air (OTA) software updates.
Kona EV could be a serious contender for those looking for their first EV
Hyundai is also including an advanced driver-assistant system (ADAS) that can help with lane-keeping and traffic-aware cruise control, plus blind spot monitoring. There are also new and fun pixelated light bars on the front and back of the vehicle.
As an EV, the Kona could potentially be very attractive if the price is right — the current model starts at a reasonable $33,550 in the US. And assuming it’ll have a range greater than 258 miles in the US, the 2024 Kona could be a serious contender for those looking to jump into their first EV.