The Hyundai Kona Electric receives few changes for the new model year.
Connectivity features include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Sirius XM.
Total system horsepower is over 200 while total range exceeds 250 miles.
The Hyundai Kona Electric remains my favorite all-electric vehicle. For the 2020 model year, Hyundai is kind enough to update it with new features. However, not much has changed from the original formula, and that’s fine by me. After all, why mess up a good thing? We featured the Kona Electric in our virtual showdown against the Tesla Model 3 a couple of months back, and it had a lot going for it despite the Tesla being more athletic, faster – and in the eyes of many – cooler than the humble Kona.
Hyundai Kona Electric: What’s New For 2020?
In order to keep the Kona EV fresh in the eyes and hearts of potential buyers, Hyundai is offering a larger infotainment and navigation screen. You now have 10.25-inches of real estate versus the outgoing model’s paltry eight-inch screen, but base models still get a standard seven-inch touchscreen. And that’s essentially it. No, I’m not kidding.
The only change in the interior is a larger floating display along with softer materials in the center console, particularly the HVAC control system. Despite these minor changes, you still get a bevy of standard tech features befitting of a modern electric car. This includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE connectivity, and SiriusXM.
You also get a seven-inch LCD gauge cluster, a power driver’s seat, proximity key, and heated leather seats. If you want to feel like you’re in a fighter jet, the available eight-inch heads-up display will fulfill your whims. Pressing a button on the steering wheel activates the display as it rises from the dashboard. Pressing the button again retracts the display into the dashboard for a cleaner look.
New Battery Warmer System
According to Hyundai, this system helps minimize battery-power losses during cold weather. Additionally, it helps cut charging times during the winter. This new feature is standard only on Limited and higher trims.
Power & Performance: Same Basic Formula For 2020
When we pitted the Hyundai Kona EV against the Tesla Model 3 for our virtual showdown, we liked how Hyundai is peddling its first all-electric crossover at a lower price point. The Kona is essentially a five-seat crossover, so it has a lot going for it considering American buyers have a penchant for higher-riding SUVs. In fact, the Kona Electric offers 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume – the same as the normal Kona.
We also like how Hyundai retained the same basic recipe for efficient propulsion. The Kona EV still receives a single 150 kW permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor. It produces 210 horsepower and 291 lb-ft. of torque, all of which are fed to the front wheels. This is enough for a zero to 60 mph time of 7.6 seconds.
Of course, those speed numbers are mincemeat compared to the Tesla Model 3. The Standard Range Plus has a single electric motor. But instead of driving the front wheels, the base Model 3 is rear-wheel drive. It scoots to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and achieves a range of 240 miles.
And this is where we separate apples from oranges.
What Is The Total Range of The 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric?
You see, the Tesla Model 3 is superior to all EVs in terms of performance; there’s no doubt about it. Yet, if you consider base prices, the Model 3 lags behind in overall range, which is something to consider if you’re spending close to $39,000 (before incentives) for a new electric vehicle.
The Hyundai Kona Electric may be down in power and agility, but it makes up for it in range. It still has a high-voltage, 64 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack. This is good enough for an estimated 258 miles of range.
Although the Model 3 comes with DC fast-charging and a standard 32-amp onboard charger, the Kona EV also comes with a Level-III quick charge port to replenish the batteries from zero to 80 percent at 100 kW. Moreover, the Kona also comes with a 7.2 kW Level-II charger, good enough to fully juice up the batteries in around nine hours.
Standard Remote Connectivity
Using the MYHyundai with Blue Link app, owners can access real-time data and monitor vehicle settings using a compatible smartphone or tablet. You can start the car, lock the doors, or search for directions remotely so everything is ready when you enter the Kona EV. The Blue Link app lets you manage the charging schedule, which is handy. For instance, you can program the app to only charge your Kona EV during off-peak hours. This unique feature also displays the current battery level, charging status, and offers vehicle diagnostics on your smartphone.
The 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric also comes standard with forward collision-avoidance assist. However, additional features like lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, and driver attention warning are optional. No, you don’t get Autopilot or any semblance of autonomous driving in the Kona EV. Then again, this also means fewer things are bound to go wrong in the long run.
2020 Hyundai Kona Electric: Pricing & Availability
Sadly, the Hyundai Kona EV might still not make it to most U.S. states. According to Hyundai, first deliveries are expected to start early next year in California and other ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market. And while Hyundai remains mum on pricing and other relevant info, we suspect the 2020 model to remain at under $30,000 after tax credits.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.