Hyundai Kona Electric 5DR S/R (Long Range) Review
Hawaiian Buzz

clifford chow
21 May 2019

...aggressive initial acceleration does bring forth an impression that you are accelerating much quicker...

As Hawaiian as a pizza with pineapple is… But anyway, the Hyundai Kona has largely disappeared from the showroom floor, leaving only the electric variant available for now. Perhaps it could be the best fit for those who would like a more attainable EV, and the added ride height for easier entry and exit.

The Kona Electric is easily distinguishable from its fossil fuel-burning counterparts, with its solid front grille which also houses the Type 2 charging point and its slab-sided 17” rims.

Our test car’s interior does little to hide the fact that this is no ordinary Kona, with its (very) light choice of interior colours.

The most prominent difference is with its centre console, which bridges over where it would normally be the gearshift lever, and just like in the EV version of the Ioniq, is replaced by button selectors. The space below now functions as a convenient storage, ideal for ladies handbags. Most of the EV Kona though, remains the same.

Its 7” supervision cluster has a simple, but functional layout, and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. While the interior does feel just a little cheap, it is better screwed together than say… a thai-built Toyota Corolla. But that is expected. After all, the Koreans have truly come a long way.

Interior passenger space is sufficient for 4.5 adults, and if it does matter, the EV Kona sits lower by 20mm than the regular car, which reduces roll around corners, and makes entry into the car that 2cm more difficult… A boon to front passengers are ventilated seats, which are one of the best things since sliced bread; given our weather.

Cargo room of 332 litres is respectable, and expands to a maximum of 1,114 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The Drive

Hyundai had opted to use a lithium-ion polymer battery pack, instead of a conventional nickel-metal hydride unit. The “Long Range” Kona test car has about twice the range of the Ioniq we tested a while back; translating to a “lab-resulted” range of 482km from a single charge. 

While such practical mileage is posted, In actual fact, you would need to drive the car below most posted highway speed limits to get close to those numbers.

Maximum power is rated at 201bhp, while 395Nm of torque from standstill delivers a firm shove to your back upon takeoff.

Its century sprint time of 7.6 seconds is quite deceiving to those new to EVs, since a more aggressive initial acceleration does bring forth an impression that you are accelerating much quicker.

Regenerative braking which is commonplace on an EV, forms part of the Kona’s powertrain “ecosystem”. Since the car does not have an engine, there no engine braking when you lift off the pedal, and on EVs, the system not only helps to recharge the battery, but also provides a good deal of assistance in slowing the car down. If you do get this right, you could almost drive with just the use of one pedal around the island.

The one feature which Hyundai got right from the start, is to have the regenerative braking adjusters right behind the steering wheel; just like shift pedals. Having them placed there is not only more intuitive than on some other EVs where you have to call up the adjustment panel from within the infotainment screen. In the case of the Kona, you can easily reduce the amount of resistance (also meaning that the system does not recharge the batteries when you lift off), making it much easier to bring the Kona to coast on long uninterrupted straights. There are three settings for regenerative braking, where the most aggressive works well in start-stop situations; and comes in handy during emergency braking.

As the Kona is taller than its Ioniq sibling, you can expect a little more roll around the bends. It may not be a driver’s car, but handling is generally good enough for most. With this amount of torque spinning the front wheels only, it can be quite a bit of fun on the wet. Cabin noise is limited to just some intrusion from bumps on the road, louder-than-average vehicles, the air gushing out of the air-conditioning vents and the faint hum of the electric motors doing their thing.

Safety nets includes six airbags, Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), which alerts you to… well cars in your blind spot; and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW), which gives you a 180 degree view behind the car, making it easier for you to back out from a nosed-in position.

Our Thoughts

The “Long Range” model costs a premium with today’s COEs. At approximately $180,000 for our test vehicle, its value proposition is all but lost. You can have quite the selection of SUVs with that kind of money… A decked-out Audi Q2 1.4 goes for around $170k.

There is the standard vehicle (not-so-long range), which retails for around $26k less, and makes more sense. Even with a maximum posted range of 312km, you would not find yourself easily out of juice in Singapore, unless you are a Private Hire driver.

Both models deliver the same 395Nm of torque, power is lesser for the “standard” car at 134bhp (versus 201bhp), and the century sprint is at a more leisurely 9.7 seconds.

Charging at home is done via a Schneider electric wallbox, which comes with your purchase. A full charge takes about nine-and-a-half hours, which is the approximate time you need to recharge yourself at night.

I could go full electric… or I could opt for the lesser decked-out 1.4 litre Audi Q2, for $20k less, and use the difference to fuel my drive. If you average that out at $100 per-tank, you would be able to top up at the pumps 200 times.

#Hyundai #EV #Kona #Electric #Cars #Autos #SG #Singapore #Roadtest #CarReview #Testdrive Hyundai Singapore

In Summary

We Like

Silent and brisk performance, good all-round visibility, well equipped

We Don't

Too expensive, competes with plenty of well-equipped conventional options in the market


A good attempt again by Hyundai. Unfortunately, local prices would easily put off the average car buyer to make that switch

Car Loan Calculator - Hyundai Kona Electric 5DR

SGD 185,999 (10 Sep 2020)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

Sell Fast With Ease - SwiftQuote

With SwiftQuote, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end


Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Justin had done a good job then introduce me to the dealer that settles everything fast and smooth for me. Recommended Swiftquote to my friend about the efficient service.

PANGYOEKLIM - 1 hour ago

The staff was very helpful, answering all my quarries and taking time to explain to me. Very happy with the service. I will definitely recommend you guys to my friends. Keep up the good work.

Thomas - 1 day ago

The staff was very helpful, answering all my quarries and taking time to explain to me. Very happy with the service. I will definitely recommend you guys to my friends. Keep up the good work.

Thomas - 4 days ago

Its a great experience using SwiftQuote. Really fast and effective. Once submitted, revert within a day with ready quote and even the link up process has been really smooth. What is even more amazing, its FREE!!! Thank you Team @SwiftQuote! Sold car in less than 5 days.

Oh Tze Beng - 5 days ago

SwiftQuote was professional and accommodating. Car dealers are also friendly and very efficient. I would definitely use SwiftQuote again.

Kelly Chou - 6 days ago

Really excellent coordination by Yap Ren Ai...professional, friendly and helpful. Great follow-up and follow-through. She contacted me on Sat afternoon and I sold my car by Monday afternoon. Fantastic.

Daniel Cheng - 1 week ago

Angie from SwiftQuote provided me with amazing customer service. Handled all my questions regarding the sale and even advised me on other matters. Super responsive! Props to Maurice from CarEmpire too.


SwiftQuote was swift in quoting a price for my car! It was the highest scrap value that I checked around. After bringing the car to the dealer, the whole process took less than 10mins. I was impressed! Thank you, SwiftQuote!

Siva - 1 week ago

I sold my car before through other website. The good thing is that SwiftQuote is FREE. I used to pay $100 for this service with that other site. Both are equally good, no hassle and fast. I got to sell my car at a very good price. I would recommend SwiftQuote to any private seller.

D Transporter+, dingarmando - 1 week ago

Good service and Ideal Mobile is professional and friendly.

Melvin - 1 week ago


Engine Type Inline 4
Power 201bhp
Torque 395Nm


Misc Technical Data

Drive Type FF
Steering Electric


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4180 x 1800 x 1555) mm
Wheelbase 2600 mm
Boot Capacity 361 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1143 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs