Hyundai’s compact Kona Electrical SUV — at the moment one of the crucial inexpensiveon the street — is getting larger, bolder and smarter with the debut of the second-generation mannequin this week. Flaunting an eye catching redesign that blends parts of the earlier technology with the loopy geometric fashion of the and devoted EVs, the brand new Kona Electrical guarantees vary and effectivity enhancements regardless of its bigger footprint.
The second-generation Kona is constructed on an enlarged and elongated model of the automaker’s B-segment platform — the identical because the— slightly than Hyundai’s devoted E-GMP electrical automobile platform. This enables the Korean automaker to proceed to supply , holding off on transitioning the Kona fully to electrical for at the least yet one more technology.
The brand new Kona EV is 5.5 inches longer (171.5 inches) than the earlier technology with a wheelbase that is stretched by 2.3 inches (104.7 inches). Inside, the Kona boasts a further 3 inches of second row legroom (36.4 inches) because of that longer wheelbase and contains a flat flooring for elevated middle-seat consolation. The expansion spurt takes the Kona Electrical from being one of many smallest fashions in its class to a scale that is extra aggressive with the169.5-inch general size and 105.3-inch wheelbase.
The SUV appears to be like dramatically wider than earlier than with chunky widebody fender flares however, at 71.9 inches, its footprint is simply 0.9 inches wider general. The extra girthiness is accentuated by the phantasm of flared fenders that’s created by undercuts within the physique that trick the attention. Up entrance, the trompe l’oeil is additional accented by a full-width Pixelated Seamless Horizontal Lamp, a single-piece lightbar that stretches all the width of the entrance finish. Hyundai’s head of design tells me that this was essentially the most troublesome factor of the brand new design to drag off. An identical visor-like mild bar highlights the rear finish as effectively. (In fact, the precise headlamps and rear indicators are tucked into bigger mild pods decrease on the bumpers.)
Between the axles, full-electric Kona will probably be supplied with two battery choices. The bigger 65.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack will almost certainly make its approach to North America, however Hyundai’s 304-mile WLTP-estimated vary will possible be adjusted as soon as put by our extra stringent EPA testing cycle. (For comparability, the present Kona EV is estimated at 258 miles with its 64 kWh unit.) This configuration powers a 160-kilowatt electrical motor (215 horsepower) driving the entrance wheels to the tune of 188 pound-feet of torque.
Constructed on a 400-volt electrical structure (slightly than E-GMP’s 800-volt system) means the brand new Kona Electrical will nonetheless be restricted to simply 100-kW DC quick charging. Hyundai says that is nonetheless loads of bandwidth to cost the pack from 10% to 80% in round 41 minutes with thermal preconditioning obtainable to assist preserve charging speeds in line throughout chilly winter days. The charging door continues to be positioned on the entrance bumper — one of the best location for handy public charger entry, in my view — and now options heating parts to stop freezing shut within the winter and built-in lights to assist in connecting at night time.
In European and Asian markets, the Kona may even be supplied with a smaller 48.4-kWh battery, a detuned 114.6-kW electrical motor and a 213-mile WLTP estimated vary. Nevertheless, given Hyundai’s observe file of solely bringing the massive battery for the earlier technology and its Ioniq fashions, it is a protected guess that we cannot see this “Customary Vary” mannequin stateside.
To assist drivers maximize vary, the second-generation Kona Electrical now options sensible Auto regeneration programming just like the Ioniq 5, which may mechanically modify the quantity of regenerative braking utilized when lifting the throttle primarily based on following distance, route data, battery cost state and extra. The paddle-selectable regeneration system additionally now provides drivers the choice to allow Hyundai’s i-Pedal one-pedal driving mode, which may carry the EV to an entire cease with out touching the friction brakes. The Kona additionally inherits the Ioniq household’s e-ASD energetic sound design for user-customizable fake engine noise within the cabin and is now suitable with the(V2L) performance. With the help of an adapter, V2L permits customers to plug in and energy small home equipment or gear with the EV’s battery when, for instance, tenting, working remotely or throughout emergency outages at residence.
Inside, drivers and passengers are treated to a more spacious cabin and a new dual 12.3-inch screen dashboard experience similar to the latest Hyundai and Ioniq-branded models. The new infotainment software is powered by the automaker’s Connected Car Navigation Software which is now over-the-air updatable. A 12-inch head-up display is also available. Wirelessand connectivity is standard, and via an NFC tap on the door handle also comes to the Kona for this generation with support for smartphones and smart watches.
Around the cabin, you’ll find new customizable multicolor ambient lighting, a new shift-by-wire lever on the steering column and new slim-design front seats with a deep recline Relaxation Mode that passengers can take advantage of when waiting for a charge to complete. The EV uses more eco-friendly and sustainable materials in its construction. What I didn’t see when poking around the cabin was the Hyundai “H” logo. Like the Ioniq 5, the steering wheel features simple four-dot iconography.
Hyundai’s SmartSense driver assistance tech also sees a generational upgrade. The Kona can now be had with Hyundai’s Remote Park Assist, which allows the driver to move the SUV straight forward or back into tight parking spots from outside of the vehicle. Highway Driving Assist 2 now integrates navigation-based Smart Cruise Control which can automatically adjust the highway cruising speed based on the distance to a vehicle ahead or to more safely negotiate bends in the road.
Hyundai hasn’t announced pricing for the new Kona Electric, but the automaker’s goal is for the compact EV to continue to be one of the most affordable options in its class. Plus, it has to remain less expensive than the slightly larger Ioniq 5. The current generation Kona Electric starts at just over $33,000 before any available incentives while the Ioniq 5 starts at around $42,000, so it’s a safe bet that the new Kona Electric sticks near the lower end of that window.
Expect more specific details and availability to be announced when the new Kona makes its North American debut at the 2023 New York Auto show in just a few weeks.