2019 Hyundai Kona EV Ultimate: Long on Range, Short on Anxiety

Published: Monday, August 5, 2019 | 9:48 PM

2019hyundaikonaev475Range anxiety, it’s real and not pleasant. Adding up the miles to your destination and back, hoping that the nearby charging station is open or that there is an outlet you can plug into. It’s what has kept me from driving EVs. But with the new generation of longer range vehicles, I find that range anxiety is a thing of the past. The all-new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV is a case in point, with a hefty range of 258 miles on a full charge, I didn’t think twice about driving the 60 mile round trip drive to my mom’s house. No problemo.

The beauty of electric vehicles, I find, are that they are so quiet and smooth. There’s no engine noise in the cabin and acceleration is a smooth glide. The regenerative breaking is not too grabby as some can be and it really helps to extend those 258 miles when driving in the city.

The Kona Electric comes in three trim levels: SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. This review will focus on the Ultimate trim.

2019hyundaikonaevintThe amply appointed Ultimate trim comes with extras like automatic wipers, parking sensors, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, head-up display, 8-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation, and eight-speaker Infinity sound system.

The 64-kWh battery pack powers the 150-kW electric motor that is capable of delivering 201 horses and 290 pound-feet of torque. All models come equipped with a DC fast-charging port, which can charge the car to 80% in about 50 minutes. Of note is the fact that Hyundai has changed from the Japanese vehicle manufacture’s CHAdeMO adapters to the European and American favored SAE Combo CCS. This means there is one less door for charging as the SAE Combo requires only the one port.

As an SUV crossover, the Kona EV has plenty of leg and headroom in the front seats. There won’t be any elbow smacking or knee banging in the front cabin. In the back passengers will feel a bit cramped if the front seats are racked back.

The infotainment interface is easy to use and Bluetooth pairing is a snap. The voice activated systems just get easier and easier to use and the Kona EV is no exeption.

This is no pokey car, it accelerates smoothly and quickly and has no trouble going uphill. There is a slight noise at lower speeds and that’s to alert pedestrians, you can hear it in the cabin but it goes away at higher speeds. Steering is precise and the car seems to glide around curves.

If you’ve been putting off exploring an EV, then make sure the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV Ultimate is on your list.