Friday, July 22, 2022



Hyundai introduced the gas-powered Kona for 2018 and quickly followed with an all-electric version of the subcompact SUV for the next year.

With a 201-horsepower electric motor replacing the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that serves as the base engine for gas-powered Konas, the 2022 Kona Electric offers up to 258 miles of all-electric driving range though at a significant increase in initial cost.

One of the more startling things about the spec sheet for the Limited version of the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric was a final MSRP of $43,940 which included the destination and delivery charge and the only option carpeted floor mats for $195.

That’s a jump of over $12,500 from the listed starting price for the 2022 Kona Limited with the 1.4L turbo-4 engine before potential tax credits for going all-electric are figured in. The base gas-powered Kona SE starts at just over $21,000.

To be fair, however, those prices are competitive with other electric SUVs without venturing into the luxury class, and the 2022 Hyundai Kona’s SEL trim starts at $35,245 when freight charges are added in, making it one of the least-expensive on the market.

The SEL trim has a pretty impressive list of standard features and adding  an optional Convenience Package for $3,500 gets it even closer to the Limited. Both trims come with front-wheel drive only, unlike gas models that have available all-wheel drive.

Safety items on the SEL include blind-spot warning and forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection along with lane-keeping and lane-following assist. Other standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic on/off headlights, remote keyless entry with push-button start, a 10.5-inch instrument cluster, single-zone temperature control, cloth seats, an 8-inch touchscreen audio display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The 2022 Hyundai Kona Limited gets all that plus LED headlights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, Smart Cruise Control, Harman Kardon Premium sound system, reverse parking distance warning, leather-trimmed seats in place of the cloth, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation, USB outlet in the second row and all the features in the SEL Convenience Package (sunroof, LED interior lights, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel).

That’s a lot of goodies for the 2022 Kona Electric in a very sporty package.

Speaking of sporty, I mentioned earlier the immediate throttle response that is typical of EVs. With 291 pound-feet of torque going to the front wheels, the Kona Electric zips from zero-to-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, though because of its small size (less than 166 inches long) it seems quicker. Handling and cornering is precise, and, with no engine noise, the ride is quiet.

Three driving modes — Comfort, Sport, and Eco — are available. Eco mode gives you one-pedal driving. One-pedal driving slows the vehicle as you ease off the accelerator, eventually comimg to a stop without you having to use the brake (if you time it right). One-pedal driving also gives the battery a power boost through regenerative braking.

It does take some getting used to. When you ease off the accelerator with a gas-engine car, you simply coast along. When driving in one-pedal mode, the car reacts as if you are putting pressure on the brakes without actually doing so. Eventually, you will come to a stop, though, obviously, it isn’t to be used for emergencies.
What I liked about the 2022 Kona Electric Limited: As typical of an EV, max torque is instantly available making the Kona Electric a fun vehicle to drive. At the top of the line in the portfolio, the Limited is well equipped and the infotainment system is very user friendly. At 258 miles, max range is very competitive.

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Kona Electric Limited:
This is the epitome of a subcompact SUV with a snug backseat and small cargo area. Some reviewers note a significant drop in range in colder weather, which, this being July in South Florida, I had no way to confirm. Range indicator as indicated in the instrument cluster fluctuated quite a bit, however. 

Would I buy the 2022 Kona Electric Limited? Probably not. In addition to a robust starting MSRP, you’re going to want to install at least a level 2 charger because using your basic home outlet takes significant time. The website estimates the total cost of an installation at $750 to $2,600, though some of that (as with the MSRP) is written off in a tax credit. 

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