While the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 have generated great buzz for Hyundai, not everyone can afford to drop some $50,000 or more on an electric car, nor does everyone need vehicles that large. The current Kona Electric is an excellent efficient, practical entry-level EV to buy, so the next-generation model has a lot to live up to. With that in mind, Hyundai has revealed more details on the new 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric, so here’s a closer look at this stylish new small EV.
So why is Hyundai talking about the Kona Electric before the gas-powered model? Well, a few reasons. Firstly, combustion powertrains may vary by market. The current Kona has offered 10 different ICE powertrain options across all markets, and this is a global reveal so we’ll likely see U.S. ICE specs later.
Secondly, Hyundai designed the new Kona as an electric vehicle first and is keen to show off that strategy. With that in mind, let’s get into the powertrain details.
While base-spec global-market electric Konas get a 48.4 kWh battery pack, uplevel models get a 65.4 kWh battery pack, which is most likely the one we’ll see in America. Given a WLTP range estimate of at least 490 km on the bigger pack, expect range similar to the current car’s 258 miles on the EPA cycle.
Keep in mind, the Kona Electric still uses a 400-volt architecture, so peak charging speeds won’t be comparable to what you’d see in an Ioniq 5. Mind you, performance will likely be a bit of a downgrade. While 215 horsepower is a five-horsepower bump over the current model, 188 lb.-ft. of torque means that the new model loses 102 lb.-ft. of torque and that’s not a typo. Granted, the current model absolutely tortures its front tires upon even moderate acceleration from a stop, so maybe a reduction in torque is a good thing.
Arguably the news with the biggest enthusiast appeal other than the updated powertrain is that Hyundai’s found space for a frunk in the new Kona Electric. It’s not a huge one at 0.953 cu.-ft. (27 liters), but there’s a chance it would work for charging cable storage. If that doesn’t do the trick for you, 25.5 cu.-ft. (723 liters) of cargo space in the hatch ought to be pleasantly practical.
It’s a similar deal with the rear seat which has been reshaped to more comfortably fit three across, and the new open center console. Hyundai’s even stretched length by 6.7 inches, flatted the rear floor, and slimmed down the front seats for increased rear passenger room. The new Kona Electric seems to have an increased focus on practicality, exactly what crossover shoppers are looking for.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean that all the money went into function with none left over for form. The new Kona Electric looks fabulous with a full-length daytime running light reminiscent of Geordi La Forge’s visor and seriously chunky arches. In case the sharp form of the standard car isn’t aggro enough for you, Hyundai will also offer the Kona Electric in an N-Line model with more faux grilles and spoilers than your average Max Power car. It’s an acquired taste but some people will like it very much. I’ve previously written a deeper dive into the new Kona’s design and it’s safe to say that this little crossover really whips the llama’s ass in the visual department. It’s yet more proof that cheaper cars don’t need to be dull.
As fabulous as the sheetmetal looks, I’m a bit more interested in the interior of the Kona Electric. By keeping physical audio and climate controls high and tight on the dashboard, Hyundai has carved out a huge amount of space for storage while still incorporating nice controls. The steering wheel looks particularly lovely, and I’m thrilled to see a litany of physical buttons and knobs for everything from radio tuning to activating the heated steering wheel.
Brushed metallic trim makes a welcome appearance, piano black is essentially banished, and the column-mounted shifter is really smart. Add in a litany of power options from rear seat USB-C ports to vehicle-to-load capability and you have a functional, fashionable cabin that looks sensibly laid out. Good job, Hyundai.
As with any new car, the Kona Electric comes packed with more gadgets than a teenager’s gaming rig. You can use your phone as a key, activate Level 2 driver assistance, keep things fresh with over-the-air updates, and see your gauges and infotainment through two 12.3-inch screens. However, I think the most contentious gizmo will be what Hyundai calls e-Active Sound Design, or fake propulsion noises. These aren’t the federally-mandated low-speed pedestrian awareness noises, but rather in-cabin sounds piped in through speakers. Fingers crossed we’re able to turn it off.
While details on dino-powered variants are sparse, the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric looks like a fashionable, sensible gateway drug to electric driving. Expect a lot more details including EPA range and price to surface later in the year given that the Kona Electric is expected to roll onto dealer lots in the third quarter of 2023.
(Photo credits: Hyundai)
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Unless they’ve priced this to compete with the Bolt, I don’t see it.
I’m just happy it has a rear windshield wiper. I’m driving a sedan with no rear wiper and while rain isn’t a problem, dust and road grime build up fast and it’s so irritating having to stop to scrub all that off.
Sorry, responded to the wrong post.
I don’t think anyone can compete with the Bolt on price at this point. It’s effectively sub-$20k and costs less to run than a Prius. The Kona will have faster charging, so in theory it at least has something to justify its $30-40k price bracket.
Isn’t it just 75kw for the Kona though? If it was 150kw+…I could see it.
Not sure if they improved that from the prior gen version though.
The 2023 Kona is 47 minutes 10-80%, and down to 41 for the 2024 model. That isn’t much, but it’s faster than the Bolt, which is around 70-80 minutes depending on the alignment of the stars.
The Kona EV has been an excellent EV for years. I have a 2022 and its a fantastic vehicle — for its EVness, and its Kona-ness — Great size, good range (65kw batt), good features, great value in EVs. This freshened version just dials it up a little bit more.
No hybrid for the US, no AWD? Just not ready for the full EV experience, so I Kona bring myself to like this car.
First, kudos on the pun!
Second, per the article, the only propulsion specs that have been released are the EV specs. No determination on any other US-spec powertrains has been released. I’d bet we see both “regular” hybrid as well as plug-in, just like the last generation. The Kona isn’t an Ioniq.
I hope they bring a PHEV to this lineup myself!
The Kona hasn’t had hybrids yet. It is currently available as a 4 cylinder, a turbo 4, or an EV. Which seems weird with the Niro being hybrid, PHEV, or EV.
I got this from a C/D review released yesterday.
“As before, both gas and electric Kona versions will be offered. Other parts of the world will also get a hybrid, but we’re told that there is no chance of that version making it to the United States.”
Are they right? Guess it depends on with whom they were talking.
How come manufacturers always leave the most important stats—range and price, in this case—out of their new car reveals? Without those two things I really just don’t give a shit because, the car could me made of solid gold blowjobs and it wouldn’t fucking matter if the range is too low or the price is too high. It’s one thing if it’s some ultra-limited-edition hypercar where every single one is spoken for months un advance of the public reveal, but this is the very definition of a mass-market vehicle. I might even be interested in replacing my partner’s Prius with one of these, but until I know the range and the price, I just don’t care.
Automakers, or at least their marketing people, vastly overestimate how much the general public cares about things like Hyundai Kona Electric™ as an abstract concept. It’s a product, not an Immersive Brand Experience. Reveals like this always just leave me feeling vaguely pissed-off, like I’ve been duped.
Range is dependent on testing and official paperwork to be filed with government entities, and that process may or may not be complete at the time of publication.
Pricing also may or may not have been fully established at the time of publication.
But! here are some pictures to whet your appetite and make sure you’re disappointed when the final figures are fully approved and made public!
Yeah exactly. When they don’t publish that stuff, I assume I’m just being set up for disappointment.
No pricing mentioned on this new Kona? why start with the 50K comment?
2023 model is $35K for the base and $43K for the top trim
I think the interior is the biggest story here. As someone who owns a Kona N and has driven a limited trim of the current generation, let me be the first to tell you that the interior sucks. There’s just no way around it. It’s a sea of monochromatic black, cheap plastic, etc. Obviously the Kona is an economy car at its core and there isn’t really a way around it, but what we’re seeing here is a MASSIVE upgrade and I hope it trickles down through the whole lineup.
The exterior looks nice as well. The current Kona is polarizing…people either love it or hate it and there’s very little in between. I obviously love it for its weirdness but plenty of people have told me they think my car is hideous. That being said I always point out that it was designed by a former member of Lamborghinis design team. That’s right. Anyway, this is a lot more modern and, shall we say, universally appealing. It’s also modern without looking ridiculous and/or over the top.
Apparently the ICE powertrains will likely remain the same, with the wheezy base NA 4 and 1.6 liter turbo returning. If anything it’s a bit of a downgrade considering how much the car has grown. The Kona has always had the “it’s fun to drive for what it is” X factor going for it and for better or worse (probably better for the NPCs who buy these but worse for us) they seem to be moving away from that in favor of trying to make it a better all arounder and an EV first, ICE vehicle second.
The N forums are currently littered with rumors that the Kona N is dead. I wouldn’t go THAT far, but I’d bet a chunk of change that it’ll come back as an EV with a detuned version of the Ioniq 5’s dual motor/AWD powertrain. So it’ll gain all wheel drive, which everyone wants, but lose what’s arguably the most characterful turbo 4 on the market. Again, it’ll appeal to normies.
Which makes sense. The current Kona N isn’t selling at all…I think largely due to the fact that enthusiasts just go for the Elantra N and the fact that it’s way, way, wayyyyy too rough around the edges to sway normies like Biermann et al intended it to. Every one that’s listed within 100 miles of me currently has money on the hood and 2022s have already nosedived into the 20s value wise. It wouldn’t surprise me if they killed it altogether, but like I said…I think they’ll give it another go as an EV that’s more livable.
Agree 100%. Renting a 2022 Kona EV for a week sold me on the idea of going all-in on EVs. Everything was so well executed – it was really impressive. And I have to say that their driver assist features worked better than any other EV I’ve driven (including a Tesla Model S and the Polestar 2 I currently am leasing). But I live in Colorado and I really want to have AWD for my main vehicle. Otherwise, I would have definitely leased or bought a Kona EV. Hyundai is really killing it when it comes to EVs.
I like this car but don’t see how this is a better deal than a Bolt that is eligible for at least 3750 tax credit. Your probably not road tripping with either of them. So for a local car I’ll choose cheaper and similar range and get the bolt. If you want an ev and need to toad trip with it the model 3 with the supercharger network is probably the way to go.
If these are close enough in price, even with the Kona being a few $ more, the interior is more than enough to be a selling point based on the pictures. I would say the Kona has the better looking exterior but neither one looks all that good to me.
Euv premier without super cruise and sunroof is 32k. The priemire is pretty loaded up. 25k if eligible for full 7500 credit. Euv base is 28k. 21.5 with full credit. 35k base and 43 loaded for this. No credit eligible. That’s a huge difference for a commuter car if you can take advantage of the credit.
Wow, I detest the location of the charge port on this thing. It’s an immediate disqualifier for anyone who might charge in a parallel parking space (as I do) – the first person who backs their dumb SUV into it destroys your EVSE and probably the port too.
Looks high enough that this won’t be an issue, unless you live in an area with a ton of lifted trucks.
The Kona isn’t very big, so that is lower than it might look. Also, aren’t there a ton of lifted trucks everywhere these days?
Maybe I’m getting old, but I detest the direction car interiors are going. The giant screen is hideous and unhooded, which means it is going to glare like crazy.
Mind you, I don’t hate screens inherently. I really like what Mercedes did with the EQS screens. The instrument cluster is hooded so you can actually see it when the sun is out, and it doesn’t look like they just slapped a giant tablet on the dash. I only wish it had physical climate controls instead of the dedicated screen space for them.
Sadly, I am unlikely to ever spend that amount of money on a car so it doesn’t help me much. Also, from the pictures I’ve seen I think they’re screwing it up in the refresh, but maybe I’m wrong about that.
Those lights look cool, but my god they’re going to get destroyed. Why, Hyundai, must you keep putting light units in the bumper? Especially indicators in the rear bumper? It’s just fucking moronic.
I’m not convinced that the “origami look” exterior will age well. The last photo (rear 3/4 view) has a PT Cruiser vibe that’s just not attractive (to me, anyway). And the “taillights in the bumper as low as possible” affectation needs to die quickly.
The interior is an improvement, but would it kill interior designers to think of ways to improve visual or touch discrimination of controls? I count at least 16 pushbuttons that are essentially the same size and shape.
Really liking this! I’m not a Crossover guy, but if there is an EV I would buy, it would be this one….still likely way too expensive for my meager budget though….but HOLY SHIT PHYSICAL INTERIOR CONTROLS, THANK THE LORD. That alone makes me really interested….tired of ‘touchscreen everything’ on most modern cars these days. Physical controls are so much more effective and safer to use!
What in the flap is going on with those tail lights? It looks like an elephant sat on a PT Cruiser.
what has been seen can never be unseen.
“… whips the llama’s ass…”
Wow a WinAmp deep cut!
I bow to your techno-archaeological excellence.
Yeah, that reference is JUST old enough that i wasn’t sure i was right about it.
Thank you for making me feel better about my squee.
Dig the Winamp reference.
Thomas is the king of obscure tech, music, and malaise-era auto references.