July 19, 2024
Hyundai Kona

2024 Hyundai Kona: A Sneak Peek into the Future of Electric Vehicles

Hyundai has recently unveiled the redesigned 2024 Kona, giving us a glimpse into the future of electric vehicles. Although the models available for test driving were gasoline-fed, it’s clear that the focus of this new platform is on electric propulsion. The Kona has been made larger to accommodate more rear-seat legroom and cargo space, making it a more EV-focused platform for electrification.

During the test drive, we experienced the gasoline-powered iterations of the Kona, equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 190 hp (140 kW). The early torque peak of 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) at just 1,700 rpm provides a smooth and responsive driving experience. However, the transmission occasionally struggles to keep up with sudden demands for power or downshifting, resulting in a slight delay in response.

The gasoline-only models are set to hit showrooms in November 2023, with both front-wheel and all-wheel drive options available. In addition to the 1.6-liter turbo engine, there will also be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder model with an Atkinson cycle using Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The 2.0-liter models are expected to have a highway fuel efficiency of around 31 mpg (7.6 l/100km), while the 1.6-liter turbo is rated at 28 mpg (8.4 l/100km) highway.

The main attraction, however, is the electric version of the 2024 Kona. It will come with a 150-kW output and a 64.8-kWh battery, offering an estimated range of 260 miles (418 km). A lower-cost option with a smaller motor and battery capacity will also be available, although the exact range has not been released. The EV models will support fast charging from DC chargers, as well as the ability to return power to the grid or home.

In terms of size and interior space, the new Kona has been slightly expanded. It is now 5.7 inches (14.5 cm) longer, about an inch (2.5 cm) wider, and slightly taller. Despite the increase in size, the Kona’s drag coefficient has been lowered to 0.27. This increase in size translates to more interior room, particularly noticeable in the backseat, where even taller passengers will find ample headroom and legroom. Cargo space has also been expanded to 25.5 cu ft (722 L), and the electric version will feature an additional cu ft (27 L) of storage in the front trunk.

The interior of the Kona has been revamped to incorporate the latest technologies. Higher-end models, including the electric version, come with 12.3-inch screens for both the driver and the infotainment system. The driver’s display includes a digital gauge cluster, while the infotainment system offers sharper and faster screens. During the test drive, there were some issues with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, but it’s likely due to the pre-production models rather than a flaw in the final product.

One notable change within the interior is the shift lever, which has been relocated from the center console to the steering column. While this decision frees up space for buttons, switches, wireless charging, and drink holders, it does take some time to get used to the new placement. However, like other unconventional shifting mechanisms found in various car brands, it is something that owners will adapt to over time.

Overall, the 2024 Hyundai Kona showcases the brand’s commitment to electric mobility. While we were unable to test the electric version, the improvements seen in the gasoline-only models are promising. The larger size, increased interior room, and technological enhancements make the Kona a compelling option in the compact SUV segment. We look forward to experiencing the electric version and believe it will be a worthy addition to the market.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it