The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric isn't Hyundai's first production EV, but it's the first with truly usable range at 258 miles. It even beats the benchmark Chevy Bolt EV in that regard. Add to that 201 horsepower, 290 pound-feet of torque, a popular crossover wrapper and seating position, and the little EV is seemingly poised for success. Of course, success is contingent on the Kona Electric being a good car to drive, so we brought one to the office and even tried it out in snow and bitter cold. Overall, the Kona left our spirits high. Read on. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Hyundai Kona is cute, efficient and a smart play for Hyundai, which is increasingly offering a wide range of electric choices for consumers. The plug-in has a better range than the Chevy Bolt, and the price is reasonable. The Kona is a little small for family use, but it's excellent as the second car or commuter. EVs are fun to drive, and this one served up a torquey yet still smooth experience. I really enjoyed running around town in this thing. Only complaint: the interior felt a bit cheap. This one was gray and the materials were plasticky, which isn't the right vibe. But overall, I'm impressed with the new wave of more accessible EVs with strong range, and Hyundai is at the forefront. Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I love this car. The gas-powered Kona didn't strike me as anything special: It looked cool, was easy to drive, and I recalled the back seat being a little small. The EV, though, is a car I won't soon forget. I put a lot of miles on the Kona EV over the weekend, driving from Birmingham, Mich., to Detroit, from Ann Arbor to East Lansing and back, and running a number of errands around town. With only the Level 1 mobile charger to refuel at home, I couldn't add a ton of miles to the car between drives. With temperatures in the teens and a heavy right foot, I can't tell you how much real-world range I got, because I never drove the car from 100 to zero percent battery. I'm sure it wasn't anything like its 258-mile rating, but it didn't matter. I had more than enough range at about a three-quarter charge to drive 65 miles to my grandma's and back. My first night in the car, I diced it up in Woodward traffic before setting a brisk pace on the highway to meet my wife and son in Detroit. I started with the car in Eco mode, which felt amply quick and responsive to accelerator input. I dialed in full regen with the left paddle on the back of the steering wheel. I only had to use the brake when coming to a complete stop. A little later I put it in Sport, turned down the regen feel, and took full advantage of the low-end torque and quick, linear acceleration. I was having some serious …
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|MPG||132 City / 108 Hwy|
|Power||201 @ 3600 rpm|
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