2022 Hyundai Kona Electric Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The market for electric cars is expanding, and at the forefront of affordably priced EVs is the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric. The Kona Electric has an impressive driving range of 258 electric miles, which places it toward the front of the segment. If you've ever been inside the gas-powered Kona, you will find a lot of similarities. However, the Kona Electric seems to have even more quality in its materials and design.
The Kona Electric has snappy acceleration and spunky handling capabilities that make it fun to drive. And, truth be told, a lot of EVs just aren't this exciting. With a cabin that is both quiet and comfortable, it is even more enjoyable than you might think. And that's not to mention its abundance of standard safety features that tend to function pretty effectively.
On the downside, the Kona Electric is only available in a handful of states. You also have to cope with a limited amount of leg room in the back seats. Taller individuals might struggle to find room for their legs, and this can be a little restricting when you are trying to put bulky rear-facing car seats in the back.
Could the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric be the right EV for you? Let's go over what is new, what there is to like about this vehicle, what holds it back, and how it compares to other extra-small crossover EVs. Then, you can decide whether or not the Kona Electric is something you want to test drive.
What's New for 2022?
For 2022, the Hyundai Kona Electric receives more convenience, technology, and safety features. Also, the vehicle gets a restyled exterior design for a more contemporary vibe.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric – The Pros
1. 258 Miles of Electric Driving Range
258 electric miles of driving range is a competitive number for an EV in this segment. The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric might even do better than this, as real-world tests have gotten the vehicle up to 315 miles of electric range, which bests the Kia Niro EV by 30 miles. EPA estimates put it at a consumption rate of 27 kilowatt-hours of electricity for every 100 miles, but it is really more like 22.3 kWh per 100 miles, making it one of the most efficient vehicles in its segment.
2. Snappy Acceleration
The Kona Electric's powertrain is able to sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 6.6 seconds, which is a good showing for a vehicle in this class. It can quickly and fluidly merge onto the highway and doesn't lose power while being driven up steep grades. It functions more like an electric performance hatch than a crossover EV.
3. Sharp Handling Capabilities
The Kona Electric remains composed while rounding through turns, showing no signs of body roll as it goes. It can also change directions right as you give the input. While the econ tires do not offer a lot of road grip, the Kona Electric is still an entertaining vehicle to drive. It performs well while scooting around town too.
4. A Comfortable Cabin
Cozy and plush, the Kona Electric's cabin offers a degree of poise and luxury not typically found in this segment. The battery has a low slung mass, and the rear suspension keeps the vehicle composed while driving. It feels much more refined than you might expect for an EV. Even the rear seatback's angle feels comfortable despite the seat bottom being slightly flat.
5. A Quiet Ride
The Kona Electric's cabin remains nice and quiet with an electric motor that remains silent at any given speed. You shouldn't hear any wind or road noise making its way into the cabin either.
6. An Abundance of Standard Features
There are plenty of standard features to be found on the Kona Electric. The base SEL trim level equips the vehicle with keyless entry and a push button start, a 7-inch infotainment system, smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a slew of driver aids. The Limited adds a battery heater, wireless charging pad, and a sunroof. If you do go up to the Ultimate, you get a 10.25-inch infotainment system, a head-up display, and pedestrian detection.
7. Controls Are Easy to Use
Up front, all of the controls are smartly laid out. Everything is within the driver's reach, and the controls are well marked. There is no guesswork involved in figuring these controls out. The slightly-too-prominent center console is actually quite attractive despite its awkward design.
8. Effective Advanced Driver Aids
The Kona Electric comes with a lot of standard advanced driver aids. Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, a blind spot monitor, and a rear cross traffic alert all come standard. The Ultimate trim gains a few more, including adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control works in slow, stop-and-go traffic, getting right down there to 0 mph. All of the driver aids seem to be effective at their functions.
9. Plenty of Small Item Storage Areas Up Front
Up in the front, you get a respectable amount of small item storage areas. You can fit your water bottles into the door pockets and in the cupholders. There are also enough spots to covertly stash your cellphone.
10. A High Quality Design
The Kona Electric has a design that exudes quality. You can see that the Kona Electric is built to an even higher standard than the gas-powered Kona, and its cabin décor shows this. The materials look to be of high quality and are attractive to the eye. The knobs and buttons feel like they are well constructed, and there are no noticeable panel gaps or rattling noises as you drive.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric – The Cons
1. Not Much Leg Room In the Rear Seats
The biggest drawback to owning the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is that there is a serious lack of leg room in the back seats. Taller occupants will feel cramped for space since their legs won't have much of anywhere to go. And this lack of space makes getting rear-facing car seats in and out.
2. Limited Availability
The Kona Electric is only available in a select number of states. You can only get it in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. If you live in any other state, you cannot get one.
3. The Low-speed Pedestrian Alert Sound Can Be Annoying
In 2019, it was mandated that every electric vehicle must emit a low-speed pedestrian alert sound while driving. While some people don't mind it, others will find it to be somewhat annoying. The cabin is otherwise quiet, but this low-speed pedestrian alert won't fade until about 18 miles per hour. So, even if you're just cruising at 25 mph, you're going to hear it echoing throughout the cabin.
4. Center Console Takes Up A Lot of Space
While the center console has a reasonable and user-friendly layout with regards to controls, it does just out a little too far. It takes up precious space up front. It can get in the way for taller occupants.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2022 Nissan Leaf
The Kona Electric has a few tough competitors out there. The 2022 Nissan Leaf typically prices a few grand above the Kona EV, but it offers smooth and quick acceleration from its electric components. The rear seats do not fold down flat, and the small item storage is restricted. However, you get a huge list of standard driver aids, and this quiet ride offers a sizable electric range.
2022 Hyundai Kona Electric vs. 2022 Kia Niro EV
Another major rival is the 2022 Kia Niro EV. The Niro is a little more expensive than the Kona Electric, and all-wheel drive is not available even though the Niro EV is styled like a crossover SUV. On the plus side, there are a ton of standard safety features and a respectable amount of electric range for an affordably priced EV. There are some smartly designed small item storage areas, and the snappy powertrain makes this vehicle a fun one to drive.
Overall, the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is a solid EV with a respectable electric driving range. It lacks space, which is a big setback for owners who need the extra people space. However, it provides buyers with a spunky driving performance that surpasses a lot of the Kona Electric's rivals. If you are in the market for a crossover that drives more like a performance electric hatch, then the Kona Electric is a vehicle that you should test drive. You might just find yourself enjoying its comfy cabin and spunky driving performance.