Once one of a handful of cars that made EVs feel ‘normal,’ the facelifted Kona Electric plunges back into the growing electric car market with increased capability and modern touches to help it stand out.
Arriving a few months later than the rest of the updated Kona range, the facelifted 2021 Kona Electric small SUV has touched down in Australia with a slew of upgrades matched with a slightly increased price.
Hyundai has managed to eke out an additional 35km of range for a total of 484km of WLTP-tested range, thanks primarily to the fitment of Michelin Primacy4 tyres which have a lower rolling resistance.
Available in a choice of two grades, Hyundai has bumped up the price of entry by $1,260 to $62,000 for the Kona Electric Elite and $710 for the top-spec Highlander trim at $66,000 (both before on-roads).
The Kona Electric now sports a more modern appearance with a closed-in grille design with the EV charging port sitting prominently on the right side of the car.
With the grille gone, the LED daytime running lights stand out even more and sit above the main headlights which hug up against the now body-colour wheel arches.
Hyundai has also resurfaced the rear of the Kona with sleek widened taillights and a new bumper. Like its petrol-powered siblings, the Kona has been stretched 25mm longer for increased interior space, with both grades sitting on 17-inch alloy wheels.
The facelift has also brought a suite of interior upgrades including the new standard wireless charger, remote start, USB ports in the rear and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
The Kona also receives Hyundai’s latest 10.25-inch touchscreen display as standard while the Kona Highlander gains a heated function for the rear outboard seats and ambient lighting in the front footwell.
Safety has also been given a bump with the inclusion of more advanced adaptive cruise control, safe exit warning and rear occupant alert.
Additionally, the blind-spot monitoring now incorporates a collision-avoidance function, as does the rear-cross traffic alert.
The drivetrain remains unchanged for the facelifted Kona Electric, which uses a 64kWh battery matched with an electric motor to send 150kW of power and 395Nm of torque to the front wheels.
Hyundai has ramped up the charge speed however, with DC fast charging now able to top up the battery at a rate of 100kW, allowing recharging from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity in just 47 minutes.
The slight price increase given the relatively large bump in features is a strong indication of the increased competition in the electric car market, with new entrants such as the MG ZS EV small SUV offering a far cheaper entry price of $40,990 (before on-roads).
While bigger in size, the Tesla Model Y midsize SUV and the Hyundai Motor Group’s own Ioniq 5 midsize SUV will soon enter the Australian market offering more selection than ever before in the EV space.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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We test five electric cars until they die in an Australian EV range test: Model 3, Kona, Leaf, ZS EV and e-tron tested