Hyundai Kona 2019 highlander electric
long-term-report

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric long-term review: Introduction

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It's electric, it's compact, and it's expensive. It's also very, very interesting. Meet the Melbourne office's latest long-termer, the Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander.
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I'm really, really excited about this one. Meet the latest long-termer through the CarAdvice Melbourne office, the Hyundai Kona Electric, in range-topping Highlander spec.

Why the excitement? Because, despite skepticism from some of the motoring world, the idea of living with an electric car is really interesting.

Is 450km of claimed range enough? Will we miss the roar of an internal combustion engine? Is charging a pain?

There are lots of questions, and the next six months will (hopefully) provide some concrete answers.

First up, the basics. As a Highlander, our Kona costs $64,490 before on-road costs, making it $20k more expensive than the base Ioniq and $15k pricier than the Nissan Leaf.

That extra spend gets you 449km of range on the more realistic WLTP test cycle, thanks to a 64kWh battery.

It'll hit 100km/h in 7.6 seconds from standstill (although that feels conservative), and takes anywhere between 55 minutes and 10 hours to charge, depending on the type of connector.

We actually have a AC fast charger in the office, but we haven't had the chance to use it yet. The Kona arrived fully charged about two hours before writing...

Although it's steep – more than $20k over a top-spec petrol Kona – the sticker does include everything in the Hyundai kit bag.

Camera and radar-based autonomous-emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise, and rear-cross traffic alert are standard across the range.

Our car also gets LED headlights, a two-tone exterior treatment, heated/cooled front seats, a HUD and Qi wireless phone charging.

Infotainment comes courtesy of an 8.0-inch touchscreen on the dash. Although the system is shared with the wider Hyundai range, there are plenty of electric-specific sub-menus and stats to explore. My inner geek looks forward to telling you more.

The seats are leather, the driving position surprisingly high.

Hyundai has redesigned the centre console and instruments to reflect this car's electric-ness, and initial impressions are mixed.

It's all functional, and the cabin certainly looks a bit more exciting than it does in the ICE model, but I don't know if it's $65k nice. Time will tell on that one.

Now, it's just a matter of getting to know the Electric. Let us know if there are any specific questions you have about the car in the comments below, and buckle up.

This is going to be fun.

NOTE: Head to the gallery for more photos.

2018 Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander

  • Odometer: 1943km
  • Price: $64,490 before on-road costs

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