Hyundai Kona 2019 highlander electric

Hyundai Kona Electric long-term review: Infotainment

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The bones of Hyundai's infotainment system are pretty well reported by now, but the Kona Electric Highlander wades into battle with a few unique touches to help owners make the most of its range.
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First, the basics. The car has an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting atop its dashboard, complete with factory satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring.

Essentially, everything we've said about the Kona before applies here: the system is neatly laid out, responds quickly, and is just easy to use in general.

Your home screen is customisable, but defaults to a split layout showing media, navigation and a shortcut to the sub-menu dedicated to all the nerdy, electric details you could ever want.

That means details about range remaining, your nearest charge station and detailed breakdowns of energy consumption. You're also able to set charge times and speeds in there.

If you know your power rates are cheaper between, say, midnight and 6am, you can tell the car to start charging during that period.

Provided it's plugged in, your Kona will then only start drawing power when the clock strikes midnight. Owners who want to charge using cheaper off-peak power have all the options they could possibly need.

When you're not tinkering with charge times and charge preferences, the EV menu will also show you what maximum range looks like on a map.

There's enough detailed information in there to make the most ardent EV nerd weak at the knees, with breakdowns of battery consumption from each journey, data on all your averages, and information about charging.

Along with the touchscreen, the digital instrument binnacle offers the array of displays we've come to expect from Hyundai.

There's a neat little graphic to display when energy's being drawn from the battery and when it's being harvested, consumption data (in kWh/100km, not litres of course) and a clear, simple speed readout.

Hyundai does clear and functional, and it does it well.

Beyond the car itself, Hyundai offers free support for AutoLink Premium with the Electric Highlander. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android, and connects up with a dongle plugged into the car's OBD connector.

Getting it hooked up was a bit of a struggle. We initially took the car to Hyundai's warehouse, where a technician installed the AutoLink Plus dongle, but couldn't get it chatting with the cloud properly.

Frustrated, we instead headed for the Yarra Hyundai dealership in Collingwood, where a technician had it working within minutes.

The sign-up process is a bit long-winded, but it's the sort of thing you'd do at the dealership on pick-up and never think about again.

Now it's up and running, the app is a nice little addition to the Kona's repertoire. Being able to monitor charge remotely is a huge help, given the car is used by a huge spread of people in the CarAdvice office.

Although most of my colleagues are conscientious, there's always a risk of someone running the car flat and forgetting to plug in. The app means I can check without lifting a finger. Figuratively, of course.

Melbourne is freezing at the moment, so remote climate control is very handy. I usually turn on the climate control before stepping into the shower in the morning, and the car is toasty by the time I hop in.

If you have kids, being able to pre-cool the cabin in summer is likely to be just as handy – especially because there are no rear air vents.

The other big benefit of AutoLink is being able to accurately track energy usage. We'll save the super in-depth numbers for a separate story, but check out our gallery for reference (with VIN and registration blanked).

As a tech leader for Hyundai, the Kona does everything you could possibly want of it. The app is genuinely useful, there's plenty of detail about the electric drivetrain available, and it's dead easy to use. Tick, tick and tick.

Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander

  • Odometer: 5030km
  • Distance since last update: 1613km
  • Battery consumption since last update: 14.2kWh/100km

MORE: Long-term report one: Introduction
MORE: Long-term report two: Interior
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