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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2019 Hyundai Kona EV

Is the country ready for a fully electric car? Hyundai Philippines seems to think so, by releasing not one, but two electric vehicles in the country—the Hyundai Kona crossover and Hyundai Ioniq hatchback. For now, we’ll focus on the bigger car and what it offers. Without further ado, here’s your 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Buyer’s Guide.

Specification

The Kona all-electric subcompact SUV is the first of its kind in the Philippines. Running on a single motor electric propulsion system that outputs 201 hp and 393 Nm, this lithium-ion powered car can reportedly run 415 kilometers on a full charge. If your trip runs longer than that, fear not, because Hyundai claims that the car can be easily charged on a standard electrical outlet, albeit you’ll have to wait 48 hours to fully charge the vehicle. This sporty five-seater accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 7.6 seconds, with the driving experience enhanced by an elaborate multi-link suspension. The single-speed reduction gear-type transmission is controlled via a button-type gear selector found on the console. Two paddle shifters on the steering wheel serve regenerative braking functions that let you shift power to the wheels or battery as needed.

Exterior

An electric motor doesn’t need extensive powertrain cooling, and so the need for an open grille is nullified. The electric Kona exploits this fact with its unique closed-off front grille, giving its façade a cleaner, more stylish, and more distinguishable appearance. Body cladding enhance the subcompact’s side profile. Aerodynamic 17-inch alloy wheels are accented with functional air curtains that help reduce air turbulence. The shape of the twin headlight/foglight design at the front is mirrored at the back, giving the Kona a uniformly refined look.

Interior

The Kona boasts an innovative compact battery shape that’s placed strategically below the cabin and cargo floor. What this means is that both occupants and cargo enjoy maximum space. Heated steering wheel and front seats come as standard features. An intuitive seven-inch instrument cluster display makes critical trip information visible at a glance, but if that’s not enough, you can use the eight-inch head-up display instead to keep trip information within your line of sight. As for your infotainment needs, you have a choice between a seven- or eight-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions, and even voice commands. A wireless charging pad on the center console lets you charge compatible devices without the need for cables.

Safety

The 2019 Kona Electric boasts a suite of advanced driver assistance systems that fall under the Hyundai SmarSense safety technology umbrella. Features such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (with Pedestrian Detection), Lane Departure (with Lane Keeping Assist), Driver Attention Warning, Blindspot Collision Warning (with Lane Change Assist), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, High Beam Assist, and more. As for occupant safety during a collision, the Kona covers all bases starting with the SuperStructure high-strength steel vehicle chassis, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist (BA) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), and six airbags.

Our Verdict

With the 2019 Kona, Hyundai beat a lot of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to the punch. And judging from all the goodies in store, it is a worthy introduction of what an all-electric car has to offer. Pricing for the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric starts at PHP2,388,000.

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