When we first got the Kona EV to review back in 2018, the first thing we did was book in a road trip from Wellington to Auckland and back. The Kona impressed on that trip, making it a worthy open-road EV.
Now Hyundai New Zealand has announced the arrival of the 2021 Kona Electric Series II, with a facelifted exterior and interior design, improved WLTP driving range, and specification upgrades across the model line-up.
While EV buyers are still fixated on range, the 484Km (WLTP) of driving range of the Kona II should appease those buyers.
Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says, “Since launching the ground-breaking Kona Electric in 2018 it’s been a popular choice of EV here in New Zealand for both private and fleet buyers. Additional standard safety, connectivity and convenience features ensure an even better driving experience in the 2021 model. Kona Electric continues to deliver one of the best all-electric driving ranges of any electric car.”
The EV comes fitted with Michelin Primacy4 low rolling resistance tyres, helping deliver a 7.8% improvement in real-world driving range when tested according to the WLTP standard.
2021 Kona Electric model range overview
The Kona Electric continues to be available in two trim grades, Entry and Elite.
Over and above the Entry specification the Elite option offers additional safety features, connectivity and the comfort and convenience features. They include LED headlights and tail lights, driver and passenger power seats, heated front and rear outbound seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless smart phone charging and a Heads-Up-Display (HUD).
The Elite comes with a 10.25” multimedia touchscreen compared to 8” in the Entry model, along with satellite navigation and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.
The additional Hyundai SmartSense driver safety features include High Beam Assist (HBA), Electro Chromatic rear-view Mirror (ECM) and a front park assist system.
The 2021 Kona Electric has undergone a series of exterior design updates. Hyundai says that by combining a clean and sleek appearance with the protective and bold small SUV body type of the Kona, it expresses its exceptional electric technology while being even more recognisable on the road. The front is complemented by an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric which makes a strong statement about driving electric.
New, sharper headlamps stretch around the side of the car. The high-tech headlamp inner bezel now incorporates multifaceted reflector (MFR) technology. The headlamps are connected to the painted wheel arch claddings. Vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch claddings enhance its aerodynamics, substantially reducing turbulence in the front wheelhouse area. Meanwhile, a functional air intake in the lower bumper is visually enhanced by horizontal satin accent bars, which give it a pronounced stance.
The rear also receives a styling refresh with a new bumper design and horizontally-stretched rear lamps, while new machined face 17” alloy wheels complete the exterior makeover.
Like the 2021 Kona with internal-combustion powertrains, the new Kona Electric is 25mm longer than the previous version.
STANDARD SMARTSENSE UPGRADES
The 2021 Kona Electric also incorporates several feature upgrades to the standard SmartSense safety suite featured on the outgoing model.
Lane Following Assist
Supplementing the Lane Keeping Assist system, Lane Following Assist (LFA) uses the front windshield mounted camera to detects lane markers and preceding traffic on the road, and provides steering assistance to ensure the vehicle stays in the centre of the lane.
LFA can be activated by a long press of the Lane Keeping Assist / Lane Following Assist button the steering wheel, and is operational when lane markers are detected at speeds up to 200km/h.
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
At speeds of 20km/h or above, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) uses radar sensors on either side of the rear bumper to detect vehicles next to and diagonally behind the Kona Electric. If a vehicle is present in the Kona Electric’s blind spot, a visual alert is displayed in the exterior mirrors. If the driver proceeds to activate the corresponding indicator lights, a flashing visual warning is provided and an audible alert is sounded.
Additionally, the system also scans for vehicles approaching rapidly from the rear, and uses the same warning measures to alert the driver of vehicles which may be entering the Kona Electric’s blind spot at a higher rate of speed.
At speeds of 60km/h or above, if the driver proceeds to carry-out a lane change after the audible alert is sounded, BCA will apply partial braking to help avoid a collision with an approaching vehicle. An active avoidance manoeuvre is undertaken with the system applying braking force to the wheels on the opposing side of the potential collision point, bring the vehicle away from danger, and lowering the chance of a collision.
BCA can also help prevent collisions when exiting a parallel parking spot at 3km/h or lower. If a potential collision with an approaching vehicle is detected, the system will apply braking force to help avoid a collision.
Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
Using the BCA system’s radar sensors, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) monitors for traffic approaching on either side of the Kona Electric when reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces at speeds of up to 8km/h. Should RCCA detect a vehicle approaching, an audible warning will sound, with a visual warning displayed on the dash cluster.
In the case that the driver does not adhere to the warning, RCCA will apply a braking force and help avoid a collision with the approaching vehicle.
Safe Exit Warning
The Safe Exit Warning (SEW) helps occupants exit the Kona Electric in a safer fashion. When the vehicle is stopped and SEW is active, the system utilises the radar sensors on either side of the rear bumper to detect vehicles approaching from the rear. If a vehicle is detected, and a door is opened, the system will sound an audible alert and display a visual warning in the instrument cluster.
Rear Occupant Alert
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) detects the entry of occupants via the rear doors opening and closing. Upon parking and opening the driver’s door, ROA issues an audible warning chime and prompts the driver with a visual warning message to “check rear seats”, to ensure that rear occupants are not accidentally left behind.
Harman Kardon premium audio system (Elite model only)
Featuring 8 speakers (including a front centre speaker and a woofer) and an external amplifier, Hyundai claims the Harman Kardon premium audio system on the Kona Electric offers exceptional sound quality through optimised system tuning.
10.25” digital Supervision cluster
The 10.25” colour TFT LCD Supervision dash cluster features a fully digital display. A variety of different user-selectable themes are available, and can also be linked to the selected Drive Mode. The cluster also displays a range of trip computer information, as well as system status and visual alerts from the various safety systems.
Wireless charger (Elite model only)
The wireless charging pad allows compatible Qi-standard devices to be charged in a dedicated recess in the front centre console, improving convenience for front seat occupants.
Rear USB power outlet
A new USB power outlet mounted to the rear of the console allows rear passengers to charge mobile devices.
Rear View Monitor
The new Rear View Monitor (RVM) system allows the rear camera to remain on constantly whilst driving if required, such that the driver can continually monitor the road conditions behind the vehicle.
Kona Electric now features remote start capability via the smart key fob. With the handbrake engaged and vehicle locked, the user is able to remotely start the vehicle by pressing the lock button, followed by pressing and holding the engine start button.
Heated rear outboard seats (Elite model only)
Elite model is equipped with heated rear outboard seats. The heating elements ensure the rear outboard seating surfaces are warmed in cool weather.
Ambient lighting (Elite model only)
Ambient lighting in the front footwells add a gentle glow, providing a luxurious ambience to the interior.
|150 kW Electric Motor||Reduction gear||$79,990||$85,990|
|Phantom Black Two-Tone Roof||–||No Cost|
Note: All prices are RRP. Price excludes dealer delivery and on road costs.
2021 KONA ELECTRIC KEY SPECIFICATIONS
Specification upgrades compared to the 2020 Kona Electric are highlighted in bold.
|Kona Electric||150 kW Electric Motor|
|6 airbags||Auto dusk sensing headlights||Paddle shifters|
|SmartSense™ advanced driver assist:||LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)||8.0” touchscreen multimedia system|
|– Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist||Rear park assist system||6-speaker audio system|
|– Driver Attention Warning||Rear view camera||In-cable control box (ICCB)|
|– Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist||Tyre Pressure Monitoring System||Apple CarPlay compatibility|
|– Lane Following Assist||17” alloy wheels w/ Michelin Primacy4||Android Auto compatibility|
|– Lane Keeping Assist||tyres||Bluetooth connectivity|
|– Rear Cross-Traffic Collision||Tyre mobility kit||Rear passenger USB charging port|
|Avoidance Assist||Leather appointed interior||Heated exterior mirrors|
|– Rear Occupant Alert||Passenger height adjuster||Power folding exterior mirrors|
|– Safe Exit Warning||Electronic parking brake (EPB)||Front & rear power windows;|
|– Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go||Shift By Wire (SBW)||– front windows one touch auto up/down|
|Electronic Stability Control (ESC)||Smart key & push button start||Rear fog light|
|Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)||Climate control w/ auto defog||Front closed grille|
|Brake Assist System (BAS)||Rain sensing wipers||Body coloured cladding|
|Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)||Solar control glass w/ rear privacy||Driver & front pass. seat back pocket|
|Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)||Acoustic film (windshield)||Luggage net|
|Traction Control System (TCS)||10.25″ digital supervision cluster||Roof Rails|
|Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)|
|Kona Electric Elite||150 kW Electric Motor|
|Key specifications above Elite:|
|Front park assist system||Electro-chromatic interior mirror||Heated steering wheel|
|LED headlights and front indicators||Air ventilated front seats||Ambient lighting|
|LED taillights||Heated front and rear outboard seats||Wireless charging pad (Qi standard)|
|10.25” satellite navigation system||Harman Kardon 8-speaker audio||DAB+ digital radio|
|High Beam Assist||Power driver’s and passengers’ seats||Optional – Two-Tone Roof – Phantom Black|
|Heads-Up Display (HUD)|