The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is easy to like. It offers a sense of conventionality that should ease the transition from gas to plug -- and rightfully so, because it's based on an already excellent subcompact crossover. Doing something new can feel scary, but if there's an element of familiarity to it, it's much easier to acclimate to change.
At a glance, the Kona Electric looks pretty close to any other Hyundai Kona on the road -- depending on your opinion of the Kona's polarizing looks, that could be good or bad, but I like it. All the familiar elements are there, from the dark cladding on the lower body to the trademark squinting running lights up front. Yet, there are a few key differences.
Losing the internal combustion engine means the Kona Electric doesn't need a grille, so it's been ditched in favor of a dimpled front end. A panel on the driver's side of the "grille" hides the CCS Combo charging port, and there's a small battery-level gauge right there to let me know the battery's level at a quick glance.
The Good The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is efficient, fun and properly teched out.
The Bad It's expensive, a little loud and a little low on cargo space.
The Bottom Line Familiarity breeds comfort, so the Kona Electric is a good way to bring new EV buyers into the fold.
The subcompact Accent and Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid won't live to see 2023, either.
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Pricing ranges from $36,245 to $52,095, including a $1,295 destination charge.
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Production is scheduled to begin at this new plant in the first half of 2025.