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Hyundai Kona Electric grows sharper, techier with latest updates

The Korean automaker showed the upgrades for Europe first, though it's likely they'll soon make their way to the US.

What a fun color.


The Hyundai Kona Electric is a fine EV for those looking to ease into the electric lifestyle, but on Wednesday, the company revealed a slew of updates to the car, first for Europe. Hyundai touched just about every aspect of the car aside from the running gear, so come along for the journey.

Foremost, the exterior is pretty different -- it looks far sharper, and less like it's melting. I actually see a little bit of the Tesla Model 3 in the front clip with the redesigned, grille-less fascia. The lighting elements stretch further now and connect to the wheel arches, while the lower grille sports accent bars to emphasize width. The Kona was never a bad-looking car, but this looks pretty great. The side and rear profiles are very similar to the standard Kona updates we saw out of Europe earlier this year, though, so not much to talk about there.

The interior gets a redo, though. In front of the driver is a new digital gauge cluster that measures 10.25 inches, and European buyers can now option an identically sized infotainment screen. The standard unit is 8 inches and boasts wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. If you opt for the larger screen, you'll have to rock wires still. It's something we've seen across the latest Hyundai and Kia cars. The rest of the cockpit is pretty similar, while technology takes center stage with new active safety technology and driver-assist systems such as blind-spot collision assist.

While US buyers get one powertrain choice, Europe gets two. The base Kona Electric sports a 39.2 kilowatt-hour battery; a 64 kWh battery is optional. We don't get the smaller battery in the US, only the 64 kWh unit, so expect any range improvements to be minimal at best. Today, the car goes 258 miles on a charge.

Hyundai declined to comment on when the US should expect these updates, but it's safe to say they're in the pipeline following the standard Kona's updates. We're also waiting for a rumored Kona N high performance model, too, so there's lots of Kona news coming in the future.

Now playing: Watch this: Checking the tech in the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric