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  Technology   In Other news  17 Jul 2019  Hyundai Kona Electric SUV is cool and practical

Hyundai Kona Electric SUV is cool and practical

THE ASIAN AGE. | MICHAEL GONSALVES
Published : Jul 17, 2019, 1:14 am IST
Updated : Jul 17, 2019, 1:14 am IST

The South Korean car maker has introduced the country’s first all-electric premium crossover in India.

The South Korean car maker Hyundai has introduced the country’s first all-electric premium crossover — Hyundai Kona Electric SUV.
 The South Korean car maker Hyundai has introduced the country’s first all-electric premium crossover — Hyundai Kona Electric SUV.

The South Korean car maker Hyundai has introduced the country’s first all-electric premium crossover — Hyundai Kona Electric SUV. Priced at Rs 25.30 lakh (pan India showroom_)it will presently be retailed via 15 Hyundai dealerships in 11 cities.

The Hyundai Kona Electric comes with a good design. Its split headlamps setup with slim indicators atop the LED projector look sharp, and it gets a neat body panel showcasing a positive charge pattern. It also houses the charging socket. Undoubtedly, the 17-inch wheels look very stylish and so do the slim LED tail-lights. The Kona comes with roof rails, beefy body cladding and has a generous ground clearance of 172mm. The SUV is wider with a longer wheelbase.

The Interior

The fit-finish of the cabin, the steering and the switchgear is by and large good. It has also a nice, soft-touch panel on the dashboard fascia, but the plastics are hard. The digital instrument cluster is easy on the eyes. The floating touchscreen's interface is slick and it even gets physical shortcut buttons to run through the menus. The silver buttons for climate control feel nice to use and break the all-black monotone theme.

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The Kona’s front seats are comfortable and the driver's side gets electric adjust, and both the seats are ventilated. Seats also get a heating function too. While the seats are wide, the front headroom for taller occupants is a bit tight. Rearward visibility is slightly compromised too due to the slim rear windscreen. The rear door cavity is a bit narrow, and because of the raised floor height (to accommodate the battery pack), you are seated quite low, in a knees-up position. Its 332-litre boot is large enough to haul a family's weekend luggage.

The Equipment

The Kona is loaded with standard safety kit like six airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, and hill-start assist, all expected in a car of this class. Premium kit includes automatic LED lights, 17-inch alloys, a sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, 10-way powered driver's seat, touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, tyre pressure monitor, digital instrument cluster, auto-dimming mirror,  and cruise control.

He Drive Experience

With the 39.2kWh battery, though the ARAI test cycles has certified the Kona to give a range of 452 km on a single charge but at a maximum speed of 50 kmph, under standard conditions. However, in the real road condition in India, it provides over 300 km, which is remarkable for an electric SUV.

After starting the car, there is absolutely no sound but silence in the cabin. The motor produces 136 HP, and churns out 395 Nm from the go. The slow driving gives you a refined and smooth driving experience. However, if you want to speed up, the build-up of speed is instant without any delay. Every time you put your foot down, the car accelerates bringing smile on your face.

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The Kona's claimed acceleration from 0-100 kmph is within an impressive 9.7 seconds, and driving around there is no doubt about the claim. I managed to hit 145 kmph smoothly on the racing tracks of the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) without any effort. The SUV comes with four driving modes such as Eco, Eco Plus, Comfort and Sport, which alter the engine responsiveness as well as the regenerative braking intensity. A 7.2kW wall-box charger and a 2.8kW portable charger are provided with every Kona. The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged to 100 per cent capacity in as little as 57 minutes using a 50kW DC fast charger, or 6-hour and 10-minutes from a standard AC source.

Should I buy it?

With 100 per cent electric, the Kona punches a feel-good factor of being clean and green. It is also practical with an impressive travel range, which takes care of your range anxiety associated with electric vehicles.

Though at first the price tag at Rs 25.30 lakh makes you think, the overall low running costs makes you buy the Kona.

Tags: arai, hyundai cars, hyundai kona electric suv