Hyundai Kona Electric in Malaysia – affordable-ish EV (from RM156k), usable as daily car?
It has a range of around 300 kilometers and its priced starting from just under 150 000 ringgit. But is this any good in the real world? You know the one that we all live in well, weve tested it and were gon na. Tell you yes right now. Lets go Music, as you know, by now the hindu kona electric, like all evs, is exempted from import text, excise duty and road tags, and, like i said earlier, this is price, starting from just under 150 000 ringgit for the base e light model. This is the e plus, which has more equipment but the same mechanicals, and it is priced at 170, 000 ringgit theres, also an emax model with the same specs, but a bigger battery and a more powerful electric motor. That one, though, is quite pricey, 200 000 ringgit. That is bmw money. Now i should mention that these prices only include a two year manufacturer warranty. If you want to get a full five year, unlimited mileage warranty that costs an extra 10 000 ringgit outside this car looks just like a corner. You still have the funky split headlights and tail lights. Youve also got the chunky, fender flares painted in body color here, instead of grey in the other models and youve also got the black roof on this particular model. However, there are a few differences like the fact that this car lacks any sort of grille. Instead, you have this charging port, which accepts both type 2 and ccs charges.
Also on this car youve got different front and rear bumpers on the front. You have this little slot for your air inlet and at the front and where youve also got twin silver slats along the side. Again, this car looks very similar to the petrol corner models, except the wheels. These wheels are an inch smaller than the top spec petrol models at 17 inches, but i do like the look of these wheels. This sort of flat faced arrow style, two tone wheels. I do really like them. I think they really suit the car and i think they look bigger than they actually are. Also, if you look carefully down there, you can spot the battery pack and that does reduce the ground clearance a little bit inside again, its very similar to the petrol corner. You still get this sort of layered dashboard over here. Youve got the twin brown air vents at the corners. You have this sort of pill shaped center, abbott and youve also got a freestanding infotainment touchscreen, which, by the way, measures eight inches across build quality, is sort of a step down below whats available at this price range. This is, after all, still a base segment crossover. Even though there are some soft touch plastics on the dashboard, as well as some leather coverings on the doors as well, however, its still quite a pleasant place to be in especially with these white seats, which are covered in leather, that is standard across all models.
The only difference between the e light and the other models is that the higher end models come with power adjustable front seats. One thing thats different for the electric model is that everything below the top surface of the dashboard is all new, and that includes the climate controls as well as this center control tunnel. Now that means is that, because there is no physical gear lever, its all controlled by these buttons over here youve got plenty of space. To put your purses your wallets, i could even put a full size dslr in there. I know thats not a typical use case but thats. What i did. Youve also got twin cup holders over here. Youve got a electronic parking brake which, by the way, doesnt engage when you put it into park. Youve also got your auto hole and your drive mode button and best of all you have a wireless charger on the e plus and e max models. For you to put your phone in the beauty of this is that you can simply put your phone in close. The lid and you can use wireless apple, carplay and android auto. That is so so good. The screen itself is not that great its not as sharp and as contrasty as i would have liked, and because this is a sort of mid range model, there is some blank space over here that that will usually be filled up with a larger screen. The instrument cluster, though, is fantastic: a 10.
25 inch display thats super sharp super contrasty and has good graphics also on the e plus and e max models. You have a head up display in front of you other things that are new on the electric model. Like i said, is this climate control system, which has some features that are not offered on the petrol models like, for instance, a driver only button which, if say youre, not carrying any passengers, you can just blast cold air to only the driver and that improves the Range somewhat, however, it is only a single zone, climate control system and not a dual zone, one and there are no rear, aircon vents, which is a shame. You also dont get a 360 degree camera. You only got a reverse camera and i need to point out something that i dont usually point out, which is that the six speakers sound system is trash. Lets go to the back back here. You can really tell that the corner electric is small relative to its price range. Im 173 centimeters tall. This seat is in my driving position. As you can see, there is a decent amount of leg room, but foot space is quite tight. I cant slide my feet. All the way in underneath so it actually feels quite cramped. Headroom is also pretty limited. You have to put the headrest up to get comfortable at tall, and you also only get one usb port down here again. Nowhere events back here, you have 332 liters of boot.
Space which is okay but its, not especially massive its around 50 liters smaller than the petrol version whats good about this, though, is that you do have a slot over here. You kind of have to take out this to put your three pin charger underneath the boot floor. However, there is no space to put your optional type 2 charger, so it has to go over here in the boot. Also, there is no power tailgate, which is not such a good thing. Now enough talking lets go drive this thing, the kona electric is powered by a single front, motor producing 136 ps and ‘5 newton meters of torque. Now that will get it from zero to 100 kilometers an hour in 9.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 kilometers an hour now. Those figures may seem quite little by todays standards, but i can assure you this car is not slow. Electric vehicles are famous for producing all of their top from zero rpm, and even this base model, with its less powerful motor will get up to speed very quickly and it will even spin its tires when its going at lower speeds. This huge amount of torque only tapers off at higher speeds, but by then youre, already going at over 100 kilometers an hour. Make no mistake: this is a very, very fast car in the city where youll be spending. Most of your time now, the e max gets an even more powerful 204 ps motor.
That one will get you from 0 100 in 7.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 167 kilometers an hour and, to be honest, that seems like a lot of power. I was driving this particular car to malacca and back and thought that it was very, very fast, and only when i got back there, i realized that it only had 136 horsepower if thats for the least powerful motor whats, the 204 ps model gon na be like Now lets talk about the most important thing about an electric car, and that is the battery. This e plus model, as well as the e light, gets a ‘.2 hour battery and that provides a range of around 305 kilometers on the wltp cycle. The e max has a bigger 64 kilowatt hour battery and that gives a range of kilometers. Of course, the bigger battery is the one to have, but ive been driving this car all weekend and even the smaller battery is good enough for most driving situations. Now i have driven an electric car before a nissan leaf and that had a range of under 250 kilometers, and it does make a difference that extra 60 70 kilometers that does make a difference. There is a psychological shift when you go from something that has around 200 kilometers of range to something that has around 300 kilometers of range, with a smaller battery youre a little bit more circumspect, youre a little bit more cautious.
You start to think. Am i gon na make it the whole day with this amount of battery im, not so sure, maybe i shouldnt take this car. Maybe i should take my petrol powered car. Instead, when you have a car with a bigger battery, even with this car, which doesnt have that big of a range you start to make allowances, you start to think. Oh, i can do this. This is totally fine. I can totally take this car to malacca with only 60 of battery, and i did i actually drove from kl to malacca with a remaining range of around 220 kilometers. The trip was around 140 kilometers and i still had around 60 kilometers of range remaining. I could simply drive around find a place to charge the car found one in makota parade in case youre, wondering plugged it up. It took three hours to charge to full and i could spend the entire time walking around malacca like a tourist. It was fantastic and i really really enjoyed it and yeah sure. Maybe you cant go all the way to jb or penang on one charge. But how often do you do that and on the rare occasions that you do need to bring your car that far there are charging stations all along the highway? There are fast charging stations being built as we speak. Shell has one in tanka and you can simply go to tanka charge a car and be on your way to jb its totally fine for most driving situations.
Even the 300 kilometer version is sufficient. Now we have to talk about charging for a second, the kono electric. Can accept up to 11 kilowatts of ac charging power if you plug it up to a wall box at home or a public charger, it would take you around four and a half hours to charge this thing to full or seven and a half hours for the E max this car can also accept up to 100 kilowatts of dc fast charging power. Now that is not widely available right now, most of the dc charging stations in malaysia only provide up to 50 kilowatts, and with that this car will charge all the way up to 80 percent in 60 minutes or 90 minutes with the e max using the full 100, kilowatts of charging will get this thing up to about 80 in around 47 minutes for both variants. Now a wall box is really quite necessary if youre charging this thing at home. If you use a three pin charger like the one that you have bundled with this car, it takes 22 hours to charge to full with the e light ne plus models and a whopping 31 hours for the e max. So you dont want to do that and of course, this being an electric car. You hear nothing from the so called engine, so its very, very refined at lower speeds, but its at higher speeds where youll hear not the motor, but everything else.
This car makes a lot of road noise, its not so bad on smoother roads, but on course tarmac. You can really really hear it at highway speeds its, not a very, very refined car at all, even though it makes zero engine noise. This is, however, quite a comfortable car to drive, perhaps as a consequence of its smaller wheels. This car absorbs bumps quite well speed, bumps and potholes are dealt with quite comfortably, and it doesnt really move about when youre going over undulations its only when youre on rougher tarmac that it sort of bounces around you do really feel that this car has a torsion Beam rear axle, but otherwise its fine. Actually, this car is more than fine, because the handling of this car is quite enjoyable. The responses of this car is quite immediate. The steering the brakes and the throttle they all feel quite sharp and at first it takes some getting used to. But after a while, you sort of get into a rhythm of this car, and you really feel that this car is very, very fun to drive. You chuck it into the corner. The steering is quite accurate and very direct theres, not a lot of feel coming through the steering wheel, but thats not really such a bad thing, and this car also doesnt roll about in the corners theres. Also, quite a lot of grip, even from these low rolling resistance tires and with the immediate torque coming for the motor, you can really exploit this cars limits.
Safety, wise, the kona electric comes with a full complement of six airbags stability control, autonomous emergency braking lane centering assist lane, keeping assist blind spot monitoring and automatic high beam. If you step up to the e plus and e max models, you also get adaptive cruise control with stop and go as well as a door opening warning to warn you if youre about to open the door into traffic now. Those are very good features to have, especially in this price range and im, happy to report that the adaptive cruise control works very, very well. It even accelerates, when youre signaling right to overtake somebody, which is a very good feature and its something honda has only introduced recently with the new civic. The lane centering also works very well, and i didnt really have to mine it that much when i was driving all the way to malaka, i could simply put the hand on the steering wheel and just let it drive itself all the way there. This car also has an external speaker to warn pedestrians of its presence at low speeds, and it also makes a beeping sound when its reversing now in terms of energy regeneration. This car has three levels of regenerative braking which you can adjust using the paddles on the steering wheel and on its highest setting. You can really just drive this car using only one pedal now, whats really unique about this car is the smart regeneration feature now.
This uses the cars camera and radar to detect if there is a car in front and it will use the regenerative braking to keep the car a set distance from the car in front. This is a very, very handy feature to use in city driving and i really enjoyed using it. One thing of note, though, this car doesnt break for you to come to a stop, so do remember to use the brake pedal or else youll hit the car in front. Overall, i really really enjoyed using this car. It is a very usable daily driver, and even though this is an electric car, thats been built on top of a normal cars platform, it really feels that there has been a lot of thoughts put into the experience of this car. There are a lot of features that make this car really enjoyable and livable day to day. To sum up, then, this is an excellent, daily driver, small enough that you can drive around in the city, but also with just enough range to bring you outside of city limits. Of course, the one with the bigger battery is the one to have, and it is quite expensive, but my time with the car shows that even the one with the smaller battery is good enough for most journeys. Yes, compared to other cars in its price range, it is a little bit small, especially on the inside, but no other car in this price range is as fun to drive, especially an electric one.