Hyundai Kona

Electric Premium SE

64kWh

Hyundai Kona Electric, side action
Hyundai Kona Electric, dashboard
Hyundai Kona Electric, front action city
Hyundai Kona Electric, front action
Hyundai Kona Electric, front action 2
Hyundai Kona Electric, rear action city
Hyundai Kona Electric, rear action city
Hyundai Kona Electric, charging
Hyundai Kona Electric, boot
Hyundai Kona Electric, rear seats
Hyundai Kona Electric, front seats
Hyundai Kona Electric, charge point

SAY hello to a game changer. The all-electric Hyundai Kona could be the most on-trend car in years and make you look anew at your motoring life.

If that sounds more hype than reason, consider the following: here is a car that will take you 300 miles for peanuts and without worrying about running out of battery power.

Before the Kona arrived the only drivers who could look that smug were driving a Tesla. And those cost at least twice the price of the new Hyundai and take up a lot more road space than this modestly dimensioned SUV.

Then look at the price of topping up the (electric) tank. Do it at home on off-peak electricity and my energy provider would charge (sorry) a precise £7.46 to let the Kona travel 290 miles.

Slip into a diesel doing 50mpg and that same (now smelly) tankful would cost £36.13 to cover the same distance.

Then consider the happy absence of road tax and the ability to laugh at congestion charges - and even refill the batteries for nothing at some public charging points. And, for business users, the piffling 13 per cent BIK rate (they'll understand, and cheer).

There must be a downside, I hear you mutter. And there is; the Kona Electric doesn't come cheap. Prices, with the £3,500 government plug-in grant included, start at £27,250 for a Kona with shorter range and top out at £35,145 for one with the full fat batteries packed beneath its floor.

But you can pay a slightly more reasonable £32,845 for a long range Kona with fewer bells and whistles (but probably enough of them to satisfy you) and that's about the same as VW wants for an electric Golf with a mere 144 miles range.

A full charge takes a little less than 10 hours from a wallbox you can install at home for £300, thanks to a government subsidy. So it's working through the night as you dream of the savings.

Much faster chargers, like those at motorway services, will cost more than the DIY home option per visit, but with 300 miles range you'll make it home without worries for a cheaper top up most days, surely.

Feeling particularly smug, with 329 miles range showing on the Kona's admirably clear dashboard after one overnight charge, this tester set off to see if there was more to life with an electric Hyundai than mere economics.

Press the accelerator firmly and you discover there is, and quickly. From standstill this compact SUV fires away like a hot hatch. It then settles to a cruise that's quiet but no more hushed than a decent petrol engine offers.

There's enough room inside the Kona for family life, but it's not over generous in the back and the boot is big enough but no more.

The ride turns a bit lumpy on bad roads and the Kona is no hot hatch in corners but it doesn't matter.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Kona Electric Premium SE 64kWh

Price: £35,145 (including £3,500 government grant)

Mechanical: 201bhp electric motor driving front wheels via single speed gearbox

Max Speed: 104mph

0-62mph: 7.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 300 miles

Insurance Group: 27

C02 emissions: 0g/km

Bik rating: 13%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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