The most important aspect for the Kona will be how it feels on the road and luckily we got to drive it on the public roads of Korea. The route was a mix of city and highways and because we got lost for a little while, we got some narrow congested lanes as well.
The Kona EV that we were driving came with a 39.2 kWh battery. With a whopping 395 Nm of torque available from the word go, these are serious figures for a compact crossover, EV or not. The Kona also gets driving modes to choose from. There is Eco plus, Eco, Comfort and Sport. We mostly drove on Comfort and Sport modes since these two would be the most widely used ones.
Even in Comfort mode, the Kona has more than adequate performance. Whether it be overtaking long trucks, making that quick gap or just getting on with it, the motor responds with a linear but powerful surge and just keeps pulling. We did not go anywhere near the estimated top speed of 167 kmph, but that’s because Korea is extremely strict with its speeding laws. But we have no doubt that the Kona will get there with ease.
Shifting to Sport mode, the Kona becomes a different animal. The acceleration is strong enough to scare your co-passenger as it did mine and flooring the accelerator even at speeds above 60 kmph gets the wheels spinning. It’s really addictive stuff and whoever said EVs are boring should get a load of this.
Now to the more important point - its range. Hyundai claims it to be over 400 km and that’s what the dash showed when we began the drive. Even after trying all the modes and some hooligan driving in Sport mode with the aircon on at all times and covering some 140 odd km, the Kona still showed over 220 km of range left which was fantastic. This pretty much means that if you are driving in a sane manner, the Kona will cover the claimed range.
But, then again, this is the Korean-spec Kona which is level two autonomous and gets lane following assist, speed limit warning, smart cruise control with stop and go assist, front collision avoidance and then some. These features will be missing in the Indian car. Also the power output along with the range will differ vastly. But, as to how big a number that will be, still remains to be seen.