The Hyundai Kona Electric: A Breakdown of Each Model Year

The Hyundai Kona Electric has a unique front fascia and a driving range to write home about. Which model year is best? We look at the Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 through 2022.
Written by Elaine Duvet
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jun 9, 2022
The small electric SUV offers function and style. It’s also affordable, has impressive range, and offers drivers much-needed versatility. 
Jerry
, the
car ownership super app
, explores every year of popular
Hyundai
Kona with an electric twist. Should you choose a used model or the new 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric?

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric features an athletic chassis with 201 hp, front-wheel drive, and a 64.0-kWh battery pack. It can ramp up to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and offers true one-pedal driving thanks to its regenerative braking. 
The EV has a 258-mile driving range with a combined 120-MPGe EPA rating. The cabin is comfy and is well made with quality materials. However, since the subcompact crossover was designed to accommodate its battery pack, the cargo area, and rear-seat space are tight. 
Each model offers a touchscreen infotainment system with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. According to
Car and Driver
, “Blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency braking are standard across the range but adaptive cruise control and pedestrian-detection technology are only offered on the top-spec Ultimate model.”
The 2019 model starts at $38,045 and let's just say Consumer Reports wasn’t the biggest fan. The vehicle scored 1 of out 5 for reliability and a 2 out of 5 for overall owner satisfaction. Its transmission received top marks, as well as its overall fuel economy. 

2020 Hyundai Kona Electric

The 2020 model offers generous warranty coverage, spunky driving dynamics, and a useable real-world driving range. All-wheel drive is still not available, and you’ll still have to deal with tight rear space. 
According to
Car and Driver
, “Limited and Ultimate models now come standard with a battery-warmer system to help improve charging times and preserve driving range in cold weather and Ultimate models get a new 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen.”
The horsepower and battery size remain the same, as does its range and overall EPA. The compelling ride feels smooth and substantial, even though it doesn’t offer sports-car-level thrills. 
Each model offers a touchscreen infotainment system that also incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. According to Car and Driver, “Base SEL models come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen while upgrading to the Limited adds an 8.0-inch display. The only way to get navigation is to go for the fully loaded Ultimate model, but doing so also adds a large 10.3-inch touchscreen.”
The standard audio system features six speakers, while the upper trims are equipped with a richer eight-speaker Infinity audio system. The base SEL trim starts at $38,330, the Limited at $42,940, and the Ultimate at $46,540.
Owner satisfaction improved by one point, but the reliability rating is still pretty poor. The auto’s transmission and fuel economy still impressed, but its trunk/cargo area can still use some work.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

The 2021 model offers playful handling and a long driving range. Front-wheel drive is the only option and the backseat hasn’t gotten much bigger. In fact, no changes have been made to the 2021 version. 
The zippy performer is available in three trims: the SEL at $38,575, the Limited at $43,185, and the Ultimate at $46,785.
Car and Driver
recommend the mid-range Limited. 
According to the publication, “It adds a host of desirable features, including a sunroof, leather upholstery, LED exterior lighting, automatic high-beam headlamps, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.” 
While you can add a couple of dealer-installed accessories, there are no option packages offered by the Korean automaker. Owner satisfaction remained a three out of five, and the overall reliability went from a one to a score of five out of five.
According to
MotorBiscuit
, “The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the best electric vehicles you can buy, and CNET Roadshow says that it’s the best affordable electric vehicle you can buy in 2022.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

The competitive 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric upgraded its style with new wheel designs and new front and rear bumpers. A standard 10.3-inch digital gauge display now comes standard and base SEL models come with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. The lineup was also simplified by eliminating the Ultimate trim. 
We’re sorry to report that all-wheel-drive still isn’t in the cards for this EV. The range still suffers in cold weather, and friends probably won’t be psyched to hop in the back seat for a
long road trip. 
Consumer Reports praised the 2022 model’s transmission and fuel economy, but the rear access and comfort still fall short. There also hasn't been much improvement on the headlights either, which have continually had poor ratings throughout the years. 
The $35,295 base SEL trim comes with an optional Convenience package that adds features like a wireless smartphone charging pad, sunroof, and heated front seats. The Limited trim now goes for $43,795 and comes with a 10.3-inch display with navigation.
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