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Kelley Blue Book: The 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is a great buy and a top safety pick

Pros

A zero-emissions subcompact crossover

Great range

Many standard safety features

Wireless Apple
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+0.18%

CarPlay/Android Auto also standard

Cons

Limited availability

Front-wheel drive only

What’s new?

Revised interior and exterior designs

Retuned suspension

Top trim gains larger infotainment touchscreen

New driver assistance features available

Noise, vibration, and harshness reduced

Ultimate trim discontinued

Price: The 2022 Hyundai
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Kona Electric starts at $34,000 — a significant drop from the 2021 price.

We’re big fans of the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric subcompact crossover. This excellent electric vehicle has won the KBB Electric Car Best Buy award in 2019, 2020, and 2021. In other words, for as long as the Kona Electric has existed.

The big question is: How far can the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric travel on a single charge? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the range is 258 miles. This compares fairly well with the least expensive Tesla Model 3
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which can cover 263 miles. And especially with the Chevrolet Bolt EV that’s able to run for 259 miles.

The 2022 Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai

An unbeatable 10-year/100,000-mile warranty covers both the battery and powertrain in the 2022 Kona Electric. In crash tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the regular Kona its maximum score of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made it a Top Safety Pick.

Those are some of the tangible reasons that make the Hyundai Kona Electric a great vehicle, not just great for an EV. In addition, like every Hyundai Kona, the driving experience is enjoyable, the parking experience is easily tolerable, equipment levels are generous, and the interior is pleasant.

The rest of the 2022 Hyundai Kona range, with combustion engines, is reviewed separately.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric pricing

Before getting into the figures, where can you buy a 2022 Kona Electric? At the moment, it’s available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Hyundai plans to make the Kona Electric available in neighboring states, depending on production and demand.

Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Kona EV starts at $34,000 for SEL trim, which is more than $3,000 less than the 2021 model. The Limited trim (now the top of the range) comes in at $42,500. A $7,500 federal tax credit and other state incentives for electric vehicles can offset these initial costs.

The most affordable Tesla, the Model 3, starts at approximately $45K, and is now ineligible for the federal tax credit. The Chevrolet Bolt EV begins at about $31K.

Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Kona Electric. The Tesla Model 3 will probably have the strongest resale values, but the Kona Electric shouldn’t be far behind.

Read: Not ready for an electric vehicle, despite the spike in gas prices? Buckle up, here are some of the most fuel-efficient traditional cars

Driving the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

Officially, the range is 258 miles. But during our long-term testing with a Hyundai Kona Electric, we managed to tease out 275 miles by driving conservatively and making the most of the regenerative braking system.

At the performance end of an electric drivetrain’s attributes, the 291 lb-ft of torque in the Kona Electric enables quick launches from standstill as well as some mid-range punch for overtaking. Just because there are no emissions doesn’t mean there’s no fun.

Among the changes for the 2022 Kona Electric is a recalibration of the suspension that Hyundai says improves both ride quality and handling. The company has also installed new acoustic windshield glass and extra sound insulation to reduce noise, harshness, and vibration levels.

At a fast-charging DC station, the Kona EV can attain 80% capacity in 54 minutes.

Hyundai

Interior comfort

Hyundai has managed to wrangle another half an inch of rear legroom, bringing it to 35.2 inches. That’s not as good as the Honda HR-V, but this is the smallest class of crossover. And the Kona Electric is better suited to city and suburb duty rather than road trips with the whole family on board.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen joins an equally fresh 10.25-inch digital driver information display in the Limited trim. This model also gains ambient cabin lighting. In both trims, the center console has been redesigned for 2022, with a lower section dedicated for wireless device charging.

How much cargo space does the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric have? There’s 19.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats. When they’re folded down, the maximum area is 45.8 cubic feet.

Also see: EV charging network plans luxury stations

Exterior styling

Although it’s perfectly logical to put the charge port on the front of the car, so connecting the cable is easier when the 2022 Kona Electric is parked nose-in, the flap is quite visible and looks a little awkward. Otherwise, this subcompact crossover looks pretty sharp.

The changes for 2022 include smaller LED headlights and thinner, stretched-out taillights. Last year’s dimpled nose gives way to a smoother look. New alloy wheel designs become available, and SEL trim offers the option of a 2-tone black roof.

You might like: Thinking about an electric car? An e-bike may make more sense (and save you more money)

Favorite features

Zero-emissions driving
Most manufacturers are adding hybrid gas/electric drivetrains. Some are pledging to go fully electric within a few years. It really looks like electric vehicles are the future, at least the near future. And it feels good to be in the vanguard of sustainable driving.

Blue Link connected car system
This feature links the Kona Electric to the wider world through the owner’s smartphone. Among the services it delivers are remote cabin pre-heating or cooling, remote locking, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location, checking on battery levels, and setting the charging schedule.

Learn more: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

Standard features

There are other trim levels for Kona models with gasoline engines, but the 2022 Kona Electric comes in just SEL and Limited versions.

There’s plenty of equipment with the SEL, such as keyless entry/start, heated front seats, roof rails, rear privacy glass, heated side mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, and the Blue Link Connected Car system.

The infotainment system gains an 8-inch touchscreen this year and comes with HD/satellite radio, plus two USB ports.

Among the advanced safety features are forward-collision avoidance with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, lane-following assistance, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert.

Factory options

SEL trim is eligible for several options. Like a powered sunroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, under-floor storage tray, and wireless charging. These are all standard in the more luxurious Limited version.

This higher trim also provides leather seating surfaces, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 10.25-inch digital driver information display, self-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, ambient cabin lighting, rain-sensing/aerodynamic wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, and LED headlights.

The infotainment system gains a new 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, rear USB port, and an 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio upgrade. Driver assistance features are bolstered by adaptive cruise control with stop/go, automatic high beams, and rear parking sensors.

Check out: Which electric SUVs have the most cargo space? Here’s a full list

Battery power, charge times, and range

An electric motor drives the Kona Electric’s front wheels to the tune of 201 horsepower and a gutsy 291 lb-ft of torque. It runs off a liquid-cooled 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Using a 240-volt charger, recharging takes about 9.5 hours. At a fast-charging DC station, the Kona EV can attain 80-percent capacity in 54 minutes.

Towing is not recommended.

See: How much does it cost to charge an electric car? We do the math

Permanent-magnet synchronous motor
64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
201 horsepower
291 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 132/108 MPGe
EPA range: 258 miles

This story originally ran on KBB.com. 

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