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A blue 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric for sale is shown parked on a street.

Is the Hyundai Kona Electric the Best Electric SUV? Comparing the Competition

Are you on the new wave of electric vehicles? Companies like Tesla have made the all-electric car a new staple on the streets, despite having seemed like a futuristic idealism just a few years ago! Now, familiar faces in the industry are putting out their own electric vehicles, which have even extended into SUV territory.

If you’ve ever seen a Hyundai Kona Electric for sale up close and personal, you may have been skeptical of buying an all-electric vehicle yet were still intrigued by the Hyundai brand name. For those to whom that applies, let’s assuage you of that trepidation once and for all. The Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the best electric SUVs on the market, and we’re going to look at some of its exciting features against those of the competition to see if the 2023 Kona is a good fit for you.

The rear end and tail light of a gray 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is shown.

Green Power

Starting at around $45,000, the 2023 Hyundai Kona is one of the more affordable options in terms of electric vehicles. Compared to Tesla’s premier SUV option, the Model Y, which will cost you over $60,000, the 2023 Kona starts at a significantly more reasonable price. That’s quite the bargain for a reliable electric vehicle that can drive 258 miles (120 MPGe combined) at a full charge.

This term may be unfamiliar to some of us who have been driving so-called ‘gas guzzlers’ our whole lives, but this is essentially the fuel economy rating for electric SUVs like the Hyundai Kona; MPGe is the EPA-equivalent of measuring electric vehicle efficiency as opposed to gasoline fuel efficiency. A respectable rating like the Kona’s means you’ll be able to head out for long drives and road trips without worrying about stopping for a charge. (This is comparable to what most competitor models, like the 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV, can provide; the 2023 Bolt’s maximum range is 259 miles.)

The Kona’s engine produces 201 hp, which may not seem very high when compared to gas SUVs, but electric vehicles tend to have lower traditional power but the better driving performance overall. Its horsepower production is comparable to other fully electric SUVs, like the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4, meaning you’re not missing out on any significant power advantages. And, of course, you’re not plugging in and ‘going electric’ for more raw power; you’re doing your part for the environment by reducing CO2 emissions and reaping the rewards of that exceptional electric fuel economy. It’s a win-win.

Another neat mechanical feature of the 2023 Kona Electric is regenerative braking. Regenerative braking, as Hyundai describes it, “Brakes convert energy into electric power, which helps recharge the battery and essentially creates additional range.” You can make your uber-efficient electric SUV even more efficient just by stopping! Whoever guessed that the act of NOT driving would afford you MORE driving?

A blue 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is shown parked on a city street.

Charging Your Kona

We’ll take a quick detour to talk about how to charge your electric subcompact as efficiently as possible. Do you ever wish you had a gas station installed on the side of your house, so you could fill up your tank overnight or any other time you weren’t driving? Electric SUVs like the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric make that dream a reality. You can fully charge your Kona Electric (or any other all-electric vehicle) at home. No more taking time out of your day to find a fill-up station. Just like letting your smartphone charge overnight, you can go about your day while your electric SUV readies for your next drive.

Note that while it is possible to plug an electric vehicle like the 2023 Kona Electric into a standard wall socket, it’s generally recommended that you purchase and install a “level 2” charging station in your house. These will generally cost somewhere in the range of $1,000—an additional investment you’ll need to factor into your purchase, sure, but keep in mind that, on average, we spend more than that on gas every year, and these charging stations (from companies like ChargeHub) will last much longer than one year. Keep in mind, too, that charging stations will likely become more affordable over time as electric vehicles continue to become more commonplace.

Depending on what kind of charging station you have at home, the total time to fully charge your 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric (from 10% to 100%) could take anywhere from nine to ten hours—so you’d want to start charging whenever you get home, and leave it charging overnight—or it could take as little as 40 minutes! Even if you don’t have a charging station at home, charging areas at gas stations are becoming increasingly available.

Companies like Electrify Canada are trying to make charging stations much more accessible to the general public. Charging your electric vehicle has never been easier than in 2023, and it will only get more convenient as the months press on. While it may come down to the individual driver’s preference, the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric has the advantage over gas vehicles in the refueling department.

The best part about electric vehicle ownership, however, is that there is no more engine maintenance! No more scheduling garage visits, no more questionable bills, no more oil changes or air filter replacements, no more unexpected chunking noises or veering into the breakdown lane—the list goes on!

The black interior and dash of a 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is shown.

Additional Features

The futuristic clout of the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric extends into the cabin. The interior is loaded with intuitive and easy-to-use technology. For your smartphone connectivity—be it directions or incoming calls—the 2023 Kona Electric has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for your convenience; no cables are necessary; plugging in is only for charging, and everything else is wireless! Android users also get a special bonus feature called Hyundai Digital Key, which allows you to unlock your car from your smartphone. (Is there anything phones can’t do these days?)

The helpful 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is a step up from other electric SUV competitors, like the 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV. The 2023 Kona Electric also has many essential safety measures to ensure you and your passengers are safe and sound. Blind-Spot and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assistance extend the safety net of the Kona Electric to both the front and rear. These safety features are nearly identical to those of the Tesla Model Y, another all-electric SUV that will cost you far more than the 2023 Kona Electric.

It’s Electric! (Boogie Woogie Woogie)

The 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is a well-rounded and versatile electric SUV you can rely on, with a high-powered and durable battery. Charging is only getting easier for all-electric drivers, and you have plenty of options at home and on the road to make your refueling as convenient for you as it is for those who still cling to fossil fuels.

Compared to the electric SUVs from rival manufacturers, the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is remarkably more affordable and has some functional perks that others simply don’t. For these reasons, we think the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is an excellent choice for EV enthusiasts, as well as a perfect pick for drivers looking to go green and switch over to their first all-electric SUV.