6 Reasons to Avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric at All Costs

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

6 Reasons to Avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric at All Costs

Key Points

  • The Hyundai Kona Electric is a popular electric SUV.
  • Despite its popularity, the Hyundai Kona has several drawbacks which may put people off from purchasing it.
  • Problems with the Hyundai Kona include sluggish acceleration and limited cargo space.

What are some reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric? Hyundai’s crossover all-electric SUV has made quite a splash on the market since its introduction. Many critics have lauded it as one of the best electric vehicles you can purchase below $40,000 MSRP.

However, it isn’t all roses when taking a closer look at the Kona Electric. There are a few drawbacks that can make it a less-than-ideal choice for every household. If you’ve been on the fence about which EV to buy, then scope out six solid reasons to avoid the Kona Electric.

What Is the Hyundai Kona Electric?

Hyundai’s Kona Electric is a crossover SUV meant to provide an affordable alternative to the likes of the Ioniq 5 or 6. You get fairly stellar mileage, with an EPA rating of 253 miles on a single charge. Design-wise, it is identical to the normal Kona also offered by Hyundai.

However, you get a fully electric front-wheel drive vehicle with some nice modern features like wireless CarPlay and one of the best warranties on the market today.

Reasons to Avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric

Here are History Computer’s six main reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric.

Reason #1: Not Sold in Every State

This is an oddly curious one since you’d think a vehicle would be available for purchase all across the country. However, the Kona Electric is only available for sale in a limited set of locations.

This effectively means some residents could go to the local Hyundai dealership only to be turned away when inquiring about this EV.

This is one of many reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric. You can’t readily purchase the vehicle if there is zero availability in your area.

Reason #2: There Is No All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive is one of the better features to get in your EV. It enables better traction and control, and in some cases actually provides multiple motors to power your EV.

The Kona Electric is very budget-conscious, meaning you’re only going to be seeing a front-wheel drive option on it. This is true across the whole of all offered trim levels, as well.

A lack of all-wheel drive might not be an absolute dealbreaker for everyone but is just another one of the reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric.

Reason #3: The Rear Legroom Is Somewhat Narrow

avoid a hyundai kona
The Hyundai Kona has very limited legroom for rear passengers.

©Superfine Imagery/Shutterstock.com

Crossover SUVs aren’t going to be renowned for their internal passenger space. The Kona Electric is certainly guilty of this fact, with the 2023 model only offering a paltry 33 inches of legroom for rear passengers.

This is an odd design choice, especially when looking at the likes of the comparable Chevy Bolt EUV. The Bolt EUV comes with 39 inches or so of rear legroom, which is quite a substantial difference. If you’re looking for a roomy ride for your family, this is one of the reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric.

Reason #4: Less-Than-Stellar Acceleration

The Kona Electric wins points for its superbly responsive handling. However, users looking for zippy acceleration are likely suited to another vehicle. The Kona EV only comes with just over 200 horsepower, which is fine for daily use.

However, it does make for sluggish acceleration. The 0 to 60 time of over six seconds is just one of the reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric. If you’re looking for supreme acceleration for highway commutes, the Kona just simply doesn’t have it.

Reason #5: Adaptive Cruise Control Is Only on the Higher Trim Levels

Adaptive cruise control is a great feature for safety purposes. Modern vehicles come with all sorts of computerized assistance to make driving safer.

The Kona Electric is lacking adaptive cruise control on the lower trim levels. It’s only available on the N-Line with the optional Tech package added, or the Limited trim.

Now, the trim levels truly don’t add too much to the MSRP of the Kona EV. However, multiple EV manufacturers are aiming to make this a standard feature.

Hyundai’s decision to omit this from all but the highest trim levels just comes as an unusual decision. If you’re looking for adaptive cruise control, this is another one of the reasons to avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric.

Reason #6: Cargo Space Is Limited

The Hyundai Kona Electric only offers up to around 19 cubic feet of storage in the rear. Now, for most things, this should be fine. However, there is always that odd occurrence where you need quite a bit of storage to get something home with the kids in the car.

The Kona EV can support up to 45 cubic feet of storage, but the second-row seating needs to be folded for this to happen. You can’t expect a crossover SUV to have a ton of storage; it presents a more budget-friendly alternative to a pricier vehicle.

However, there are other crossover SUVs on the market with more storage in the same price range, like the Kia Niro EV.

Alternatives to the Kona Electric

Here are three of our favorite alternatives to the Hyundai Kona Electric.

1. Chevy Bolt EUV

avoid a hyundai kona
The Chevy Bolt EUV is an affordable alternative to the Kona EV.

©Miro Vrlik Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Chevy Bolt EUV is a great choice for budget-conscious EV users. You get an eco-friendly vehicle with quite a few modern amenities in an affordable package. The Bolt EUV isn’t some self-driving wunderkind but is a reliable daily driver.

It offers plenty of rear seating room, with almost 40 inches of legroom for second-row passengers. It isn’t a glamorous vehicle by any means, but you can purchase the Bolt EUV across the entire country.

The ready availability, comparable range, and standard safety features make this a great alternative to the Hyundai Kona EV.

2. Kia Niro EV

avoid a hyundai kona
The Niro is available as a hybrid or all-electric.

©Mateusz Rostek/Shutterstock.com

Kia’s Niro EV is a direct competitor to the Kona EV and can be had at a cheaper price. You get more cargo capacity with the Niro EV, with 22.8 cubic feet in the rear trunk area. This goes up considerably when folding the rear seating, with 63.7 cubic feet available.

It suffers from the same sluggish acceleration you’ll see with the Kona EV. However, if you’re willing to look past that, it is a very dependable EV. It has a great range, as well, with an EPA-rated estimate of 253 miles on a single charge.

3. Tesla Model 3

avoid a hyundai kona
The Model 3 is the most popular EV in the United States.


The Tesla Model 3 is still the most popular EV across the entire country. It offers great range, superb acceleration, and some wonderful modern safety features. The Model 3 is a pricier vehicle than the Kona EV, but you certainly get what you pay for.

Tesla models aren’t an ideal fit for every EV user, but the company has built a reputation around providing reliable daily drivers. You aren’t going to be lacking power with the nimble acceleration and all-wheel drive options.

Closing Thoughts

The Kona EV is a wonderful EV, but it isn’t for everyone. Car shopping is a grueling task, no matter how you look at it. Make sure to drive before you buy so that you’re best prepared for how the vehicle handles before getting it on the road on a regular basis.

Reasons to Avoid a Hyundai Kona Electric
1. It isn’t available across the entire country.
2. The Kona EV doesn’t come with all-wheel drive.
3. The second-row seating has very narrow legroom.
4. Acceleration is a bit sluggish with the Kona EV.
5. You can only get adaptive cruise control when purchasing the higher trim levels.
6. It has limited cargo capacity in the rear trunk area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What charging adapter does the Kona EV use?

The Kona EV uses the standard J1772 charging adapter.

Does the Bolt EUV qualify for the federal tax credit?

Yes, the Bolt EUV still has the federal tax rebate for new EV purchases in place.

Does the Tesla Model 3 use the universal charger standard?

No, Tesla has its own line of chargers with a different adapter. You can purchase conversion adapters for your J1772 vehicle, however.

Is the Kia Niro a good EV?

For most users, it’ll be a great EV. It is a bit sluggish in terms of handling, but you’ll likely adjust to that quickly.

Is an EV the right choice for me?

It takes some adjustment to get used to driving an EV, but they are a wonderful option for a vehicle. It also saves you quite a bit of money when considering maintenance and fuel costs.

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