REVIEW: Hyundai Kona HEV

by Seán Creedon

Under the previous Government there was talk of the country going fully electric by the year 2030, but they Fine Gael/Fianna Fail combination didn’t do a whole lot as regards installing electric charge points around the country.

Now with the Greens in power there is speculation that they want to reduce mileage rates for people driving emission-heavy cars.

A Limerick councillor has called this the ‘D4 culture’ in a Government which is out of touch with rural Ireland. “Some of our members have to drive on roads with grass verges and not white lines and need robust vehicles,” he said.

If the Councillors don’t want to switch immediately to electric they should try Hybrid, which are very reliable vehicles. Hyundai are producing excellent cars and maybe the councillors should check them out and there would be no worries about getting to meetings on time.

Hyundai has a habit of naming their cars after different places around the world, Tucson and Santa Fe in the US for example. Last week I drove a Hybrid version of their Kona and was told the name Kona comes from the western shores of Hawaii.

I tested the fully electric version of the Kona last year and was very impressed with the range of approximately 470 kilometres. Naturally last week the Hybrid SUV was even better than the electric and thanks to sensible driving I didn’t have to make many stops at petrol stations.

The Kona, which was introduced in 2017, shares its powertrain with the Ioniq Hybrid. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 1.56Kwh battery and 32kW motor to deliver a maximum system power of 141 brake horse power 265Nm to the front wheel, via a six-speed dual clutch transmission.

This hybrid of the Kona equipped with both a petrol engine and an electric motor. They work together with the support of a powerful lithium-ion polymer battery to deliver excellent fuel economy and reduce emissions. And you don’t have to charge the battery; regenerative braking charges it for you.

The Kona is very neat four-door crossover. There is room in the back for two adults, three at a squeeze. You get a few useful safety touches, like Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), which will certainly keep you awake. The boot is average and while there is a ‘well’ for a spare wheel, none is provided, just a repair kit.

Available in two tone colour combinations, standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, climate control, electronic parking brake, cruise control, rear view camera, Apple CarPlay and a wireless phone charger.

If you wish you can combine ten exterior colours with two roof option to create different colour combinations. But don’t go mad, you will have to trade it your Kona some day and the next buyer may be more conservative than you.

Prices start at €29,245, which I think is reasonable. The PCP price is €260.42 per month for 36 months. C02 emissions are only 101 and road tax is €190 per annum. If you drive sensibly I think that you won’t have to make many pit stops.

I think Hybrid cars are a good way to gradually prepare us for the day in 2030 when it’s claimed we will only be able to drive electric vehicles. If the Greens stay in government and a vaccine is found for the Coronavirus, we could be see that ‘electric date’ brought forward.