Hyundai Kona 64 kWh Premium SE And Why I chose This Over Other Makes.
I have just taken delivery of a brand new Hyundai Kona 64 kWh Premium SE. After three Nissan Leaf’s I have moved to another brand. This was a carefully considered decision as I intend to keep this car for a long period.
What other makes did I consider? Well below is a list of vehicles I test drove and considered before ordering the Kona.
Nissan Leaf 62 kWh . Back in July I contacted Barnstaple Nissan enquiring when delivery would start for the larger battery Leaf. I had bought my 40 kWh leaf from them back in March 2019. I was informed that delivery would not start until November 2019.
However if I wanted to sell my car back to them I would get a good price if I was to do it then. I agreed and put a £500 deposit down and returned my Leaf to them for nearly the price I paid in March. Karen has a Fiat 500 and we were going to manage with one car.
The WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) range for the Leaf was 239 miles which was considerably more than the 168 quoted for my 40 kWh model. There was however a snag. I had ordered a 62kWh vivid blue. The retail price for this model was £36,640 AFTER taking the government grant of £3500 off. This made the cost of the car new over the £40000 luxury car tax threshold meaning it would need taxing every year at over £300.
I queried this with the garage who initially said they would discount it below the threshold but I challenged this as it works on the manufacturers recommended retail price. After further research they agreed and I had to amend my order to change the colour to magnetic red which brought the price under the £40000 threshold for VED.
So from July 2019 until recently we managed in the Fiat 500 including a holiday to France in it!
During the wait I decided to do some greater research. If I was paying that much for a Leaf what else was there to consider.
Other Electric Vehicles I Considered
Jaguar IPace. I have owned several Jaguars in the past and I would really liked to have owned an IPace. However I have been following its UK owners on the Facebook group for sometime now. The Ipace has a WLTP range of 292 miles on a 90 kW battery. I visited my local dealer a took one for a test drive. Yes it is a Jaguar, smooth comfortable and fast. What it is not is affordable and reliable for many of its owners. I was offered a deal of £26000 deposit, 48 payments of £200.48 and final payment of £38591. The total cost over 4 years was £74218 against a cash price of £65128.90 for a caesium blue car available within a week.
This is a huge amount of money for a car that drivers in the real world are getting 200 miles or less at motorway speeds. Some owners report blank screens in the car which dealers take weeks to fix and many other issues such as Ecotricity chargers not connecting to the Ipace making motorway journeys very traumatic. Not what I wanted to experience even if I could afford the repayments. Sadly this ruled out the Ipace.
BMW I3. I have a soft spot for the I3. It was the first electric car I had a ride in. I went to a local BMW dealer and test drove the new 42 kWh I3. This has a WLTP range of 193 miles and again if you add different extras to the basic price it can easily go over the £40000 threshold. However my reason for excluding it was primarily based on its ride. It is harsh and bumpy. It has a short wheelbase and skinny thin tyres and driving over our local potholed roads it noticeably skitted around even without driving fast. It is also expensive to have serviced or fixed if out of guarantee.
Renault Zoe. Previously driven and found to be a bit small and dated in relation to charging and technology in the car. Soon to be rectified with the release of the new larger battery model but not a car I wanted to test again.
Tesla Model 3. The standard plus WLTP comes in at 254 and the long range at 348. I went to the Tesla Shop in Cribbs Causeway and had a thorough test in a Model 3. Every model comes in over the £40000 VED threshold before government grant hence will require taxing each year.
It is a 4 door sports saloon and therein lies my problem. We have a dog and need a hatch back. I could not see me letting Archie loose on the back seats no matter what protective covers I could buy.
The car is indeed impressive to drive. However they are churning them out from the factory in such great numbers that quality control has suffered. I watch the UK model 3 group on Facebook and a lot of cars are having to go back to rectify paint defects.
The other major factor in favour of the model 3 is the Tesla charging infrastructure. Charging a Tesla on their own chargers could not be more simple. Unlike all the other where you need an App, an RFID card or if your lucky and find a new credit card charger all require a certain amount of faff before charging.
The other worry for me was the nearest service centre was also Bristol, a long way away if I needed any work done. So despite my secret desire to own a Tesla I ruled it out.
Volkswagen E Golf. I could have easily bought an E Golf. I test drove one at a local dealership. The 32 usable kWh battery gives a WLTP range of 144 miles. The ride was very noisy and you could easily tell it was a fossil fuel car adapted to be an ev. The dials and controls were based on the old golf and coming from a 40 kWh Leaf it felt like a step backwards. There are deals to be had as the new VW ID3 will come on stream next year and that should be a real contender for your money.
MG ZS EV. This was too new to market for me to test but I did exclude it on the grounds of it being untested in the UK market and not available until next year. It has a 44 kWh battery and a WLTP range of 163 miles. Its major selling point is its price. Starting in the low £20000 bracket depending on model chosen this is the first real family sized hatchback electric vehicle at comparable price to petrol or diesel cars. I think this will have a big impact on the market next year if the quality and reliability are good.
Hyundai Ioniq 38 kWh WLTP range 194 miles. I had just seen the new model Ioniq advertised in a dealership in Exeter. As I was now getting desperate for a car and could not see me waiting until November for the Nissan Leaf I went to Bristol Street Motors Hyundai Exeter to test drive the new model. It is a very nice car but the boot was a little small for our dog. Whilst talking to Steve Duggan the salesman I asked if they were getting any of the 64kWh Kona in stock.
To my surprise he said they had one coming in next week as a demonstrator. After much pleading and correspondence to and fro Hyundai it was decided I could purchase it from new. My luck was in as it was a ceramic blue premium SE model with light leather interior trim. This was the colour combination I would have chosen.
Hyundai Kona 64 kWh Premium SE And Why I chose This Over Other Makes
Now the Hyundai Kona has had great reviews since its launch in 2018. I have been following the UK owners Facebook page with great interest. So much so I had only a few days before seen a Kona owner offering his ceramic blue 64 kWH premium SE for sale with 1800 miles covered for £39000 second hand in Tavistock very near to me. This was a huge inflated price over what he paid for the car in 2018 which was 32500 after the government grant even accepting prices had risen since he bought it.
His reasoning was that there was a huge waiting list for this vehicle, almost 18 months and therefore someone in a hurry would pay the inflated price to acquire a vehicle now.
I test drove his vehicle and was really impressed with the drive and performance. Owners in the real world were reporting 300 mile journeys which exceeded its WLTP rating of 279 miles.
The car delivers more miles to the kilowatt than any of the others even with spirited driving. It is of course a hatchback so Archie would be accommodated. The only downside was that there is not much room for back seat passengers. This was not an issue for us but might be for a larger family.
So there you have it, I paid £36156 for the car new. I have purchased a three year service pack for £354.98 including its first MOT. It has a 5 year warranty. I waited just about a week from deposit to delivery from Hyundai Exeter and did not have to pay an inflated price for a second hand model.
I can recommend Hyundai Exeter especially the salesman Steve Duggan. He runs an Ioniq has has a lot of experience with other ev’s. He knows what he is talking about and avoids the usual sales bullshit.
The below images show the car on pick up. 97% charged and 281 miles of range showing!
Johnny Smith from the Fully Charged Show has done an interesting YouTube video review worth watching
Hyundai Kona 64 kWh Premium SE And Why I chose This Over Other Makes
UPDATE 2023 : After 3 years sadly my lovely Kona has been part exchanged for a new KIA Niro EV4 Click here to see my new addition.