Hyundai is one manufacturer really pushing ahead with electrified models, with a host of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid versions.
And now that line-up is growing further thanks to the new Kona Hybrid - a petrol-electric version that joins a petrol and all-electric version of this crossover.
It’s the first time the Kona has been offered with hybrid power, though it uses the same gubbins that are fitted to the IONIQ Hybrid.
Aside from the powertrain, revised badging and a couple of new alloy wheel designs, this is very much the same as the standard Kona. That’s no bad thing, as this is a practical, affordable and well-equipped crossover.
But is this the new Kona of choice?
The Kona Hybrid makes do with a powertrain that’s familiar to many other Kia and Hyundai models – combining a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 32kW electric motor. It’s a self-charging system, therefore not as efficient as a plug-in hybrid, though you don’t have the inconvenience of having to plug it in all the time to top up the batteries. That said, Hyundai claims the Kona is still able to return up to 72mpg, along with CO2 emissions as low as 90g/km.
Performance figures don’t make for particularly impressive reading, though this is not what the Kona is about – 0-60mph takes 11.2 seconds, and it would reach a claimed 99mph top speed given the chance.
Ride and handling
At low speeds, the electric power makes driving serene and quiet, though once the engine kicks in, it can begin to sound coarse. Though kept at steadier speeds, and around town where EV mode works best, this can be an impressively refined model.
The torquey electric motor also provides a decent amount of punch when turning out of junctions and away from a set of traffic lights. The light steering is also well-suited to urban use.
The Kona is also a comfortable cruiser, with wind and road noise kept to a minimum – even on our test car’s 18-inch alloy wheels.See Available KONA deals
Interior and equipment
Inside it’s standard Hyundai fare, with the cabin feeling spacious for all passengers. The layout is also excellent, with all the switches being ergonomically placed. There are some cheap-feeling plastics used around the cabin, though.
Higher specification versions feel more pleasant thanks to added leather upholstery, while Hyundai also offers a few different colour packs to add a bit of extra flair to the cabin.
Three trims are offered on the Kona – SE, Premium and Premium SE. With the standard car you get 16-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and a suite of safety kit including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
The Premium version brings keyless entry, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with enhanced connectivity and a Krell sound system. Flagship Premium SE models add LED headlights, leather upholstery, a head-up display and heated and ventilated front seats, which leaves you wanting for very little.
Prices for the Kona Hybrid start from £22,495 and rise to £27,195 for the top-of-the-range model. It works out as nearly £4,000 more expensive than a like-for-like petrol version, which we feel can be quite hard to stomach - though you do need to factor in the Hybrid’s low running costs and enhanced standard safety equipment levels.
The Kona Hybrid is undoubtedly a fantastic addition to the Kona range, offering an interesting alternative to the standard petrol Kona that will be exceptionally cheap to run. It also retains the standard model’s well-equipped interior, spaciousness and interesting styling.
However, you do need to consider if it’s worth the expense over the regular car.