Hyundai’s newly bolstered EV strategy might be off to a good start. It just unveiled the Kona Electric, an adaptation of its crossover SUV that promises to combine both ample space with meaningful performance. The base edition’s 186-mile range and 9.3-second 0-62MPH time won’t raise eyebrows, but a long-range version can muster a 292-mile range and reach 62MPH in 7.6 seconds. That’s about as much range as a top-spec Tesla Model X — if you don’t need blistering acceleration or gobs of seating, you can get a very capable electric people hauler.
Logically, there’s a lot of tech inside the cabin as well. A 7-inch center touchscreen (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and a heads-up display aren’t surprising in 2018, but you’ll also find paddle shifters that tweak the level of regenerative braking to suit your driving style and mileage demands. You’ll also see a raft of assists for collision avoidance (including pedestrians), blind spots, lane following and stop-and-go cruise control.
It’s not certain if and when the Kona Electric will reach the US (the current focus is on Europe), although the gas-powered original is making its US debut this spring. It wouldn’t be surprising if the EV edition comes to the country as well. SUVs remain intensely popular in the US, and the Kona’s range could make it practical for the sprawling American landscape.