2021 Hyundai Kona Electric revealed, Australian launch due first half next year

Hyundai’s electric Kona SUV gets a styling makeover, new technologies and a longer driving range for its mid-life upgrade.

The refreshed 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric has been unveiled, debuting a number of key upgrades for a model that has so far sold more than 120,000 units around the world.

(In Australia, which benefits from few of the incentives offered elsewhere, Hyundai has sold 901 Kona Electrics so far.)

Today’s news follows the early 2019 Australian launch for the Kona Electric, when it followed the Ioniq as Hyundai’s second electric model – at $59,990 and with a 449-kilometre driving range.

In its updated form, the 2021 Kona Electric gets new exterior styling – building on the cosmetic changes made to the regular Kona range in September – and a number of tweaks in the cabin.

On the styling front, there’s a simplified and more slippery new look at the front end, with the sharp but relatively featureless snout giving the Kona Electric a vaguely Tesla look.

The slim, high-set daytime lights and lower driving lights remain in place, although the latter have grown bigger and with a pointier, more streamlined look – thanks in large part to the now deleted grey cladding that wrapped both ends of the car.

Changes at the rear include a new LED signature to the driving/brake lights, and a re-styled lighting and reflector unit beneath each main light.

Moving into the cabin, there’s a pair of new 10.25-inch displays – one behind the steering wheel and one in the centre of the dash. The main display carries over from the Kona Electric’s last update (replacing an 8.0-inch unit).

Upgrades to Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite include Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), Safe Exit Warning (SEW), and Rear Seat Alert (RSA).

These join the existing systems that include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA-Ped), Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).

Passengers in the second row now also benefit from a USB port of their own, while the 2019 update’s second-row heated seats continue into the 2021 refresh.

The 2021 Kona Electric’s battery pack capacity remains at 64kWh as before but its driving range is now listed at up to 484km (WLTP) – an improvement on the 449km claimed for the current model.

Outputs are also unchanged, at 150kW and 395 kilometres. Although not confirmed, the 2021 model’s 0-100km/h time is likely identical to the 7.6 seconds listed for the current model.

Charging times are also slightly improved on the outgoing model – see our table below with 2021 and 2018 numbers.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric
DC Fast Charging (10-80%) 50kW Charger 64min
100kW Charger 47min
AC Normal Charging (10-100%) 7.2kW on-board charger 9h 15min
10.5kW on-board charger 6h 50min
2018 Hyundai Kona Electric
DC Fast Charging (10-80%) 50kW Charger 75min
100kW Charger 54min
AC Normal Charging (10-100%) 7.2kW on-board charger 9h 35min

A 39.2kWh option available overseas will again not come to Australia, leaving the new MG ZS EV with no direct rival in the Hyundai stable.

When will the 2021 Kona Electric come to Australia?

The updated Hyundai Kona Electric is due in Australia sometime in the first half of 2021, with firmer timing and other details to be revealed closer to launch.

In its current form, the 2020 Hyundai Kona is priced from $60,740 before on-road costs.

See our Kona Electric news and reviews at the links below.