The Hyundai Kona Electric will enter 2021 with a fresh face that sets it aside from its combustion stablemates, marking it clearly as an electric vehicle.
The design refresh was flagged in September by Hyundai when it unveiled a hybrid version of its popular crossover SUV.
Gone is the honeycomb fascia that mimicked the “grille” of the 2020 model, replaced by a Tesla Model 3-like smooth nose topped by the familiar Hyundai logo.
This is enhanced by new LED daytime running lights, and new sharp headlights that use a multifaceted reflector design.
Air intakes set into the front wheel arch are more streamlined, while the bumper intakes are no longer curved, and are instead highlighted with accent bars to make the nose more defined. Accents on the rear bumper accentuate the new rear lights also.
The charging port remains on the nose, set in the left hand side for easy nose-in parking access to infrastructure.
The new 2021 Kona Electric will be available in Australia from mid-2021, says Hyundai.
While both the 64kWh and 40kWh variants of the Kona Electric receive the design refresh, Hyundai Australia says that it will still offer only the long-range 64kWh locally.
Specifications for the 2021 Kona Electric with 64kWh battery remain the same as the previous iteration, including 484km driving range, a 150kW motor and 395Nm torque.
“When we launched the Kona Electric in 2018 as the world’s first fully-electric small SUV, it represented a major step forward for affordable e-mobility,” says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, VP of marketing and products at Hyundai Motors in Europe.
“With the new Kona Electric, we’re showing that Hyundai is fully committed to zero-emissions driving, by providing our customers with enhanced driving assistance and safety features, making it an even more desirable package.”
Inside the vehicle, the Kona Electric also benefits from a design refresh, including a new 10.25-inch digital cluster in addition to the 10.25-inch multimedia screen which has been carried over from the last update.
The 2021 Kona Electric keeps the same safety features of the previous model including forward collision avoidance assist that senses not only cars but also pedestrians and cyclists. Smart cruise control, lane following and keeping, intelligent speed limit warnings and driver attention warnings are also brought across.
New safety features for the 2021 model include blind spot and rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist, leading car departure alerts, safe exit warnings and rear seat alerts.
Rear passengers will enjoy new second row seat heating as well as more USB ports for recharging devices.
Worldwide, Hyundai has sold more than 120,000 units of its all-electric crossover to date. In Australia it is the second-most popular EV (although as the local fleet is still doing baby steps, this accounts for less than 1,000 sold locally since its introduction in 2019.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.