Photo: Hyundai
Photo: Hyundai

This Year’s
Winning Autos

EV fans in the United States who’ve tired of the long waits for a Tesla Model 3 might want to kick the tires of Hyundai’s new Kona Electric. It has a base price of US $29,995, after a $7,500 U.S. tax credit. For comparison, the base-model Tesla 3 starts at $35,000, after a $3,750 U.S. credit, which is already phasing out. And yet the Kona delivers a no-fooling 415 kilometers (258 miles) of electric driving range—65 km more than the standard Tesla’s range and 32 better than the Chevrolet Bolt’s. It also has a whopping 174-km edge over the latest Nissan Leaf.

Last December, I drove a Kona from Brooklyn to the wilds of Long Island, blissfully unconcerned about range and untaxed by the calculations that run through your head with the shorter-hop electric cars. I found the Kona to be surprisingly muscular, squirting from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in about 6.4 seconds, courtesy of a liquid-cooled, 150-kilowatt motor. In old-school terms, that’s the equivalent of 201 horsepower, with 400 newton meters (295 pound-feet) of instant-on torque.

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