Update: ‘2023 Hyundai Kona Electric specifications’ and ‘2023 Hyundai Kona Electric price’ sections updated.
In the U.S., the new 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric has silently replaced the previous model. In this story, we explain what’s new in the 2023 Kona EV and what’s unchanged.
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric variants
Changes have been made to the EV’s equipment level, to where customers get more. The 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is available in SE, SEL, and Limited trims. SE is equivalent to the previous model’s SEL grade, while SEL corresponds to the previous model’s SEL with the optional Convenience Package that used to cost USD 3,500 extra.
Hyundai unveiled a series of updates to the Kona Electric in November 2020 and introduced the revised edition for the MY2022 in the United States last year. This design has been carried over into the MY2023. With the facelift, the company smoothed out the electric SUV’s face, enhancing its character. With its new closed grille, the EV looks purer and understated.
As with the previous model, the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric features LED DRLs, and sharper LED headlamps with new multifaceted reflector (MFR) technology. The vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch cladding give it a sporty look. Additionally, an asymmetric charging port breaks the monotony of the EV’s centrally located charging port on the front mask.
With the MY2022 update, the company introduced a new hood that gave the electric SUV a more powerful look. The functional air intake in the lower bumper has satin accent bars that enhance the car’s appearance. Compared to the 2021 model, the facelifted Kona Electric is longer but not noticeably. It is easily recognizable as the facelifted model due to the funkier 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low rolling resistance tires. These features have been carried forward into the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric.
At the rear, the Kona EV received a slightly more aggressive LED taillight and bigger and sharper combination lamps that include new LED turn indicators (instead of PY21W halogen bulbs) split into three vertical bars and wider reverse light. Also new with the minor refresh were the satin accent bars on the bumper. These have also safely made it to the 2023 model.
Digital instrument cluster
The 2023 Kona Electric sports the same 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and the turbine-shaped outer-end AC vents Hyundai had introduced with the MY2022 update. The former, a color LCD unit, was a replacement for a 7-inch electroluminescent digital instrument cluster. Exclusive to the Limited trim in the previous model, it is available in the SEL trim as well in the 2023 model.
Other noteworthy features carried over to MY2023 are wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, upgraded Bluelink with more functions controllable with smartphone/voice, and mood lighting.
Strangely, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto continue to be available in the lower-end 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system but in not the optional 10.25-inch unit. The 8-inch unit had replaced a 7-inch panel that came with wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. In place of the Infinity premium audio system, Hyundai introduced a Harman Kardon unit, and it is continuing with this supplier for the 2023 model year.
OTA Map Updates
OTA map updates is a new interior feature in the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric. It is available in the SEL and Limited trims, which pack the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
8-way power adjustment with lumbar support for the driver seat, heating for the driver and front passenger seats, and power windows with auto-down/up are standard in the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric. In the previous model, the base (SEL) trim didn’t include these features as standard.
Rear-seat passengers enjoy more convenience in the 2023 Kona Electric, as Hyundai includes a rear USB port across the range. This feature was exclusive to the range-topping Limited trim in the previous model.
Hyundai redesigned the Kona Electric’s lower center console storage area for more efficient use of space and the switches for climate control and conveniences in 2021. The company introduced new seating surfaces and materials and new dash/door panel materials and accents as well. It hasn’t changed these elements for MY2023.
Dynamic Voice Recognition
Dynamic Voice Recognition was another convenience feature Hyundai introduced in the Kona Electric for the U.S. market last year. We don’t spot it in the features list for MY2023, but that may not mean discontinuation. We should learn about its availability when the company lists the model on the U.S. website.
Dynamic Voice Recognition is essentially a more capable voice recognition system. It allows the user to activate and control various features of the vehicle, such as the climate control system, radio station, rear window and side mirror heating, and steering wheel heating.
The 2023 Kona Electric is available with a shareable Digital Key in the SEL and Limited trims. This feature allows users to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the vehicle, and activate the panic alert using their smartphone. Using the BlueLink app, owners can remotely manage and monitor their vehicle, access real-time vehicle data, and perform specific commands. For people with different electric rates at off-peak times, it is possible with the BlueLink app to schedule charging.
Hyundai hasn’t introduced safety-related changes to the Kona Electric for the 2023 model year. The EV grew safer in MY2022 due to improvements in the driver assistance systems department. In the last update, Hyundai had introduced four new features: Highway Driving Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, and Safe Exit Warning. Moreover, the company made Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection standard. Both Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist became capable of applying brakes in addition to giving a warning.
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric specifications
Battery & Motor
The 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric uses the familiar front permanent-magnet synchronous motor that produces 201 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 291 lb.-ft. of torque. It has a top speed of 104 mph. A 64 kWh water-cooled battery pack consisting of LG Chem-made prismatic lithium-ion cells is standard.
As with the previous model, the 2023 Kona Electric has a 258-mile range. However, the energy efficiency ratings in city and highway driving are 134 MPGe instead of 132 MPGe and 106 MPGe instead of 108 MPGe, respectively. Thus, the combined energy efficiency rating is also the same – 120 MPGe. The energy consumption rating is also no different from the previous model – 28 kWh/100 mi. These figures are EPA estimates.
When Hyundai lent the Kona Electric the MY2022 update, it reduced the 10-100% Level 2 charging time by 20 minutes to ~9 hours 15 minutes. The company made 10-80% Level 3 charging quicker as well, by 11 minutes when plugged into a 50 kW charger (~64 minutes) and by 7 minutes when plugged into a 100 kW charger (~47 minutes). There are no improvements in the charging aspect for MY2023.
Also new for MY2022 was improved ride quality and comfort, thanks to the Hydraulic Rebound Stopper that improves suspension rebound shock when driving over rough terrain, rear torsion beam reinforcement, and body valve shock absorber. Hyundai engineers reduced NVH levels by adding acoustic windshield glass, instrument panel insulation, and cargo insulation. These features have been carried over.
A battery warmer system (heat pump) is available in the SEL and Limited grades of the 2023 Kona Electric. In Winter Mode, the system helps minimize battery-power losses due to low winter temperatures.
|Aspect||2023 Hyundai Kona EV specification|
|Motor Power||150 kW (201 hp)|
|Motor Torque||395 Nm (291 lb.-ft.)|
|Battery Pack Capacity||64 kWh|
|Battery Pack Power Output||170 kW|
|Battery Pack Voltage||356 V|
|Onboard Charger||7.2 kW|
|Top Speed||104 mph|
|Range (EPA-est.)||258 miles|
|Energy Efficiency (EPA-est.)||134 MPGe (city)/106 MPGe (highway)/120 MPGe (combined)|
|Energy Consumption (EPA-est.)||28 kWh/100 mi|
|Level 2 Charging Time (10-100% SoC)||~9 hours 15 minutes|
|Level 3 Charging Time (0-80% SoC)||~64 minutes (50 kW charger)/47 minutes (100 kW charger)|
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric Price & Release Date
Hyundai has lowered the Kona Electric’s price range from USD 34,000-42,500 to USD 33,550-41,550 with the MY2023 update. These prices exclude a standard destination fee of USD 1,295. It is likely Hyundai wanted to soften the blow of customers losing the USD 7,500 federal tax credit.
According to EPA, the 2023 Kona Electric is eligible for USD 7,500 federal tax credits just like all previous models, but this applies to only those customers who “entered into a written binding contract to purchase” before August 16, 2022.
|Trim||2023 Hyundai Kona Electric price|
The 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric is now on sale in the U.S. Several dealers have the new model on their websites. The updated EV hasn’t appeared on Hyundai’s website/configurator, but looks like it is available at local dealerships.
Hyundai EV strategy
Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), which sells Hyundai and Genesis brand cars, delivered some 20,000 EVs in the U.S. market in 2021, CEO Jaehoon Chang revealed at the 2022 CEO Investor Day (March 2, 2022). By 2026, HMC aims to increase EV sales in the U.S. to 220,000 units, which would be an eleven-fold growth from 2021. Its sales target for 2030 is a whopping half a million units, 530,000 to be precise. Aiming to be a dominant player in the EV market, this company aspires EVs to account for 58% of its total sales volume and take 11% of the total EV market share in America.
The ambitious goals will need a lot of changes at HMC, most importantly, a significant expansion of its EV line-up. The company plans to introduce 17 new pure-electric vehicles by 2030, and 11 will be Hyundais. The 11 upcoming Hyundai electric vehicles will include the next-gen 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric.
It may prove to be a challenging couple of years for the Kona Electric. The Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which offers similar range and performance, is substantially bigger and more spacious. A higher MSRP due to the loss of federal tax credits under the Clean Vehicle Credit program, eats away the Kona EV’s VFM factor. While the 2023 model’s lower price and better equipment is a good stop-gap measure, Hyundai will have to take steps to recoup the full tax credits in order to avoid being steamrolled by the Bolt and Equinox EVs.
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric FAQs
What is the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric price?
The 2023 Kona Electric prices start at USD 33,550.
What is the 2023 Hyundai Kona EV range?
The U.S.-spec new Hyundai Kona EV returns an EPA-est. range of 258 miles.
Featured image: Hyundai