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Hyundai unveils Kona Electric refresh with bold new front-end design and new features

Hyundai has today unveiled its 2021 Kona Electric, a refresh of its electric compact SUV with a bold new front-end design and new features.

Check it out in new pictures below.

Hyundai has been having a lot of success with the Kona Electric, having already delivered over 120,000 units of the electric CUV in a relatively short period of time.

With the refresh, it’s not reinventing a winning formula.

The vehicle is still equipped with the same powertrain available with 39 or 64 kWh battery pack options and offers the same performance.

It offers the same CUV form factor, but it is slightly longer by 25 millimeters than the previous version.

The biggest change is with the design and particularly the front end of the Kona Electric:

Hyundai writes about the Kona Electric’s new front fascia:

The front with the new-look closed grille features a pure and clean design. This modern look is further enhanced by the new LED Daytime Running Lights, which emphasize the car’s wide stance.

The Korean automaker also updated the front headlights with a razor sharp design:

The new design also fits very well with a two-tone paint option, which is available with the redesign along with several new color options (options can vary per market):

  • Dive in Jeju [New]
  • Silky Bronze [New]
  • Shimmering Silver [New]
  • Ignite Flame [New]
  • Misty Jungle [New]
  • Surfy Blue [New]
  • Teal [New]
  • Cyber Grey [New]
  • Atlas White [New]

Hyundai also updated the interior of the Kona Electric with the 2021 refresh:

Hyundai writes about updates to the interior experience — especially the user interface:

For the first time, the new Kona Electric is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital cluster, while an optional 10.25-inch AVN screen is carried over from the last update. The AVN unit incorporates multimedia and convenience features including Bluelink®, Hyundai LIVE Services and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, further democratizing advanced connectivity for Hyundai drivers. Customers who select the eight-inch Display Audio system can wirelessly connect their smartphones to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Here’s a look at the Hyundai Kona Electric’s new display:

Hyundai also added several active safety features to its SmartSense suite with the refresh::

  • [NEW] Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • [NEW] Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • [NEW] Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA)
  • [NEW] Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
  • [NEW] Rear Seat Alert (RSA)

The refreshed Kona Electric is expected to arrive to dealerships soon.

Electrek’s Take

I am a big fan of this new design. I think that the sleeker front end is exactly what the car was missing to have more character.

My only problem with it, which was also my biggest aesthetic gripe with the car back when I reviewed it and its sister model, the Niro Electric from Kia, last year: the clearly visible charge port in the fascia:

It takes away from what I personally think is a super sleek designed front-end.

Hyundai even mentions it as if it’s a good thing:

The front is complemented by an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric which makes a strong statement about driving electric.

I know that some people like the accessibility of the charge port in the front instead of the sides, where most automakers install them, but I don’t think it’s worth it.

It catches the eye and takes away from a very interesting design.

Other than that, I am a very pleased with the design refresh, but I have been biased toward Hyundai’s designs for a long time.

The first car I bought was a 2004 Hyundai Tiburon and I loved that car.

But to come back to the Kona Electric, it’s not a major refresh, but it’s not like the car was due for one since it was only launched two years ago.

I think it’s just a good way to keep Hyundai’s main EV fresh until the automaker comes out with its bigger electrification push under its new IONIQ brand.

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