Motoring Writer IAN LAMMING may not be charged for full electric but he does get a buzz from the new Kona Hybrid
SO there you are then; the big pronouncement has been made. In 15 years’ time the combustion engine will be banned. Well, good luck with that one as there’s a fair bit of work to be done before this country is ready for pure electric and the jury is still out whether that day will come at all, or whether we will switch to hydrogen.
Trump apart, there are few people on the planet who wouldn’t agree that something needs to be done to clean up the atmosphere, though it also has to be said that cars are not the only culprit.
As we tiptoe around petrols and diesels, the humble hybrid is a useful halfway house at least ensuring we eek a few more precious miles per gallon out of the old liquid carbon. I’m saving a packet with mine.
Hyundai always like to be ahead of the game technology-wise and its little’s SUV, the Kona, now comes in full electric and hybrid.
I’m too scared to tackle the full electric as I travel too many miles a day, but the hybrid at least negates such frequent visits to the pumps, which is fab for me.
New Kona Hybrid pinches from its sibling, the Ioniq, the Kappa 1.6 GDi petrol motor which then works in harmony with the 1.56kWh battery and 32kW motor. Together they deliver a useful 141PS and 265Nm to the front wheels, via a six-speed dual clutch transmission. Nice!
It also steals the multi-link rear suspension from the Kona Premium GT so drivers looking for a fun, involving and dynamic driving experience are in for a treat, while those needing to tow will be impressed by a capacity of up to 1300kg. Great for the van, that.
Hybrid shares Kona’s very modern looks and a host of tech in the cabin and under the skin. Inside, the dash is dominated by a 10.25in touch screen navigation system which features Bluelink telematics, Hyundai’s smartphone app-based connected car service that enables drivers to carry out a number of different functions while away from the car.
This includes allowing drivers to unlock the car doors remotely and reminding the driver of the vehicle’s parked location. Bluelink will also be able to advise drivers of nearby on-street and off-street parking facilities, fuel station pricing and Hyundai dealership information.
Hybrid also gets climate control, an electric parking brake and steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles. White accents around the air vents and gear lever surround, as well as accompanying white stitching to the seats, distinguish Hybrid.
It also features an audio system with standard subscription free Apple Car Play™ and Android Auto™, rear parking sensors with camera and standard Lane Keep Assist and Driver Attention Alert.
Kona Hybrid Premium features a nifty KRELL eight-speaker sound system, keyless entry with stop/start button, privacy glass, wireless charging for compatible mobile devices, automatic windscreen wipers and front fog lamps. Lavish.
No need to plug this Hybrid in, it is just as good as the pure petrol to drive and offers a whole lump more miles per gallon – what’s not to like and you are doing a little bit for the environment too.
Hyundai Kona Hybrid
Engine: 1.6 litre petrol plus electric
Top speed: 99mph
Combined MPG: 72.4
Transmission: six speed auto
CO2 g/km: 99