Which electric SUV is better, the Tesla Model Y or the Hyundai Kona EV? We tested both, and this is what we found.
The Kona EV is one of the most underrated EV’s currently available, and is an excellent choice for many families. But just how does it compare to Tesla’s newest electric SUV, the Model Y?
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Let’s compare the two vehicles head-to-head starting with their purchase prices. Currently, there are two versions of a Model Y available, the long-range all-wheel-drive variant for $52,990 and the Model Y performance variant for $60,990.
|Model||Base MSRP||EPA Range||CPMoR|
|Model Y LR AWD||$52,990||316 mi||$167.69|
|Model Y PERF (20in)||$60,990||280 mi||$217.82|
|Kona EV SEL FWD||$37,190||258 mi||$144.14|
|Kona Limited FWD||$41,800||258 mi||$162.01|
|Kona Ultimate FWD||$45,400||259 mi||$175.97|
The Kona EV comes in three variants. The Kona EV SEL front-wheel drive, the Kona EV limited front-wheel drive, and the Kona EV ultimate front-wheel drive. The vehicle starts at $37,190 for the SEL trim level and goes up to $45,400 for the ultimate trim level.
As I’ve done in previous articles I always like to calculate the cost per mile of range for an electric vehicle to help figure out just how much value of the vehicle offers.
You can see in this table that the Kona EV SEL trim front-wheel drive has the very lowest cost per mile range, at a hundred and forty-four dollars and fourteen cents.
It is really important to note that the standard range Model Y will be coming out next year in 2021, and that will start somewhere around forty thousand dollars and I estimate will have a range of somewhere between 240 and 250 miles.
It’ll be good to see how that compares to the Kona then when that comes out, but for now, these Models are what we have to compare.
Now I’d like to take a look at some actual purchase cost and go over not only the purchase price but also sales tax, potential monthly payment and the finance cost for purchasing each one of these vehicles.
For this example, we’re going to compare the long-range Model Y to the Kona ultimate front-wheel drive.
As you can see from this table the Model Y is seven thousand six hundred dollars more at the time of purchase for the vehicle.
It’ll cost you a little bit more in sales tax, and if you put $5,000 down and you finance this for six years at 3% interest you’ll see there that the monthly payment will be about a hundred twenty-five dollars more for the Model Y over the Kona EV.
|Long Rabge Y vs Kona Ultimate||Kona EV||Model Y||Y vs Kona|
|Sales Tax (7.5%)||$3,489||$4,064||+$575|
|Finance Cost (3%x72 Months)||$4,228||$5,003||+$875|
One of the really important things to point out is the Kona EV is still eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, so that would bring the cost difference from seven thousand six hundred, and seventy dollars to somewhere around fifteen thousand dollar price difference.
Now that we’ve seen that the Kona is substantially cheaper than the Model Y I’d like to look at some of the features that you get with the Model Y that you don’t get with a Kona EV.
For this example once again we’re going to be comparing the ultimate trim of a Kona EV, versus a long-range all-wheel-drive Model Y.
The Model Y comes standard with a power liftgate where the Kona TV does not. Included with both the Kona EV and the Model Y is a basic level to the driver’s assist/autopilot system.
The Kona EV only has heated front seats, whereas the Model Y has heated front and rear seats. one of the features that is found on the Kona EV, but not on the Model Y, is a heads-up display.
Both a Model Y and the Kona offer wireless phone charging, but only the Model Y offers a web browser and video streaming services.
If you want GPS navigation and the ability to control your car through your phone app, the Kona EV gives you that for three years free and then after that, you have to pay a monthly fee.
The Model Y includes both GPS navigation and phone app connectivity without paying any extra at any time in the future. Both vehicles at this trim level also include premium audio systems
|UTL Kona vs LR Y||Kona EV||Model Y|
|Power Lift Gate||N/A||Included|
|Heated Seats||Front Only||FRNT/Rear|
|Wireless Phone Charging||Included||Included|
|GPS Nave/Phone App||3 Yrs Free||Included|
|Over Air Updates||N/A||Included|
One of the biggest advantages of owning a Tesla over a Kona or any other EV is the fact that Tesla’s can receive over-the-air updates and improve their software. Tesla is constantly rolling out new updates and adding great new features.
Recently through these over-the-air software updates, Tesla has added features like sentry mode and dashcam.
One other really important thing to point out about the Model Y is that it has a heat pump instead of the standard resistive heating system found in the Kona EV. This will lead to a lot less range loss in the cold and wintery months.
Now I’d like to take a look at both the interior and exterior dimensions and see just how the two vehicles compare.
When you compare the exterior measurements of the Model Y to the Kona EV, you’ll see there that the Model Y is 22.4 inches longer, it is 12.9 inches wider, 2.7 inches higher, the wheelbase is 11.4 inches bigger and the ground clearance is just under a half-inch taller.
|Kona EV||Model Y||Y vs Kona|
|Length||146.6 in||187 in||+22.4 in|
|Width (W/Mirros)||70.9 in||83.8 in||+12.9 in|
|Height||61.2 in||63.9 in||+2.7 in|
|Wheelbase||102.4 in||113.9 in||+11.4 in|
|Ground Clearance||6.2 in||6.6 in||+0.4 in|
More importantly though, if you look at the interior dimensions you’ll see just how much more space the Model Y offers over the Kona EV. The Model Y gives you more Headroom in both the front and rear of the vehicle.
|Kona EV||Model Y||Y vs Kona|
|Head Room Front||39.6 in||41 in||+1.4 in|
|Head Room Rear||37.7 in||39.4 in||+1.7 in|
|Leg Room Front||41.5 in||41.8 in||+0.3 in|
|Leg Room Rear||33.4 in||40.5 in||+7.1 in|
|Shoulder Room Front||55.5 in||56.4 in||+0.9 in|
|Shoulder Room Rear||54.5 in||54 in||-).5 in|
The Model Y gives you slightly more legroom in the front seat and substantially more legroom in the rear seats, giving an additional seven point one inch of legroom over the Kona EV.
In the front seat of a Model Y, you have almost an inch more of shoulder room, and in the back seat of the Model Y, you have about a half-inch less shoulder room than the Kona EV.
One other thing that’s good to look at is the payload and the curb weight of these vehicles. you’ll see there that the Model Y weighs about 4,416, whereas the Kona EV weighs 3,836 pounds.
|Curb Weight||Gross Weight||Payload|
|Model Y LR AWD||4,416 ibs||5,301 lbs||886 ibs|
|Kona EV||3,863 ibs||4,762 lbs||926 lbs|
When you take a look at the gross vehicle weight you can see there that the Model Y has a slightly lower payload capacity than the Kona EV.
Let’s look at another really important factor and that is how much cargo space the vehicles have so with the seats folded down the Kona EV has 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space, whereas the Model Y has a nice 68 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Model Y has substantially more cargo room in the back and is going to be a better vehicle for carrying luggage.
Let’s take a look at the performance differences between the two vehicles. The Model Y is going to be a much quicker and much faster vehicle than the Kona EV.
The Kona EV is not made to be a sports car or a sports SUV, but rather it’s designed to be an economical EV.
|Top Speed||0-60 MPH||EPA Range|
|Model Y LR||135 MPH||4.8 sec||316 mi|
|Model Y PERF (20in)||145 MPH||3.5 sec||280 mi|
|Kona EV (All)||104 MPH||7.6 sec||258 mi|
And so when you compare these, of course, it’s not even close. The Kona EV has a top speed of about 104 miles an hour and can go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.6 seconds.
The Model Y performance can go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, which is less than half the time it takes for the Kona EV.
The Model Y long-range, and the Model Y performance variants both have a 74-kilowatt-hour battery.
The Model Y long-range all-wheel-drive variant can go about 316 miles on a charge according to the EPA, and the Model Y performance with the 20-inch wheels can go about 280 miles.
If you do a calculation based on this EPA range and the battery size, you can figure out how many watt-hours per mile the Model Y needs.
You can see from our table that the Model Y long-range variant has a watt-hour per mile consumption of 234, and it can travel 4.27 miles per kilowatt-hour of battery capacity.
|Battery Size||EPA Range||Wh/M||Miles/kWh|
|Model Y LR||74 kWh||316 mi||234 Wh||4.27 mi|
|Model Y PERF (20in)||74 kWh||280 mi||264 Wh||3.78 mi|
|Kona EV (All)||64 kWh||258 mi||248 Wh||4.03 mi|
When you compare this to the cony EV which is a very efficient vehicle, especially compared to other SUVs on the market it is still slightly less efficient than the Model Y long-range all-wheel-drive variant
The Kona EV requires about two hundred and forty-eight-watt hours per mile and can travel about 4.03 miles per kilowatt-hour of battery capacity.
The Model Y has a max charge rate of 250 kilowatts, whereas the Kona EV only has a max charge rate of around 77 kilowatts based on information from the EV database.
I estimate that the Model Y will take about 25 minutes to add 221 miles of range or to go from 10 percent state of charge to about 80 percent state of charge.
If you were to connect the cone ee-vie to that same charger it would take 44 minutes to go from 10 percent to 80 percent state of charge, and would only add a hundred eighty miles as opposed to two hundred twenty-one miles added in the Model Y.
|Battery||Max Rate||10-80% DC Fast||Miles Added|
|Model Y||74 kWh||250 kW||25 minutes||221 mi|
|Kona EV||64 kWh||77 kW||44 minutes||180 mi|
So as you can see the Model Y can add more miles in less time and we’ll get you back on the road in a much quicker time.
On top of all that the Tesla Model Y has access to Tesla’s amazing supercharging network that is both fast and convenient.
For the Model Y long-range and the Model Y performance variants Tesla guarantees the battery for eight years and one hundred twenty thousand miles.
This warranty guarantees that during this period your battery will maintain at least a 70 percent state of charge.
The Kona EV comes with a lifetime battery warranty for the original owner only, if you sell the vehicle then a 10 year 100,000-mile warranty applies.
This lifetime warranty is pretty good, but they do not guarantee any state of charge percentage, so I imagine that if you hit 70 percent state of charge with the Kona EV they would not replace your battery.
Tesla guarantees its powertrain on the Model Y for eight years or 120 thousand miles and has a comprehensive warranty of four years and fifty thousand miles for the rest of the vehicle.
|Model Y LR/P||8 Yr/120K (70% SOC)||8 Yr/120K||4 yr/50K mi|
|Kona EV||10 yr/100K mi/ Lifetime*||10 yr/100K mi||5 yr/60K mi|
*Lifetime Battery Warranty Applies To Original Owner Only. No State charge % Guarantee
The Kona EV has a longer period that they covered their powertrain, but it includes only a hundred thousand miles instead of the 120 thousand miles. The comprehensive warranty for the Kona EV is five years sixty thousand miles, so it is slightly better in that aspect
Driver’s Assist and Autonomy Features
The Kona ultimate trim level does offer a level two drivers assist suite that is comparable to what tesla offers and their basic autopilot suit.
If you want to pay an additional seven thousand dollars you can get features like to navigate on autopilot, and smart summons, plus coming soon will be automatic driving on city streets.
Sometime in the future when Tesla reaches full self-driving features complete these features will roll out to the Tesla fleet, and they will receive these through over-the-air software updates.
The Kona was never meant to be a fully self-driving vehicle, whereas the Tesla Model Y should have all the hardware necessary.
The Kona EV does have a lower cost of ownership, but the Model Y has more technology and more features. The Model Y also offers more passenger room and cargo room, it has better performance, better range and efficiency, and a much faster-charging speed.
The Kono, however, does have a slightly better warranty than the Tesla Model Y so we give it the check on that one.
So is the Model Y worth the price difference over the Kona EV?
In my opinion, it is. The Model Y as we mentioned has a lot more technology and convenience features, and the Model Y will get better over time.
On top of all that when Tesla does release its full self-driving software the Tesla Model Y will be capable and will have all the technology necessary to complete that.
|Cost Of Ownership||X|
|Tech & Features||X|
|Passenger & Cargo||X|
|Range & Efficiency||X|
Either way though, no matter which vehicle you choose both are great options.
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