The Kona Electric comes in three trim levels, the one pictured being the highest, Ultimate, to which a Lux Pack is added, although we suspect you could live without it: it gets plusher seats with preset memory, forward collision avoidance and a heated charging flap (which we're quite intrigued by).
We also like the felty seat materials. The rest of the interior is pretty good, too. It feels bigger than a car that's only 4.3 metres long. It lets big adults fit behind big adults and the boot is deep and long.
The gear selector is sited behind the steering wheel, allowing for a large storage space between driver and passenger The material choices are mostly fine, too. The brushed-metal-effect dash has retro budget-stereo vibes (not unpleasantly) and features quite a lot of proper buttons, and we'd forgive a lot of material choices to have these. There are around 30 of them; what a joy.
There's also a touchscreen, of course. A steering-wheel button can be configured to bring up the driver-assistance menu, where we think it's likely drivers will turn off some features, or at least their bongs.
A word about one that you can’t currently disable: the eye monitor, which alerts you if you’re drowsy or not paying attention. In theory it’s a decent idea, but here it gives lots of false positives and pings with furious insistence for seemingly random time intervals if you, say, reach down to check the cabin temperature or look over your shoulder for a blindspot. This has to be in EU-bound cars from 2024, but the GSR2 rules say drivers can switch the system off and that, anyway, it only need sound for as long as it takes for ‘the driver to understand it’ – not for anything between two pings and 30sec-plus, as here.
The importer is talking to engineers back in Korea to clarify, because it’s thought it’s functioning improperly and a software update will sort it, so we’ve left the rating here unaffected by it. (It was also flagged on the Kona’s international launch.) But if it is working as intended, we'll be back to amend this rating, taking as many stars off the total score as one deems appropriate for a system that makes you want to take the bus.