5 Used Electric Cars to Harness Korean Efficiency

Belonging to the same group, manufacturers Kia and Hyundai have quietly entered the French electric car market. Sometimes the first models have become affordable.

for memory

First of the Korean electric cars introduced in France: Kia Soul EV SUV. It was in 2014. The manufacturer was then particularly discreet about electromobility. It’s not really publicity or pressure from the brand’s business advisors, but very positive initial feedback from early adopters.

This current was powerful enough for journalists who knew electricity to take a close interest in this model. It was a bit as if the automaker had let its engineers have fun with a simple instruction: Design an electric vehicle the way you’d like it to be.

Then we discovered a car that was already very successful, particularly well equipped and original, but also very efficient for its size. Two years later, Hyundai hits the market with its Ioniq electric sedan which also convinced its users.

In hindsight, Korean car batteries have been found to last for years and tens of thousands of kilometers quite well, maintaining good capacity for a long time.

Kia Soul EV: less than 15,000 euros

With its 27 kWh battery, the Soul EV is credited with a range of 212 km NEDC, then about 250 km adopting the 30 kWh package in March 2017. On gravel, you’ll be better off relying on just 140km on the mixed cycle today, except for eco-driving enthusiasts. The top-of-the-range Ultimate gets heated leather seats in the 4 main seats, as well as a Harman Kardon audio system along with rings of light surrounding the speakers in the front.

kia soul EV

Vehicle handling is generally very healthy and the machine knows how to swallow winding roads on dry ground. On the other hand, avoid equipping it with bad tires that would cause surprising behavior when the road is slippery. Like the impression of speeding up when the machine no longer finds its grip and regeneration is suddenly released.

This model is now below 15,000 euros. Given the current price rise observed in the second-hand electric vehicle market, it was possible to find one below 12,000 euros. The must: Soul EV Ultimate 30 kWh with panoramic glass roof. But it’s more expensive. Attention : fast charging according to CHAdeMO standardwill probably decrease in the coming years.

Hyundai Ioniq: less than 15,000 euros

Appearing on the modern French market in 2016, the Hyundai Ioniq sedan inaugurated the series of models that are available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100% electric. The latter is immediately identified at the front by its full grille. The first users also greatly appreciated the equipment and the exceptional efficiency of this model, which however today will not be easy to find second-hand.

Already due to a relatively low number of copies sold new in France. Then, because SUVs are more popular, the second-hand prices of this sedan have sometimes dropped quite a bit, touching 10,000 euros. Enough to find buyers quickly with skyrocketing fuel prices.

hyundai ioniq electric

Electric motorists playing the eco-driving card have achieved exceptionally low fuel consumption with the electric Ioniq on a single charge. Even with the first 28 kWh battery, some users still exceed 250 km in summer and approach 200 km in winter. As a precaution, count a good fifty kilometers less. Highlight the set of cams on the steering wheel to quickly modify the regeneration power and obtain the lowest consumption.

For 2020, the electric Hyundai Ioniq has seen significant changes, including an energy capacity increased to 38.3 kWh. Hence the possibility of reaching 300 km of autonomy, and even more in the best conditions. In addition, with the new endowment, a 10.2-inch touch screen that is more readable and usable.

It is mainly the adaptive cruise control and the lane keeping assistant that concentrate the negative opinions. I might as well do without it, because it’s not very useful.

Kia e-Soul: from 25,000 euros

In 2019 the Kia e-Soul arrives in France to replace the Soul EV. If the general shape of the body is maintained, the new electric SUV brings significant improvements. And this is particularly the case with the battery. Two possibilities are offered for the 277 or 452 km combined cycle WLTP ranges: 39 or 64 kWh, respectively powered by a 100 or 150 kW engine.

With the best setup, it’s now possible to travel far and hit the highway in a less stressful way. Sobriety remains relevant as long as you practice green driving. Driving at 110 km/h at all costs in a headwind can cause fuel consumption to skyrocket to 20 kWh/100 km. With the lightest foot it is possible to be comfortable on these roads as it does not exceed 15 kWh/100 km.

The new machine has adopted fast css reload and the paddles on the steering wheel to play with the regeneration power. It is then possible to stop without touching the brake pedal, simply by applying pressure on the left lever until it stops.

Kia e-soul

The interior darkened with the omnipresence of black. Voice recognition has taken a huge leap forward. Which is valuable to indicate a distant destination. The GPS will know how to take you to Esté Brieulque, for example. It’s up to you to understand what Saint-Brieuc is! The driving aids have been greatly improved and a lot of effort has been put into it in terms of traction on slippery roads.

Currently, it will be difficult to find a 64 kWh unit for less than 30,000 euros that is not with the entry-level finish. Though being patient and quick to pick up the phone…

Hyundai Kona electric: from 20,000 euros

With the Kona, Hyundai has persevered in its idea of ​​offering a hybrid SUV, PHEV and 100% electric. But then it became clear that the group wanted to move forward alongside its Kia brand by offering the competing Niro, both close and original. We find the pack/motor couplings (39 kWh/100 kW and 64 kWh/150 kW) already seen on the e-Soul.

But its more dynamic body and different tires for models made in Europe provide this electric car with a WLTP combined cycle autonomy of up to 484 km. Again, light-footed users manage to hit that estimate. They are also overwhelmingly satisfied with this car whose main weakness is once again on the driver aids side.

hyundai kona

As with contemporary Kia models, lane-keep assist can be dangerous, or at least worrying. It is absolutely necessary to disable it when driving on narrow country roads. Otherwise, it will tend to send you to the vehicle ahead when it stops to the right to make the crossing easier.

Also, just like e-Soul and e-Niro, all settings (regen power, driving mode, lane keeping, etc.) are lost every time the car is used. Therefore, before mounting, you must start by reproducing them. Imagine having to adjust your driver’s seat every time you use it – just unpleasant in the long run!

For comfort, the atmosphere on board, the ergonomics of the controls, etc. : the hyundai kona electric It is really a very endearing model. Please note that the machine was re-engineered in early 2021 and was the subject of a major, previously very well-managed, recall due to the risk of battery fire.

Kia e-Niro: from 25,000 euros

Cousin of the electric Hyundai Kona, and Kia e-Niro it has a slightly more generous area: 4,375 x 1,805 m, compared to 4,205 x 1,800 m. For a similar height (Kona’s 1.57m vs. e-Niro’s 1.56m), Kia’s electric SUV has a 10cm longer wheelbase (2.7 vs. 2.6m).

All this means that, if you favor space on board, such as families and taxi drivers or taxi drivers for example, it is the e-Niro that will undoubtedly interest you the most. The boot, for example, can swallow between 451 and 1,405 liters of luggage, depending on whether or not the rear seat has been sacrificed. For comparison, the figures drop to 332 and 1,114 liters in the Hyundai Kona.

Be e-Niro

The choice of battery/motor groups is identical: 39 kWh/100 kW and 64 kWh/150 kW. It’s hard to tell the two trendy Korean cousins ​​apart beyond style and space on board.

Unlike Hyundai, Kia has chosen not to install a heat pump for France. What many readers criticize. Nevertheless, during our comparative test in January 2019, in winter temperaturesWe did not find significant differences in terms of consumption.

The price may be the last argument that will lead you preferably to the electric Kona available at times from 20,000 euros. Which will be very difficult for the e-Niro rarely seen below 25,000 euros. With the landing of the new model in a few months, it is possible to consider a price drop for this electric SUV.

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