Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win?

Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?

For this group test, three similar-sized fully electric entry-level models will be going head-to-head. Price, range, performance, and features will be scrutinised and compared – who will come out on top? Up first is the great value Renault Zoe, next is the much-anticipated German rival the VW ID.3, and last, but by no means least, the South Korean offering in the form of the Hyundai Kona Electric.


Renault Zoe


Entry level model –  Zoe i Play R110 Z.E. 50 (80 KW):


  • Price: £25,795 after PiCG
  • Range: 245 miles (WLTP)
  • Performance: 0-60mph 11.4 sec
  • Warranty: five-year/100,000-mile warranty & eight-year/100,000 battery warranty
(PiCG = Plug in Car grant/prices correct at time of writing)


Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…? Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…? Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?


Renault claims the third generation Zoe is more sophisticated than ever. With a new 52kWh battery that boosts maximum range to 245 miles on the WLTP cycle, a more powerful 100kW R135 electric motor for stronger performance, the option of 50kW DC fast-charging and a new regenerative braking B mode that allows one-pedal driving. Redesigned inside and out, New ZOE gains a dynamic new look and technology upgrades including LED headlamps, Renault’s latest EasyLink multimedia system and always-on 4G connectivity.


The Renault ZOE is one of the most affordable EVs on the market, with prices starting from just £26,170 for the R110 Z.E. 50 Play model. Thanks to its zero CO2 emissions and sub-£40,000 price, owners don’t have to pay any road tax (VED) and are also exempt from paying both London’s Congestion Charge (£11.50 per day) and its Ultra Low Emission Zone Charge (an additional £12.50 per day).


A full battery charge typically costs less than £5, based on the car being charged overnight using an Economy 7 tariff, and this provides a range of up to 245 miles. New ZOE comes with a free home wallbox charging point, supplied and installed by BP Chargemaster.


There are additional financial benefits for business users too, with recent tax changes resulting in significant savings for those running an electric vehicle as their company car. For the 2020/21 tax year, New ZOE owners will pay zero Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax, while for the following two years they will be taxed on just 1 per cent and 2 per cent of the car’s P11D value respectively.


Standard for all models is a new 10-inch TFT instrument cluster displays the main driving information, including an eco-meter to encourage eco-friendly driving habits and maximises range. The display provides exceptional clarity and enhances the driving experience by enabling the driver to personalise it to suit their needs or preferences. As well as selecting from different layout and lighting options, they can also choose to have sat-nav instructions displayed directly in front of them, for safer, less distracted driving.


The new centre console highlights New ZOE’s premium, high-tech status. The most prominent feature is a redesigned gear selector that features a metallic surround and Renault’s distinctive Z.E logo. It gives a more luxurious appearance and puts the driver firmly in control, allowing them to switch easily between settings, including the new B mode that boosts regenerative braking and encourages simple one-pedal driving. All models now come with an electronic parking brake, replacing the traditional style handbrake.


This has doubled storage space on the centre console which, as standard on Iconic and GT Line models, now contains new wireless charging for topping up compatible devices. In the rear, passengers have access to two USB sockets that can be used to charge smartphones, tablets and portable games consoles. The optional Bose sound system available for GT Line models is the result of a long-running partnership between Renault and the premium audio brand. Specially tailored to the acoustics of New ZOE’s cabin, this innovative audio system delivers a clear, powerful listening experience in every seat.


New ZOE offers the reassurance of a five-year/100,000-mile warranty, while an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty covers the car’s battery, for additional peace of mind.


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Entry level model – ID.3 Life 58kWh:


  • Price:  £28,670 after PiCG
  • Range: 263 miles (WLTP)
  • Performance: 0-62 mph 9.6 seconds
  • Warranty: Three-year/60,000-mile warranty & eight-year/100,000 battery warranty


(PiCG = Plug in Car grant/prices correct at time of writing)


Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…? Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?


Beetle. Golf. ID.3. Three cars, that in their respective eras and classes, represent Volkswagen’s take on modern individual mobility. That the new ID.3 is named alongside two such undisputed icons of the motoring world illustrates the importance of the brand’s first new car designed from the wheels, up to run purely on electricity. The arrival in the UK of the ID.3 1st Edition in September 2020 delivers on a bold pledge made by the brand almost exactly four years before, at the Paris Motor Show of 2016, when the daring I.D. concept was first unveiled to the world and Volkswagen promised to have cars based closely upon it in the hands of customers around Europe within four years.


The ID.3 is the first vehicle from the Volkswagen Group built on the all-new modular electric drive matrix (MEB). By 2029 the Group aims to sell 20 million vehicles built on this new platform. MEB allows different-sized batteries to be specified depending on customers’ needs. Currently, ID.3 customers can choose between the ‘Pro’ 58 kWh or ‘Pro S’ 77 kWh battery with a WLTP combined range of up to 263 or 336 miles respectively. At a later date, the more affordable ‘Pure’ 45 kWh battery will be available with a range of 205 miles.


After the limited-run ID.3 1ST Edition, fitted with the 58 kWh battery and 204 PS motor, seven series versions have followed. Six of these trims (Life, Business, Style, Family, Tech, and Max) are based on the Pro Performance with 58 kWh battery and 204 PS motor. A single trim (Tour) is based on the Pro S with a 77 kWh battery and 204 PS motor.


The ID.3 is initially offered in the UK as the ID.3 Pro Performance and ID.3 Pro S model variants. Otherwise mechanically identical, these two versions both have 204 PS but differ according to their respective battery capacities. ID.3 Pro Performance – The ID.3 Pro Performance has an energy capacity of 58 kWh, which supports a range of up to 260 miles with a full charge (WLTP, combined electric range).


The electric drive motor delivers an output of 150 kW (204 PS) and 310 Nm of torque. This will carry the ID.3 Pro Performance from rest to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds. ID.3 Pro S – The ID.3 Pro S, meanwhile, has a battery with an energy capacity of 77 kWh. This supports a significantly greater maximum range of 340 miles (WLTP, combined electric range) while the electric motor also generates 150 kW (204 PS) and a torque peak of 310 Nm. With the larger capacity battery onboard, the sprint from zero to 62 mph takes 7.9 seconds.


When it comes time to refuel, the ID.3 can be charged with either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) and has full fast charging capability. The 77 kWh version charges with a power rating of up to 125 kW, which translates to gaining a range of more than 200 miles in just 30 minutes.


The ID.3 has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer-operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty. Additionally, Volkswagen offers an eight-year EV battery warranty which takes the form of a guarantee for eight years or 100,000 miles/160,000 km (whichever is soonest), on all material or manufacturing defects.


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Hyundai Kona Electric


Entry level model – Kona Electric SE Connect 39kW:


  • Entry price:  £30,125 after PiCG
  • Range: 189-mile range (WLTP)
  • Performance: 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds
  • Warranty: 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 8 years 100,000 mile Battery Warranty
(PiCG = Plug in Car grant/prices correct at time of writing)


Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…? Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona & VW ID.3 go head-to-head who will win…?


First released in 2018, KONA Electric quickly gained a reputation for delivering high levels of efficiency and genuine long-distance capability thanks to its powerful electric drivetrain. Since its launch, KONA Electric has continued to receive industry recognition for both its technical strength and its democratization of electric vehicles to the wider consumer market.


New KONA Electric continues with a choice of two powertrain offerings, a 39.2kWh with 136PS and a range of 189 miles, or the 64kWh with 204PS and a range of 300 miles. Both models offer charging flexibility with standard 7 pin Type 2 CCS and 3 pin ICCB charging cables. New KONA Electric can be charged from as little as 47 minutes on a 100kW charger, with a full recharge from a 7.2kW charger obtained in just 6 hours.


Three trim levels are available to customers with the new SE Connect and Ultimate trims joining a revised Premium specification. From £33,125 on the road, the KONA Electric SE Connect 39.2kWh is offered with the usual Hyundai high level of standard specification including a standard 10.25” digital supervision instrument cluster, 10.25” AVN system with subscription-free Apple Car Play® and Android Auto®, 5-year Bluelink® subscription and 10 years of map updates via the MapCare scheme. Standard rear parking sensors with a rearview camera, keyless entry with stop/start button, and smart adaptive cruise control with stop/go function all provide customers with convenience when driving.


The Premium trim has been revised from the previous model, with standard equipment additions including full LED headlamps, heated front seats heated steering wheel and cabin ambient lighting. Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCA) are also added to the already comprehensive safety equipment list. Other key features for the Premium include front parking sensors, LED rear lights, power-folding mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers, and a wireless device charging point. The Premium is available with a choice of two powertrains, the 39.2kWh battery, 100kW motor with 136PS and 189 mile1 range, or the 64kWh battery, 150kW motor with 204PS and a 300-mile range.


All New KONA Electric models come with Hyundai’s 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 8 year 100,000 mile High Voltage Battery Warranty, Roadside Assistance package, 5 Year Annual Health Check, and 12 Year Anti Corrosion Warranty.


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Reviewing the three entry models:


If we are considering the price tag, Renault comes out top. It offers considerably better value than the Hyundai Kona, with the ID.3 sitting in the middle. In terms of range, the VW is the clear winner followed by the Renault and lastly the Kona. The VW and Hyundai are no slouches, achieving 60 MPH in under 10 seconds, whereas the Zoe is a little over 11 seconds. The warranties are very similar on the Kona and Zoe – both give peace of mind with a 5-year warranty, however, the ID.3 only comes with three years. The good news is all three models come with an 8 year/100,000-mile battery warranty.


All three models impress when it comes to interior and exterior styling. They all possess large flat-screen displays and command a futuristic presence on the road. However, The ID.3 pips the others to the post with design, it oozes style and the cabin is well laid out and made of high-class materials.


Overall the VW ID.3 stands out for range, performance and style but is slightly let down by its reduced warranty. The Kona’s performance is impressive, but its range and price tag do not stack up to the others. The Zoe overall is excellent value, has great range but the performance is lacking. In summary, all three models are very accomplished technology-packed vehicles, but there is one stand-out winner and the accolade goes to the VW ID.3. It is simply the best overall package for the money and the styling is cracking – I would happily have one charging on my driveway!


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