Model 3 vs Kona EV

Model 3 vs Kona EV

2 person I know opted for the Kona EV because their entourage discouraged them to buy a Tesla because of reliability problems.

Do you have facts to convince them otherwise?

I think there is an availability bias over the media spread fake news and representing disproportionately Tesla problems compared to other car manufacturers but I don’t have any numbers to prove that other than the feeling of the flood of negative newsfeed on facebook after you click on a tesla fire media clickbait.

NUKE | 6 juillet 2019

I haven’t experienced any reliability issues. How many thousands of 3’s are driving around? Of course a few will have problems.
The Kona is a tiny car. The 3 car with lots of room. The Kona is way too small for most people.

jjgunn | 7 juillet 2019

Entourage?!? Who is it? The Kardashians?!?!?!

ccfiiimd | 7 juillet 2019

This is good news. Competition breeds competence. More BEV choices available. I think Kona E is only available in compliance states, so it needs to roll out all over. There are a lot of people who can’t buy a Tesla for cost reasons. We have 2 M3s but we still have a Highlander Hybrid for our 2 Great Danes. Our cars have been reliable with only one service call for a minor warranty issue, but that is anecdotal. If you read these forums plenty of people have complaints and Tesla has not got their service issues down. Autopilot turned off last Saturday on 6/30 on a trip, and their service department was closed at 8 am for phone calls. Was restored that afternoon for the return trip. Was everybody out delivering vehicles? That was an an inconvenience.

Madatgascar | 7 juillet 2019

Well I am on my 6th Tesla with two of each (S, X and 3), and with the exception of the first 2012 Months Del S, they have been the most reliable cars I have owned. The first one was in the shop 12 times.

I also follow these forums pretty thoroughly and get a sense of the issues out there. My sense that Tesla has worked through their teething problems and is producing reliable cars, with pretty minor issues. The problem is, reliability data significantly lags, and Consumer Reports (for example) has not updated their ratings recently enough on Model 3.

It is also clear that service can be overwhelmed in some places. Think of the problems Tesla must face ramping service centers appropriately everywhere to match the huge increase in their sales. It’s just a fact that if your car is one of the few that has issues, you may have to wait a bit for service. I think it is worth it - obviously since I bought more after the first one gave me so many issues. I gave a couple of people this advice and they bought Tesla’s and have been happy.

kevin_rf | 7 juillet 2019

Was surprised to see one at the local ice cream place a month back. Didn't know they where already available in MA. The owner was very happy with the vehicle and was happy to talk about it. He bought it locally. His three other adult passengers didn't seem too squished getting back in. I kinda like the texture of the front bumper.

Not every car is for everyone. I had to make an IKEA run yesterday and choose the Prius over the Three. A couple hours of driving and hauling more outsized cargo than the three can fit reminded me of a few things I definitely like more with the Prius. (Cargo, Seating, Visibility, Turn Radius)

Heck, many Aztec owners love those vehicles...

Madatgascar | 7 juillet 2019

Odd spell correct, “Months Del S” = Model S

syclone | 7 juillet 2019

Pontiac Aztec - the personification of "The Emperor's new clothes". I haven't heard that car name in a long time.

bheck11 | 7 juillet 2019

A friend who bought a Kona EV seems very happy with it, even though she had to drive a few states away to pick it up.

Having said that, it seems rather strange to worry about the reliability of a Tesla Model 3 and to then choose a brand new vehicle with essentially no reliability record (positive or negative) whatsoever, especially one coming from a manufacturer with very little experience in building EVs.

calvin940 | 7 juillet 2019


I agree with your point about strangeness. However, negative media is powerful and the blast job on Tesla clearly has had an effect.

I think the Kona EV also probably has a different target market than the model 3 right now as well so not sure you could A/B them appropriately but then again the EV selection is so limited that it's more about price than a lot of other things

charles.a.braun | 7 juillet 2019

I wonder how long the 1,725 mile road trip that I am currently about 1 hour away from completing would have taken in a kona vs in my 3?

charles.a.braun | 7 juillet 2019

Do the Hyundai dealers need to be "open for business" to use the chargers?

charles.a.braun | 7 juillet 2019

Oh, and I dont recall seeing any Hyundai dealerships in Beaver Utah or between there and Great Basin National Park.

charles.a.braun | 7 juillet 2019

From Beaver to the visitor center at Great Basin NP is 121 miles. We then went to about 8500 feet up towards wheeler peak before my wife got too freaked out by the lack of a guard rail. That was about 8 miles of climbing followed by 8 miles descent and a 5 or 6 mile trip into Baker for dinner before returning 6 miles back to the visitor center for the Astronomy presentation and 121 miles back to Beaver.

268 miles and arrived back in Beaver with 12% plugged in for 15 minutes to 50% and went and parked with the big rigs behind the car wash. Put the back seats down and unfolded our little mattress that fits perfectly and the wife and I climbed the the trunk. Set the climate to 70° and woke up 6 hours later and headed off to Capitol Reef.

Passion2Fly | 7 juillet 2019

From your postings it seems that you like all other EVs except for your Model 3. What a miserable car ownership experience...

sosmerc | 7 juillet 2019

I am impressed with both the Kona and the E-Niro, but neither is available with AWD which is an option I prefer.
Neither is approved for any kind of towing (at this point, but then the Model 3 is not either). I guess the Model Y may be the only affordable EV that just might meet my needs.
We want to do more traveling and the Tesla charging network is already there for the trips we would take. Not so much for the other EV's on the market.

Passion2Fly | 7 juillet 2019

Also pay attention to the “what we don’t like” section of the article...

Earl and Nagin ... | 7 juillet 2019

As a commuter, grocery getter, and general daily runabout in California, the Kona should be just fine as long as you don't plan to leave a metropolitan area in California. Do not count on it for easy, long road trips though as its fast charging is generally slow and the CCS infrastructure is sparse and unreliable.
If they want ease of life without gasoline and the Tesla models meet their capacity and price needs, Tesla is the only answer.
Getting quantified numbers will be hard and the FUDsters have been successful in casting doubt about unquantifiable issues so a bit of a leap of faith will, unfortunately, be required.

jjgunn | 7 juillet 2019

Just talked to a couple that has a Chevy Bolt heading up to Redding.

It's been a nightmare trying to find decent charging options. They told me how much they wish they bought a Model 3 & mentioned how Tesla did it the right way by building out the infrastructure.

Fortunately they have a nice DC Fast Charging option in Chico.

Tesla has the infrastructure, the cars with range, the most advanced tech with updates all the time.

It's quite obvious, that today, Tesla has a healthy lead on every other car manufacturer.

Can that change in the future? Sure...but in this climate of instant gratification & short-sightedness, Tesla is the only game in town to consider for long term.

Go ahead & buy a competitive product. I wish FishEV would. But we all know he's just here to incite & really loves his Tesla.

JAD | 7 juillet 2019

Have them actually drive both. The decision will be made or they didn't have an open mind and couldn't be convinced. Any ev sale is good.

Bighorn | 7 juillet 2019

Americans are buying a Korean EV without a charging network? Wow. Happy belated Fourth!

One other big difference. I don’t know any Tesla owner who would accept a free monthly dealer car wash, because they care about their car’s finish.

gballant4570 | 7 juillet 2019

I agree that any real EV sale is good. I can even grit my teeth a bit and say a PHEV sale isn't necessarily terrible. I would however say that had I been duped into buying a Hyundai I would now be engaged in a futile effort to console myself based on price....

Once they have bought the car, there is little point in pounding into them what will soon be quite obvious. No point in being mean.

sosmerc | 7 juillet 2019

As has already been pointed out, for folks that are not looking for a long distance EV, some of the new BEV arrivals will work just fine. Whatever floats your boat. But Tesla definitely has a major lead when it comes to long distance travel. They are setting the bar.

jjgunn | 7 juillet 2019

Collision avoidance as evidenced by multiple articles. Free LTE access & free streaming of any music you like.

Security features like Pin2Drive. App access using my phone as a car key. Climate control & dog mode. Rain sensing wipers. Video games while I'm parked. Not to mention charging from 20% to 80% in 15-20 minutes. Even IF the Kia finds some fast charging options which are few & far between.

Your Kia have any of that?

Dude, just sell your Tesla -- it's quite obvious you have no clue how to use what you have & got lucky you stumbled onto the most amazing product in the last 50 years.

stebo1 | 7 juillet 2019

True story - this happened yesterday. My parents are buying a new car, I pleaded with them to consider an EV as it would make their lives so much easier. They already wanted a Kia, and I knew that Texas was supposed to be one of twelve states to get the E-Niro; so I knew we could convert them! That’s until they got to the dealership and they explained there was only dealer in the entire state that was selling them (3 hours away). And that dealer only had ONE GUY certified to work on the electric cars. If anything ever went wrong, this one guy would need to be available in Austin and they would need to drive it down there (or have it towed).

So do Kia and Hyundai have EV’a available? Yep! Are they available to anyone outside of CA? Not really, or the dealership will definitely discourage it. Btw, this certified technician is supposed to cover for both Kia and Hyundai!

jjgunn | 7 juillet 2019

Hahahah. Where's my knee slap emoticon

Bighorn | 7 juillet 2019

Bitch slap would also do.

Lonestar10_1999 | 7 juillet 2019

Choosing the right EV to meet your needs is a personal decision where emotions and passions are factored in, not just comparing data on performance and features. With the time and resources spent on the EV it’s analogous to choosing a mate.

For this analogy, M3 versus Kona EV is like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” versus Conchata Ferrell in “Two and a Half Men”.

Its not a question of right or wrong, it’s a question of personal preference and taste, and ultimately which one better meets your needs.

Techy James | 7 juillet 2019

"Also the Kona has gotten its rated miles while the Tesla has not."

Okay lets look at that statement. Kona has gotten its rated miles. And Tesla has not. That is purely subjective based on how you drive it. Set that Kona to what ever it's version of a sport mode and punch it of the line and slam on brakes last second then guess what it won't get it's stated range. This is also true of all cars including ICE.
I have Tesla LR RWD with a rated range of 325 miles. I charge it regularly to 80% or ~265 miles SOC. Then I drive around for all day and even use Sentry mode for a 2.5 hour movie. At the end of day I drove 242 miles, SOC is showing 95 miles left. Interesting when I do math that is 337 miles of range with only a 80% charge. Granted that was a mix of city 30% and highway 70%. So it's all in how you drive the car on range potential. Just for record since I am an adult without the need of constant jack rabbit starts I tend to use Chili Mode with regenerative braking set to Standard.
I wonder why you constantly tell people to sell there Tesla, maybe it's you that should sell their Tesla. I have posted several times, where the AutoPilot was more than I expected in it's abilities. I have done testing with the lane departure and emergency lane departure and it worked exactly as I would have expected. Working where I would have expected it, and not engaging where I wouldn't expect it. Honestly if it was such a bad decision for you then by all means you might want to cut your loses and go with another EV or ICE car.
Just for the record Kia doesn't have an AP as standard equipment, so how do you even remotely claim it has a top rated system. It might have a lane keep assist and detection if driver is not keeping focus.It will not do any of the driving for you. Please quite barring fake news confusing people that don't do their research. I have EAP & FSD, and I can attest the Navigation on Autopilot was able to complete over 80% of the highway driving recently on a 1100+ miles trip from Cleveland Oh to Alexandria LA. So I can attest the Nav on Autopilot is an excellent benefit, that is fully capable to make lane change decisions. It's even courteous systems that will slow down to let merging traffic that was traveling down the on ramp. When was the last time a Cruise Control system outside Tesla slow down for traffic that wasn't already in your lane.
We all know you hate Tesla, and it appears now you would never buy an autonomous level 3 or above system unless it comes from Korea. Why you don't sell your Tesla and go with something else is beyond me. If I had half the dislike you have for Tesla, I wouldn't keep my Tesla. I am sure KIA will make you a great deal to get you out of your Tesla assuming you live in one of the 12 State they sell the Niro EV. Otherwise you will have to cross to another state to get your car.

lbowroom | 7 juillet 2019

AP works great. Stop calling competitor's lane keep autopilot, it's not.

Magic 8 Ball | 7 juillet 2019

@Techy James You must be unfamiliar with @FISHEV's MO. They here purely to disrupt and not here to learn and they continue to push bad information. They will not acknowledge counterpoints and just pile on with more bad information that is anti-Tesla.

lbowroom | 7 juillet 2019

Fish, nothing about you is verified

gballant4570 | 7 juillet 2019

I wised up weeks ago and ignored FISHEV, but for his dubious benefit I can say that my Model 3 GETS IT'S EPA RATED MILES. Actually a little better than its EPA miles......

Magic 8 Ball | 7 juillet 2019

TESLA does not delete threads or posts from this forum except for rare occasions of spam bot attacks and threats.

@FISHEV is delusional with their attempts to draw attention to their dissatisfaction and going to extreme measures with trolling this forum in effort to catch Tesla's attention. They have constructed bizarre strawmen that simply do not make sense and show them to be delusional.

gballant4570 | 7 juillet 2019

Humans dance on the precipice of delusion from the cradle to the grave. It's quite easy to fall off that cliff. And many do..... | 7 juillet 2019

Kona EV doesn't look too bad by itself, but in a comparison with an Model 3, not so good.

Horsepower - Kona is 77% of a Model 3
DC Charging - Kona is 40% of Model 3 (100 kW vs 250 kW)
AC Charging - Kona is 63% of a Model 3 (7.2 kW vs 11.5 kW)
Fast charging for travels, Kona is very limited, Model 3, no problems
Range 258 miles is good, but Model 3 LR at 325 is better
Kona Display 7" standard, 8" optional vs 15" in the Model 3 (although to be fair Kona has a HUD on most expensive version)
Size - Kona is a subcompact, vs Model 3 is a midsize
Only available in FWD, where Tesla has RWD and AWD. Reported handling on the Kona is average at best.

Looks to be a competitor with the Nissan Leaf (not a bad thing), but really not at all in Tesla's league. If I bought one and then found out about the Tesla Model 3, I'd feel I was royally screwed getting so little for the same price as a 3.

Magic 8 Ball | 7 juillet 2019

That is the kicker with Kona, it is a Leaf killer. It does not look to advance the appeal to the broader potential EV market it just wants some of that Leaf market. If they came out with a mini-van or something else that would have been cool but no they play it safe and just go after a known entity.

stebo1 | 7 juillet 2019

@FISHEV - serious question, no bs. In order to post in this forum you need to be a Tesla owner or have ordered one in the past. Do you own a Tesla (or did you)? I can understand anyone’s frustration if you have high expectations from a company. Tesla built a sales and service model for high end cars and when they rolled out the more affordable ones, attempted to handle things the same way. You also have people reaching further into their savings/bank accounts/financing to achieve ownership and they want the same experience as someone buying a Model X or S. The buying experience for me was more fear than anything, from reading forums like this. In the end there was some truth to the negative feedback but it’s really blown out of proportion for most people.

I actually considered flying to California and buying a Kona but the car is just not attractive to me. I would rather have a base model 3 than a loaded Hyundai or Kia hatchback but different strokes for different folks. My parents loved their Hyundai and now I am sure they will love their new Kia. I just wish that Kia/Hyundai would make it available everywhere instead of making it a PR thing.

vmulla | 7 juillet 2019

Apples and Oranges.

Yes, my Tesla 3 spent a lot of time in the service center - that doesn't make it an unreliable car, far from it.
And my Leaf (which is more comparable to the Kona) has zero service issues - that doesn't make the Leaf a better car.

I'm just glad that your friend bought an EV. As long as the choice is between EVs, the vision for Tesla is winning.

Lonestar10_1999 | 7 juillet 2019


The more EV choices there are, the greater the EV market share. At some point, EV infrastructure build out will get more attention from the federal government and will become a national priority. This is how the interstate highway system became a reality; it became a federal program.

Tesla is making progress with Supercharger build out but imagine how massive EV adoption would be if there were as many places to change up as there are gas stations today.

lbowroom | 7 juillet 2019

One more time. Anyone can post to this forum. If you're a registered owner, you can also start a thread.

M3BlueGeorgia | 7 juillet 2019

The Kona EV is a compliance car. Period.

Kia know exactly how many they are going to sell. That's the precise number to continue to sell their ICEs while avoiding paying penalties (or avoiding buying credits from Tesla).

We can presume, based on their reluctance to sell more than a few hundred a month and their reluctance to sell them outside of California, that Kia lose money on each one they sell.

In Q2 of 2019, their BEV monthly sales were 40,119, and 49, so that's probably lower than they'd like. Their PHEV monthly sales in same quarter were 245, 329 and 351. Still small potatoes.
They were outsold by the Jaguar iPace, but that product has to protect both Jaguar's and Land Rover's ICE sales.
Kia hopefully are getting skills on designing and building BEVs, but probably not any skills on selling them.

Why are we worrying about cars that sell in the hundreds of units monthly?

texxx | 7 juillet 2019

@stebo1 - It's not just Kia with the service department issues. When I owned my Volt I had the exact same problem at multiple dealerships - a single tech certified to work on the car (and the Bolt), and when he was busy, you waited. Got to know one of the techs pretty well and told me his dealership had zero interest in expanding sales or service of Volts or Bolts. Kill 'em off with lousy customer service. And therein lies the problem for traditional ICE carmakers. Their dealerships are going to do anything possible to stall the save le of EVs, and they have a massive incentive (service $$$$) to see them fail.

Passion2Fly | 7 juillet 2019

@lbowroom is right. You can post but you cannot start a new discussion for non-owners. It’s mostly intended to prevent spam...

Lonestar10_1999 | 7 juillet 2019

FishEV, even after Jan 1, 2020 when you will have ridded yourself of your M3, you will continue to have posting privileges.

lbowroom | 7 juillet 2019

For the CA rebate to stick, you must own your EV for a min of 30 months, not 1 calendar year.

Lonestar10_1999 | 7 juillet 2019

It’s worth it for FishEV to lose out on the CA rebate because the Kona EV he is buying is so much better.

Tronguy | 7 juillet 2019

@stebo1: You'll note that FISHEV didn't exactly answer your question. Instead of saying, directly, "Yes, I own a Model 3" he said "You answered your own question". Which begs the question of whether he owned one, rented one, applied soft hacking tools to Tesla and told them he had one (when he had rented one for a day), or whatever.
This is, by the way, typical for FISHEV. He does a lot of bobbing and weaving.
My personal bet: There's a nest of short-sellers who live in and around Southern Cal. I suspect that FISHEV is one of them or might actually be several of them. This is the same crowd that attempted to make a self-driving demo car crash and had a court order placed against them.
FISHEV's shtick, near as I can tell, is to come across as reasonable from time to time; then go crazy with negative reports against the Model 3. He also makes a point of hijacking threads, over and over, so his negative comments tend to bubble up. He especially does this when the stock price looks like it might be going up. Which is why I think he's part of the short crowd.
I also note that he and howard, another noted troll, tend to play tag-team in hijacked threads.

Finally: part of the reason that only "registered owners" get to post new threads.. I got here back in September when my SO's M3 showed up. And you would not believe the troll activity at the time. Single posts by people with Really Poor English skills complaining about How My Car Died; in and out, and 30%+ of the posts at the time, and never a response.
That and Chinese Spam.
Given that environment, it's understandable why M8B and some older posters are rude and crude with negative comments; I'd guess, at this time, 20%-40% of the negative comments on this thread are from trolls and worse.

FactDoc | 7 juillet 2019

I didn’t get why FISHEV don’t like his Model 3, I was off the forums for a couple weeks, got specific problems with the car or just dissatisfied with overall quality?

kevin_rf | 7 juillet 2019

M3BlueGeorgi, While I agree that the Kona is a compliance car, they are available outside of CA. Ran into to someone who bought one from Ron Bushard's up in Leominster MA. He mentioned you can test drive one there. Mileage may vary.

While it is ashame that KIA is doing a limited production run, for all intents, it looks to be a decent EV. | 7 juillet 2019

I guess I should have covered safety of Model 3 vs Kona EV:

1, Side collision avoidance - not on Kona
2. Dynamic 360 surround view - not on Kona
3. Blind spot visualization on Tesla, Kona only an idiot light
4. LED headlights on all versions - Kona not on base version
5. Knee airbags - not on Kona
6. Traction control system - Works poorly on Kona (wheel spin per Consumer reports)
7. Reverse parking distance indication - Not on base or Limited edition Kona
8. Eight camera AP available on Model 3, not on Kona
9. Automatic Emergency Braking - not on Kona base or limited versions
10. Over the air updates and improvements - not on Kona

Only thing I can see Kona has Tesla doesn't - Cross track warning.

Kona does have a lot going for it over ICE cars, but it's a subcompact - not in the same class as the Model 3 midsize. Doubt many would consider it over a Model 3, especially knowing the Model 3 is so much safer better tech and a known 5-star crash testing across the board.