After years of build-up, Tesla finally revealed the Model Y this week. Deliveries won’t begin until late next year, which could mean mid-2021 realistically, given Tesla’s track record with the Model 3. But when it finally does head to production, customers will only be able to choose the $48,200 Dual-Motor or the $52,200 Performance version. Both will offer 280 miles of range, while the rear-wheel-drive Model Y will go on sale about nine months later and come with a 300-mile range. But if you set aside factors such as price and range, how does the Model Y’s design compare to the Hyundai Kona Electric?
Up front, you immediately notice a lot of Model 3 in the Model Y. Whether that’s a good thing or not largely depends on your opinion of the Model 3, as well as the number of Teslas in your area. In an area such as Los Angeles, for example, the Model Y may look too much like the Model 3 to stand out. On the other hand, the Kona Electric looks more like the gas-powered Kona with a closed-up grille. With its stacked headlights and less-conventional styling, we have a feeling that opinions are going to be split based entirely on personal preference.
From the side, the different approaches to design become even more obvious. While the front end of the Model Y is all Model 3, it looks a lot more like the Model X in profile. That may limit practicality a bit, but it also looks sportier than what you get with the Kona Electric. The Kona’s more conventional CUV roofline is also accented with a crisp character line that contrasts with the Model Y’s curvy styling. Around back, the Model Y shows off another aspect of its Model 3 roots with its taillights and integrated decklid spoiler. The rear end also has an almost-minimalist design when compared to the Kona. The Hyundai’s styling walks the line between interesting and overstyled, but since it doesn’t have such a sloping roofline, the designers also had more surface area to play with.
Inside, the different approaches each automaker took become even more apparent. Like the Model 3, the Model Y’s cabin is minimalist at best and Spartan at worst. Aside from the large center display screen, there’s very little that catches your attention. The Kona, however, looks much more like a conventional car. The materials in the cabin may be a little lower quality, but if you like buttons, the Kona is the electric crossover you’ll want.
Considering the fact that a fully loaded Kona tops out at less than the base price of the base Model Y, we’re not sure how many people will cross-shop these two crossovers. But come 2021, we’re certainly interested in a good old fashioned comparison test. For now though, which small electric crossover do you think is the better-looking EV? Tell us in the comments on Facebook.