The proliferation of dedicated electric vehicles for the Ioniq lineup doesn’t mean Hyundai is abandoning EVs that use a platform originally intended for combustion cars. Positioned well below the Niro crossover, this funky hatchback also has its roots in a car powered by gasoline. Meet the Inster, essentially an electric conversion of the Casper city car sold in South Korea.

Developed with Europe in mind to fight the Dacia Spring, the Hyundai Inster is slightly larger than its combustion-engined counterpart. It stretches 150.6 inches long, 63.4 inches wide, and 62 inches tall. The 101.5-inch wheelbase has been extended as well over the Casper. However, it’s still a diminutive car, even compared to the dead-but-coming-back Chevy Bolt, making it perfect for the urban jungle.

Customers will get to pick from two flavors, featuring different battery sizes and power outputs. The base model will have a 42-kWh pack good for an estimated 186 miles of range and an electric motor rated at a mighty 95 horsepower. A more expensive version will combine a bigger 49-kWh battery for 217 miles of range with a more potent 113-hp motor. In both instances, the Inster packs an instant torque of 108 lb-ft.

As you can imagine, this is a front-wheel-drive EV not meant to take down Nürburgring records. It hits 62 mph in 11.7 seconds if you stick to the base version. Step up to the beefier model and the sprint time drops to 10.6 seconds. Top speed is 87 mph and 93 mph, respectively. Once you’re out of battery juice, it’ll take about half an hour to replenish the battery from 10 to 80 percent using DC charging at 120 kW.

While the technical specifications won’t make you rush over to the local Hyundai dealer, the features might do the trick. The pint-sized EV has fully foldable front seats and split-folding rear seats. Images show the Inster with a four-seat layout but a five-seater configuration will be available later in 2025. The rear seats slide, and depending on their position, the cargo capacity varies from 8.4 to 12.4 cubic feet.

Although it’s a small car, the Hyundai Inster is loaded with goodies. From adaptive cruise control and a surround camera to a wireless charging pad and a high-beam assist, the city EV is generously equipped. It can also be had with a heated steering wheel and lane departure warning, not to mention a highway driving assistant and a wired connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The dual 10.25-inch screens are standard equipment, and Hyundai also offers heated front seats, automatic AC, and a sunroof. There’s even a Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function to juice up external devices thanks to bidirectional charging. Alongside the regular model, an Inster Cross will be offered with a slightly more rugged design.

Although it’s not mechanically related to an Ioniq product, it does embrace the pixel light theme at the front and rear. Even so, it stands out in Hyundai’s growing EV portfolio as well as in the global entry-level electric segment. It certainly has a playful design, and contrary to many cars that are coming out, it thankfully has plenty of physical buttons inside.

Inster won’t be a Euro-only affair as Hyundai will also sell it at home in Korea as well as in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The Inster Cross will be launched at a later date.

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Last Update: June 27, 2024