Being India’s second largest car manufacturer in terms of sales, Hyundai has seen its fair shares of successful products as well as failed products in the market. The Korean automaker is currently busy in making preparations of its latest product for India, the Venue sub-4 meter SUV. It will be followed by a number of other launched like the Kona EV and the Tucson facelift which indicates that Hyundai will have a busy time ahead. As many of you might already know, not all cars by Hyundai were received very well by the public and have been forgotten since long. In this post, let’s take a look at 10 forgotten Hyundai cars that were sold in India.
The Hyundai Getz was launched in 2005 in India. The hatchback had a pretty decent ride quality and came with generous space on the inside. It is remembered by many enthusiasts for its powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine that produced 110 Bhp of power and 235 Nm of torque. At a time when Hyundai thought they finally had a winner in their hands, Maruti Suzuki launched the Swift which slew every other car in the segment at that time, including the Getz.
You might well remember the Accent sedan as it was quite popular during its days. However, it had a notchback cousin too which was known as the Hyundai Accent Viva. The Accent Viva was aimed at buyers who were looking beyond the regular family sedan. However, it turned out that not many buyers were actually looking beyond family sedans at that time which led to the car’s failure. The Viva was powered by a 1.5-litre CRDI engine that produced 81 Bhp of power and 187 Nm of torque.
Elantra (fourth generation)
While Hyundai is yet to launch the facelifted version of the sixth generation Elantra in India, it was the third generation Elantra that started the nameplate’s journey in India. Launched in 2004, the Elantra wasn’t as successful as the company thought it might be. A reason for behind this was the success of the Toyota Corolla, which was the choice of customers at that time. The polarising design of the Elantra didn’t help matters either and the third-gen Elantra was discontinued in India in 2010.
The Hyundai Sonata Gold was a good looking car of its time and had a pretty rear end along with those Mercedes-Benz inspired headlamp design. It was launched in India in 2001 but despite having Shahrukh Khan associated with the Hyundai brand, it never went on to become a raging success in the country. Rivalled by the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry it performed poorly at sales and was finally discontinued in 2005.
The Hyundai Sonata Embera was launched in 2004 and was an upgrade from the Sonata Gold. The fifth-generation Sonata was the most expensive sedan sold by Hyundai in India at that time. Despite it being a decent car, the Sonata Embera was again a complete sales failure and is as rare as a Rolls Royce on streets. It was discontinued four years after its launch due to unimpressive sales, a major reason for which was the Honda Accord.
Hyundai again tried to capture the executive sedan market in India by launching the sixth-generation Sonata in India in 2012. It was priced at Rs. 18 lakh (ex-showroom). The car was definitely a looker and was one of the first cars in the company’s stable to get the fluidic design treatment. However, a thirsty petrol engine and the steep price tag didn’t help the Sonata’s case in India though it came with nice interiors with several great features.
Tucson (first generation)
The First-generation Hyundai Tucson had a slightly quirky design. It was launched in India in 2005 and was more of a luxury soft-roader than a proper SUV. At that time though, the Indian market wasn’t quite ready for a vehicle like it and therefore the first-gen Tucson found a few takers. The company, therefore, decided not to launch the second-gen Tucson here it was only in 2016 that Hyundai launched the third generation Tucson in India. Later this year, Hyundai will also launch a new facelifted version of the current generation Tucson.
Hyundai launched the Terracan SUV here in 2004 and it was positioned as the flagship vehicle in the company’s model lineup in India. Powered by a 2.9-litre turbocharged engine that churned out 148 bhp and 343 Nm, it used to be the torquiest full-size SUV on sale in the country. The ladder frame SUV with AWD drivetrain, however, came a bit ahead of its time and hence, didn’t find many takers. The
Santa Fe (second generation)
The second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe arrived in India as a CBU import and therefore commanded a rather hefty price tag. Unfortunately, premium SUV buyers were not enamoured with either the price tag or the fact that this was an SUV from a company best known for cars like the Santro. Most opted to go for the more capable and popular Toyota Fortuner, which meant that the Santa Fe tanked when the sales charts came out. With not so many sold in India, it comes as no surprise that the second-gen Santa Fe has made this list.
Santa Fe (third generation)
With the second generation Santa Fe failing to capture the market, Hyundai replaced it with the next generation model. The third-gen Santa Fe’s was styling more aggressively and was a looker thanks to Hyundai’s Fluidic design philosophy. While the 3rd gen Santa Fe did a lot better than its predecessor, the SUV still could not match the Toyota Fortuner and was finally shelved later on.