Snapshot – 2014 has been a very successful year for Hyundai. The automaker has had two blockbuster successes in the form of the Xcent compact sedan and the i20 Elite hatchback. The Santa Fe luxury SUV has also managed to carve out a niche in the segment it operates in. All in all, 2014 has been happy hunting grounds for the South Korean car brand, which is also India’s second largest car maker. Hyundai will be aiming to continue the good work of 2014 in 2015. The automaker has half a dozen big launches next year. CarToq gives you the low down.
iX25 Compact SUV
Arguably the biggest launch from Hyundai in 2015, the iX25 marks the South Korean automaker into India’s promising compact SUV segment. The iX25 compact SUV is expected to initially feature 1.4 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines, with a front wheel drive layout as standard fare. Hyundai could bring in larger engines in subsequent months, along with an all wheel drive option to boot. Measuring over 4 meters in length, the iX25 will be Hyundai’s answer to the likes of the Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano, in terms of positioning and pricing.
i20 Elite Cross
The i20 Elite Cross is essentially the i20 Elite hatchback dressed to pretend as a crossover. The i20 Elite Cross will sit below the iX25 compact SUV and will rub shoulders with the likes of the Fiat Avventura and the Toyota Etios Cross. If the i20 Elite Cross is half as successful as its hatchback sibling, Hyundai will consider the job well done,especially given the low strike rate that crossover styled hatchbacks have had in the Indian car market. To make its case, the i20 Elite Cross is likely to get a higher ground clearance and improved brakes.
The facelifted Verna is what Hyundai needs urgently, given how the Honda City and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz have stormed the C-Segment sedan space. The facelifted Verna that India will soon get will carry over styling from the Russia-spec Solaris (as the Verna is called in that part of the world). While a cosmetic makeover is a given, the Verna Facelift could also pack in 6 speed automatic transmissions on both the petrol and turbo diesel engines, as a measure to perk up performance and keep up with the changing times.
The latest generation Toyota Corolla Altis, which was launched in India earlier this year, has elbowed out the Hyundai Elantra to occupy the top spot in India’s D-Segment sedan space. The Elantra is in need of a facelift to win back sales. A mild facelift is what this sedan will get next year. A bunch of changes will be effected on the Elantra’s exteriors and interiors. The 1.6 liter turbo diesel and the 1.8 liter petrol motors will continue to operate in the car. In terms of features, not much will change as the all-new version of the Elantra is due in the international markets next year.
Santa Fe Facelift
The Santa Fe recently received a mild refresh in international markets. A hot selling premium SUV for Hyundai, the Santa Fe’s latest generation was launched in India earlier this year. The end of next year will be a good time for Hyundai to update the Santa Fe considering how the competition will grow by then. Toyota will come up with new variants of the Fortuner while Mitsubishi has just launched the Pajero Sport Automatic. Next year will also see Ford coming up with the 2015 Endeavour, an SUV that could eat into the Santa Fe’s sales.
Earlier this year, the Sonata luxury sedan received a facelift in its home market of South Korea. In India, Hyundai has not bothered with the car given its poor showing at the hustings, primarily due to the lack of a diesel engine option. However, the grapevine suggests that Hyundai will shoehorn a diesel engine in the Sonata Fluidic’s facelifted version, raising hopes that the car could make a decent comeback in India. A diesel engine in the Sonata Fluidic has the potential of dramatically changing this car’s future here, given the preference for diesel powered luxury cars among of buyers in India.