Hyundai has announced that it will no longer produce diesel-powered small cars and sedans, as it shifts its focus to petrol powertrains for its compact car and sedan lineup. This lineup includes the Grand i10 Nios, Aura, i20, and Verna. Recently, the company discontinued the diesel versions of the i20.
This decision was made due to the rising popularity of SUVs, petrol cars, and all-electric cars. Diesel-powered car sales have declined drastically due to stricter emission norms and high asking prices. The sales of diesel-powered compact cars and SUVs account for only 1.4% of total vehicle sales between April 2022 and February 2023, according to a report from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Diesel engines not available with any mass-segment sedan
Hyundai is not alone in this decision, as other carmakers such as Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Renault, Nissan, and the entire Volkswagen group have given up on diesel powertrains altogether. Upgrading small-capacity diesel engines to the latest emission norms has become a challenge for carmakers and has increased the prices of cars powered by them unreasonably. While Hyundai will no longer produce diesel-powered small cars and sedans, it will continue to offer diesel powertrains as an option for its lineup of SUVs, which includes the Venue, Creta, Alcazar, and Tucson.
According to Mr Tarrun Garg, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor India, the demand for diesel cars is now limited mainly to SUVs, and the demand for diesel-powered variants rises proportionately with the size of the SUV.
The previous-generation Verna was available with 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines, along with 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine options. However, with the all-new version, Hyundai has discontinued the 1.5-litre diesel and 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engines and replaced them with an all-new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. This new engine claims 160 PS of power and 263 Nm of torque, making the Verna the most powerful car in its category.
With Hyundai’s decision, the Altroz is now the only compact hatchback available with a diesel engine in India.
The Indian market is evolving, and with a push from the government towards electric cars, it is likely that we will see a rise in new electric car models in the Indian market. Many manufacturers have started focusing on strong hybrid models as replacements for diesel-powered cars. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is now the most affordable diesel sedan with a price tag above Rs 40 lakh, ex-showroom.